Following on from last month's opening of the new Delice de France ǀ Coupe de Pate Customer Innovation Centre in central London, we asked the baked goods wholesaler to tell us more about the new site and what it means for their customers:
QSR Media: How did you come up with the concept for the new innovation centre?
In terms of the idea, it actually isn’t something new! We have always had a facility such as this at our Depots nationwide. However, we have realised over the years that these aren’t always the easiest locations for our customers to commute to. This was one of the main primary reasons for looking for a new location which had multiple transport links available.
As a business we strive to deliver some of the highest quality Bakery & Food products. As we develop each and every product in house with an expert team of R&D, we rely on inspiration from the Foodservice world around us, whether it be hot new restaurant openings or new Café concepts. When discussing where we should locate the Customer Innovation Centre, it just made perfect sense that we look for somewhere in the heart of Covent Garden / Leicester Square where there seems to be a melting pot of food innovation!
QSR Media: How do you think the centre will change customer perceptions of the brand?
We really hope that customers find that this new location makes us much more accessible. We really mean it when we say we want them to pop in (even if it’s just for a coffee!).
As we are surrounded by some of the UKs hottest trend setting food establishments, we want our customers to feel that we are truly dedicated to keeping on top of trends, so that in turn we can continue to provide highly innovative yet relevant new product development.
QSR Media: Could you walk us through a typical experience one of your clients would have in the centre?
It does always dependent on the agenda of the meeting, however, there are three main areas which customers tend to use;
o We have a meeting room which we call the ‘Glass Room’ due to the rather eye catching floor –to – ceiling glass doors as you enter it. This is a great informal yet practical space for customers to see presentations and discuss business strategies.
o The second space we have is the ‘Concept Room’. This is where we showcase some of our leading Consumer Branded Propositions. The main aim of this is to mock up what the concepts would look like in an outlet, filled with product and all the promotional point of sale around it.
o Our third space is what we have named as ‘The Tasting bar’ where we have a great workbench for our in house Chefs to display, prepare and present various products & recipe ideas whilst customers can watch and taste.
The most important part is that product is always at the heart of what we do, and we always make a promise that every customer leaves having eaten some very tasty products!
QSR Media: What has customer feedback on the centre been to date?
Our customer feedback has been really great to date, and we have found that they have enjoyed the space so much that they have brought their own internal staff in for team meetings!
QSR Media: How are you planning to promote the centre to your clients?
We will be holding regular Customer Open Days where we showcase some of our latest innovations. Look out for the next day on our website www.delicedefrance.co.uk
QSR Media: Do you have expectations for the number of clients you expect to use the centre until the end of the year?
We have on average 4 customers in the Customer Innovation Centre a week, so we anticipate approximately 80 till the end of December
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