“It's very easy to manage the delivery partners and the riders. Since teaming up with Otter, delivery is more efficient.”
Strolling through the streets of Peacehaven in the south of England on a beautiful summer‘s day you might just be tempted into treating yourself to a nice iced coffee to cool down. Lucky for you, Peacehaven is home to the UK’s most authentic coffee shop and restaurant. Y the Yemeni Coffee Co lives up to its name and provides coffee straight from the home of Arabica, Yemen. We sat down with Rachel, co-owner of Y the Yemeni Coffee Co, to discuss how she and her husband Yehya brought the authentic taste of Yemen to the UK and how they are growing their business by adding delivery.
“We were looking to open a business to develop all of our skills. Yemeni coffee is a speciality coffee, and quite unique in some ways, and our love for all things café and meeting-up really inspired us. So we decided to put all of that together.”
A Yemeni-inspired coffee shop in the south of England? You might be wondering how it all started and where Rachel and Yeyha came up with the idea. Well, it actually started in Malaysia of all places, where Rachel and Yehya met. In 2020, Rachel, the English half of the project who is a teacher, and Yehya, the Yemeni half of the project who is a software engineer and marketing specialist, decided to completely change career paths and launch a unique concept together. “We were looking to open a business to develop all of our skills. Yemeni coffee is a speciality coffee, and quite unique in some ways, and our love for all things café and meeting-up really inspired us. So we decided to put all of that together. Yehya was able to contact farms and people that he knew in Yemen, as it's not possible to visit. And so we imported the coffee from there.”
What is also unique is that this project is Rachel and Yehya’s first venture into the restaurant industry and they wanted to make it count. To do so, they focused on their main value proposition, which is the coffee beans that they import from Yemen and roast directly in the café. This offers their customers a unique experience as they will not be able to find this type of product anywhere else. “Our coffee is natural because of the way that it is grown, and Yemen is the home of the original coffee. So the speciality part is really important to us. We import it and actually roast it in our café. So keeping the product as natural and in-house as possible is also very critical.”
“At the beginning, we were a little bit hesitant to start delivery, because delivering coffee isn't the first thing you think about. We grew slowly, obviously due to the world situation that was going on. And then it became obvious that people liked our product.”
Starting a restaurant or coffee business in 2020 is no easy task. Many established restaurants had to switch their model to delivery-only to keep their doors open. In 2021, Y The Yemeni Coffee Co. took the decision to start delivery, which was a hard one, seeing as coffee is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think of food delivery. They had to adapt and grow their menu with items that pair perfectly with coffee and build a culture of delivering coffee right to people’s homes. “At the beginning, we were a little bit hesitant to start delivery, because delivering coffee isn't the first thing you think about. We grew slowly, obviously due to the world situation that was going on. And then it became obvious that people liked our product. So the combination of the coffee with food, the combination of coffee with snacks really worked.”
Today you can find Y the Yemeni Coffee Co on all the main delivery platforms, serving up delicious food and of course amazing coffee. This is great news for remote workers, who moved away from the big city but still love to get top-quality coffee on a regular basis. People who went out for coffee can now treat themselves from the comfort of their own homes.
“We have two virtual brands with Otter. It’s been going really well. We were discussing our menu with the Otter team and how we could use what we have to set up the virtual brands. It has brought us a larger customer base, which is great.”
In order to reach the largest amount of people possible, most restaurants sign-up for multiple delivery platforms and that is exactly what Y the Yemeni Coffee Co. did. This allowed them to expand their customer base and bring in a new revenue stream for their business. Of course, being on multiple delivery platforms also means dealing with incoming orders from different tablets, which could lead to some order errors and missed orders. This is where Otter came in. With Otter’s Order Management solution, Rachel’s team took control of their delivery business and is now managing all their orders through one tablet. “It's very easy to manage the delivery partners and the riders. Since teaming up with Otter, delivery is more efficient. It does work very, very well!”
Another way Rachel and Yehya are increasing their delivery sales and reaching a new customer base is by having two virtual brands as well as the Y The Yemeni Coffee Co brand for delivery. What is a virtual brand? Well, virtual brands are digital storefronts on delivery platforms like Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Deliveroo. That’s where the name comes from: they are called “virtual” because the customer can only see and order from these restaurants online. A single restaurant can have multiple brands in the same space, making many restaurants more profitable. “We have two virtual brands with Otter. It’s been going really well. We were discussing our menu with the Otter team and how we could use what we have to set up the virtual brands. It has brought us a larger customer base, which is great.” Otter’s virtual brand solution helped Rachel and Yehya optimise their existing kitchen and inventory to increase sales and unlock a whole new revenue stream.
With all these brands and delivery platforms, tracking data can seem very difficult, but with Otter’s Insights feature, the Y the Yemeni Coffee Co. team has been able to keep track of their data and identify growth opportunities as well as optimise their operations. “Analytics are very interesting. Especially in terms of when people are ordering. It's helping us in terms of planning for staffing and planning stock. We use this feature a lot!”
For Rachel, delivery comes down to one thing, planning. “I think it's all in the planning. That's how it's worked for us. If you plan well, and you've got to embrace the system, I think sometimes people expect it to be the same as in-house. But it's a different way of working. But actually, if you embrace the way that it works, then it is very, very successful.”
Visit: 📍: 243 S Coast Rd, Peacehaven BN10 8LD