James Tucker (right) and Tim Benest (left)
Habitual Fix have been creating fresh food addicts since 2008 by delivering kiwis tasty, healthy food with a difference. Mobi2Go caught up with Habitual Fix owner/operator James Tucker to share the story of how this iconic franchise began, their views on online and mobile ordering for business and what’s in store for lucky customers in the future.
James is no stranger to the food and beverage industry, learning the ropes of what it takes to run a successful food business at Hell Pizza. Here he met Tim Benest, a chef on a competitor analysis lunch mission from Pizza Hut, who was so impressed with the food at Hell he approached Tucker for a job.
After success with Hell and James opening seven Hell Pizza franchises, the pair decided it was time to follow their hearts and do their own thing. They knew there was a gap in the market for fresh, fast, convenient, healthy food and they spotted an opportunity to raise the bar in quality and taste too.
After some overseas research, store location scouting and careful menu development, James and Tim opened the first Habitual fix store in Auckland’s Viaduct in 2008. A year later the next franchise opened, then three on average every year since.
Today Habitual Fix has sixteen stores – thirteen in Auckland and three in Wellington.
In a nutshell, James describes the menu as “nice tasting, fresh food using ‘different’ ingredients”.
It’s the finer gourmet details that give the extra special element to Habitual Fix food you can’t get anywhere else. The pumpkin seeds that go into the Tree Hugger or Lawn Bowl Salad are roasted instore every day. The bread is baked fresh daily. Customers can choose from sandwiches, wraps, toasted pitas, salads, smoothies and juice so the frequent Habitual Fixer never gets bored, and the ingredients are sourced from the finest fresh local produce – nothing frozen. It’s fresh food with a gourmet twist for the average kiwi.
Habitual Fix pride themselves on being early adopters of the latest technology. Back in 2009 the catering side of the business started picking up and orders for office lunches and corporate events were coming through thick and fast. Taking large volume orders via phone can be difficult, so James wondered what could be done to speed things up and give customers the option of ordering from their desk. Research began, but James discovered that other online ordering service providers had complex, inflexible systems that were too hard to implement with Habitual Fix’s business model. Their point-of-sale provider referred them to Mobi2Go, and funnily enough James recognised Tarik Mallett’s name, the founder of Mobi2Go, from high school. The lads both went to Hutt Valley High School together, small world! Mobi2Go first started working with Habitual Fix on text marketing campaigns, eventually progressing to build a fully integrated and personalised online and mobile ordering system together and becoming Mobi2Go’s first client. Today Mobi2Go provides online and mobile ordering services for all thirteen Habitual Fix stores.
The Habitual Fix online ordering storefront
James is grateful for the tailored service provided by Mobi2Go. “Thankfully, Mobi2Go built the entire online ordering system for us so it was designed specifically for Habitual Fix.”
As well as helping with the catering side of the business, he loves the efficiency and speed of online ordering for customers. “With the new Mobi2Go online ordering system you can make progress on orders quickly and put more people through over the busy lunch period. Customers can order from their office desk or mobile in advance and beat the queue, which also reduces instore wait times.”
James says marketing and promotions have become easier with Mobi2go too. “You can integrate voucher codes with text promotions and daily deal automations like grabone through Mobi2Go, exposing us to a wider new customer base.”
Habitual Fix have gained around 20% of their sales through the Mobi2Go online ordering system, which makes up a significant portion of their revenue.
The use of mobile technology is increasing and more customers are using their mobile devices to place orders. Habitual Fix is working on a new mobile optimised website to deliver their customers an even better user experience while ordering on-the-go. It’s coming soon, so keep an eye out.
As well as a website makeover, Habitual Fix are growing. Their next store opens in Highbrook in Auckland in three weeks, and an international expansion with an overseas store opening is happening in the near future. Watch this space.
A mixture of outstanding support, intuitive design and cutting edge technology keeps Habitual Fix happy. “Working with Tarik is great. The customer support from Mobi2Go is top notch, and there are always new features being introduced to keep up with the latest developments in both the restaurant and technology industry.”
James praises the system design too, saying it’s easy to make changes. “As a non-technical person, I can go in there and update the menu easily without too much fuss.”
Felicity is Mobi2Go’s marketing and brand manager and content creator. She writes about online ordering and hospitality trends, tips, client success stories – basically anything to help restaurant owners understand online & mobile ordering and grow their businesses. Connect with Felicity on LinkedIn or email her directly: email@example.com