Sit Catering

Digital transformation in the catering kitchen

What really happens from the moment you order catering, until the food is on the table? For Sit, in any case, is not the process of recognition. Get an insight into how we brought Studentskipnaden in Trondheim, Gjøvik and Ålesund to a truly digital transformation.

Ipad on a table with Sit Catering's website

In all places where NTNU has a campus, you can also find the student-owned and -run organization Sit. In addition to providing services in housing, exercise and health, they are known to many through Sit cafe. But this is more than a simple student canteen.

Only at Gløshaugen in Trondheim, Sit has several kitchens, and across all campuses this constitutes a relatively large organization. Through Sit, everything from student associations to companies can order catering in connection with various events. It makes demands on logistics.

Pen and paper created challenges

When Sit contacted Increo, they wanted to improve their existing online store—a solution with limited functionality. The orders that were made in the online store? They were hung up with clips on a chalkboard.

“The online store was a home-made solution. In addition, many orders came in manually and these were handled with pen and paper. Not only was it easy to lose track and overview, but we were vulnerable in terms of staffing. If whoever was in control of the post-ite wasn't there, things could boil away in the cabbage.”

This is stated by Tove Antonsen, who at that time was a product developer in Sit. She also highlights that the manual labor seized a lot of time and resources. The goal when they contacted Increo was ambitious: they wanted a complete digital transformation.

“For us, this meant a holistic system that embraced all of our eateries and canteens. Because there are so many of us, we depended on a standardized scheme that could ensure that things were done equally in all places. It would also create predictability for our temps, who worked across the eateries”, - says Antonsen.

Collage with Sit Catering's nesstide on mobile and photo from the cafeteria

Map the customer journey through safari

Any successful transformation starts with a deep understanding of the present situation. In this case, we started with a so-called service safari, where we followed Sit for a whole day — from the first order to the last delivery.

“Here we got to know the complexity that lay in this system. Something was about how it was all organised, with a scattered, student-run organisation that has the university as its biggest customer. In addition, we were able to get up close to the challenges associated with the day-to-day operations” - says Morten Wikstrøm, CEO of Increo.

Through the safari, Increo got to see how Sit made sure orders that came in ended up in the right kitchen, how changes were handled and how they solved the logistics of transportation.

“We mapped the entire customer journey and found the friction points. Then it was time to figure out together how we could transform this.”

Tripartite transformation

Although the goal was to move from pen and paper to screen, this was about far more than just “digitization.” We had to dig up old routines and rebuild them. The result was a solution that together ensures that the entire SIT machinery runs around. This new system consists of three parts:

The online store

We developed a completely new ordering solution, which in some ways differs from other traditional online stores. Here the end user can choose whether to eat in the canteen or have it delivered. They can filter on allergens -- and there are easy-to-use solutions for ordering on behalf of people other than themselves.

Moreover, you can choose to have your food delivered to multiple locations — at one or more times. Under the hood, we have pushed a lot of business logic, which makes the solution also a help in planning your events. All campuses are located inside the system, and you can select the building and room number for delivery.

A selection of Sit's features and interface

Production system

We replaced the tablet on the wall with an iPad — to the delight of many. This pad handles everything from customer orders to merchandise orders. Sit can check at any time when orders should be completed, and all orders are automatically linked to the kitchen belonging to the relevant campus building.

As jobs are completed, Sit can update it on the pad -- and send it directly on to the billing system. The work of accounting and invoicing is no longer a huge time thief.

The driver system

Drivers, too, have now got a simple, digital system to deal with. On mobile or pad, they get clear information about the trip they are about to embark on: where they are going, when they need to be there and whether or not there is packaging to pick up. Among other things.

Here you can see the management interfaces of the kitchen and drivers.

Tailor-made backend

All three of these solutions talking to each other and other systems, like the accounting system of Sit and the booking system of NTNU. In addition, we have tailored a backend for the administration, where it is easy to

  • see trends and statistics
  • extract a number of different reports
  • get an overview of order inputs

We are still working on further developing the solution, with ever-expanding functionality for both Sit and the end user. But there is no doubt that Sit Catering can call itself transformed:

“I think it's absolutely amazing. The flow is improving and we are far more efficient in our operations. This is a thousand steps in the right direction.”

- concludes Antonsen.

What can we help you with?

Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
976 90 017
Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
988 00 306