Sponsored by Amadeus
A family-owned independent wholesaler, JJ Foodservice delivers from its 11 branches across the UK to outlets including restaurants, schools, universities, local councils, hotels, coffee shops and more.
The business was founded by Mustafa Kiamil, who opened the first branch of JJ in 1988 in a modest 3,000 sq ft warehouse in Hornsey, London. Ten more branches have since opened, and today the 800-strong JJ team strives for the highest levels of customer service and are always looking at new ways to improve the shopping experience.
Most of JJ's business comes from orders placed online and the judges were impressed with the sophisticated use of technology that has been developed in-house by JJ. Each branch is equipped with ordering zones that allow customers to place orders via touchscreen tablets. The website uses technology to predict basket items and make accurate, data-led recommendations on what customers are likely to purchase, accounting for an average of 20% of basket spend. Predictive ordering is also available via the JJ app, which has been downloaded more than 20,000 times.
At the heart of JJ's customer service is speed and convenience, and in 2018 it launched a notification system to give customers an estimated time of arrival delivery service based on real-time data. Feedback from customers had indicated that waiting around for a delivery was one of their biggest frustrations. The development means that customers are notified when their order is dispatched, and again when the delivery is a few minutes away – with the driver's name and vehicle registration number. This allows customers to be prepared – with payment ready, and space made for the delivery – speeding up the process and improving fuel efficiency. The initiative has also meant JJ drivers can fit in an additional drop in the same driving hours.
The JJ Mastercard, also launched in 2018, was set up to help customers manage their cashflow. It has been so successful that terms have been increased from 37 to 56 days and the spending limit doubled to £50,000. Since launch, customers are spending 30% more at JJ.
JJ has introduced telematics across its fleet, GPS-monitoring each vehicle to record and map exactly where a vehicle is, how far it's travelling, driver behaviour, etc. Top drivers are rewarded financially and other drivers are helped to improve their scores. By August 2018 a 70% reduction in idling was achieved, resulting in a 2% decrease in total carbon emissions.
An eco-friendly packaging category, including natural, sustainable and renewable packaging lines, has seen sales grow from 70 to 500 cases per week over the past 12 months.
What the judges said
"I love these guys. They are all over it and were the clear winners. The way they've futureproofed their business and made it all about their customers stood out above the rest."
Danielle Mitchell, sales and marketing director, the Genuine Dining Co
"JJ's Mastercard technology is a brilliant concept that really taps into the needs of caterers."
Piers Zangana, director, Susa Comms
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Union Hand-Roasted Coffee
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