Most of us can relate to that heart-crushing moment when you organise the perfect surprise but forget about that key slice of deliciousness — the cake. Sometimes, you don’t have time to run to a bakery or there’s no one to pick something up for you. That’s where Eat Cake Today comes in: It can deliver a cake to your doorstep or venue of choice in just four hours. And there is a limitless variety to choose from.
Eat Cake Today CEO Ang Boon Chow (some of his friends call him ABC, he reveals) was approached by the previous owners to take over the company, and he decided to take up the offer in April last year. Having gained some insight into the business, he started revamping the operations right away. “I started injecting a lot of tech elements into the business to make it scalable and easy to manage,” he says.
Initially, after a customer had placed an order, one of the staff would call the bakers and riders to coordinate the type of cake required and the timeof its delivery. Ang’s background in engineering and technology enabled him to find a better solution. “We worked with a technology company to develop an app for our requirements. Now when a cake order is made, all our bakers will know immediately through an app connected to Eat Cake Today. Our riders have the app too, so when the order comes, they will be informed as well. We systemised the whole thing,” he explains.
With the middleman taken out of the equation, it has become a much more efficient process, but the company’s customer service agents still keep an eye on things and tend to special requests, such as additional candles. “Our customer service unit monitors the whole process, making sure it is smooth. We try to make it as automated as possible,” says bubbly Ang.
He explains that his passion for the service industry was inculcated from a young age. “I grew up in the F&B line. My mum used to run a coffee shop so I grew up there. I’m used to serving, helping my mum run it.”
His experience has given him a people-oriented outlook in running his business. “As a platform, as a marketplace, we feel that service is the most important thing — how you are being greeted and how you are being served. We are not an e-commerce company. We are in the service industry, so our service is what differentiates us,” he says.
Eat Cake Today has a network of 40 bakers who offer a selection of about 400 cakes, so one has to wonder about the quality of its products whipped up within the four-hour limit. Ang explains that the service provides cakes delivered within hours, and one to three days. That is because each type of cake or design requires a certain amount of care to bake.
Four hours, he explains, is the sweet spot, considering factors beyond one’s control, such as the weather and traffic. “At this moment, we are very comfortable with four hours and can cater for that. It is always better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise,” he asserts.
Fine-tuning the delivery is a key aspect Ang wants to work on. “I spend a lot of time on the delivery side because what we say is that we’re not selling cakes, we’re really selling love. You don’t buy cake to fill your stomach; you buy it to make an occasion — such as a birthday, an anniversary or a farewell — special.”
When he has free time, he delivers the cakes himself so he can fully understand his riders’ work and difficulties. “We spend a lot of time training the riders, telling them what to do and how to embed this service and spirit in the cake delivery.”
With a team of seven and about 10 riders, Eat Cake Today is focusing on making the public aware of its fuss-free treat delivery. Ang hopes to expand its reach beyond the Klang Valley to Penang, Melaka and Johor. A tech man at heart, he hopes to use technology to grow the business to benefit his customers and provide a meaningful service that brings people together.
“One thing I like about the job is that I very much embrace technology and am able to use it to connect people. I think that is one part I really like ... I like being the bridge between the two.”
This article first appeared on Nov 26, 2018 in The Edge Malaysia.