Delivery Software Helps Bakery Deliver Wedding Cakes in Time for the Big Event

Pattys Cakes

Delivering wedding cakes and other bakery items adds a host of new challenges to the ones already faced by companies that deliver goods. These cakes are fragile, perishable and require timely delivery — after all, the customer needs them to be there in time for the big event. 

Patty’s Cakes and Desserts is familiar with these challenges, as the company bakes and sends out 360 orders a month, including 60 wedding cakes and 300 smaller items. Around Valentine’s Day, it sends out 120 orders in two days. The bakery delivers these items in a 23-mile radius around its store in Fullerton, California. 

To help it meet these demands, the company uses delivery software that plans the deliveries, provides tracking information to customers and facilitates payments for those who would like to tip the driver. 

“The granularity just in knowing all those data points — that makes or breaks deliveries,” Philip Gomez, co-owner of Patty’s Cakes and Desserts, told PYMNTS. 

Selecting a Route Optimization Platform 

Patty’s Cakes and Desserts has been delivering wedding cakes since its inception in 1985. It began delivering the smaller items as well when the third-party delivery company it had been using shut down shortly after the start of the pandemic. 

“At that point, with so much demand during the pandemic for deliveries, there was no question of whether or not to just stop doing deliveries — it was more like, ‘Okay, time to pivot and figure this thing out,’” Gomez said. 

At that time, in May 2020, the company implemented the route optimization platform. The number of deliveries had surged 400% at the start of the pandemic and has remained at that level. 

Having seen the outdated software used by the third-party delivery company, and having received calls from customers asking about their orders because they hadn’t been kept up to date by that company, Gomez knew what sorts of features to look for in a route optimization platform. 

He signed up for free trials of different vendors’ delivery software, saw how they operated on a laptop computer and on a phone, and used them from the perspective of a dispatcher, a driver and a customer. 

Sending Tracking Information 

The Onfleet platform he chose and deployed takes the necessary data from the bakery’s eCommerce platform, optimizes the delivery schedule and provides real-time delivery tracking. 

“Onfleet will look at all your deliveries and the time windows,” Gomez said. “You let it do its thing, it will tell you where to start and where to end and then all you have to do is send the driver off with the proper items.” 

For the customers Patty’s Cakes and Desserts serves, the platform’s ability to send customers notifications about the status of the delivery is especially important. 

“The wedding coordinators will check their phone and see that the cake’s on its way and that the cake has arrived,” Gomez said. “So, they have one less thing to do for the day because they have this peace of mind that it’s done.” 

Earning Repeat Business and Referrals 

The notifications also make things easier for customers who would like to tip the driver. The text message saying the delivery has been completed includes a link to a site where customers can leave a tip using PayPal, Venmo or another payment option they have on their phone. 

“Sometimes people do prefer to tip, and so they will want to tip in person, but sometimes they have cash, sometimes they don’t,” Gomez said. 

It all adds up to a delivery process that couldn’t be done with pen and paper and that helps the bakery earn repeat business and referrals. 

“A lot of wedding coordinators now refer us,” Gomez said. “They say, ‘Why would I go anywhere else when you guys are going to communicate with me and let me know when it’s arriving and when it has arrived? I appreciate the peace of mind that’s happening.’”