How a Digital Transformation Enabled Choux de Bruxelles to Focus on its Core Business.

  • Country: Belgium

  • Industry: Catering and Events

  • Odoo Account Manager: External support Green2Vision, Vincent Jacobs  

  • Apps Implemented: CRM, Website & eCommerce, Accounting, Sales, Marketing

  • Number of Users: 30 Users

  • Company Size: <300 employees 

  • Implementation Type: Odoo Online

About Choux de Bruxelles

Launched two decades ago, Choux de Bruxelles’ set out a mission to provide quality food and unique events held in prestige locations. In 25 years, the F&B company has fulfilled this aim and has distinguished itself as a symbol of excellence and cultural heritage. Over time, the group has grown its activities and has a selection of venues that include exclusive event rooms, guest rooms and restaurants suitable for corporate and private events. Today several labels such as KTCHN Natural and Gio’s Strada are part of this high-end group. The catering service is well-known for its excellence and is used by Belgian stalwarts such as Residence Palace, Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and the Château Saint-Anne.

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A Continuously Evolving Company

Outstanding quality has always been a hallmark of Choux de Bruxelles. With substantial growth of its activities and the desire to maintain their level of services, Choux de Bruxelles needed a way to centralize information and improve the communication and productivity of its organization and commercial teams. After a thorough assessment of the company's processes and a market analysis on CRM providers, it became clear that the solution offered by Odoo would fit the bill. In total, Choux de Bruxelles analyzed 24 potential providers before making the decision to work with Odoo. Part of the reason behind this choice is that Odoo is a Belgian company offering direct support. It provides the necessary CRM solution as well as the possibility to integrate more apps as Choux de Bruxelles grows.

This Odoo project began with integrated apps slowly replacing scattered tools and re-structuring business processes such as: distribution channels, prospecting, assignment, validation, actual sales, reservations and email synchronization.

Many aspects of the daily work needed to change to support the company's evolution and optimize everyone's time:

  • The information was scattered and difficult to share as there was no link between the different departments.
  • Several tools were used to run daily activities: Microsoft Excel for encrypted quotes, Word for event descriptions, Gmail for communication with customers, Google Drive for recording information.
  • A lot of work was done manually and not always recorded in the system. 
  • The information had to be printed in order to be distributed within all departments. 
Odoo is now an integrated part of Choux de Bruxelles but the success of the project relied heavily on the commitment of various parties: the staff of Choux de Bruxelles who formulates the requests and uses the system, the Odoo external coach, Vincent Jacobs, who ensures the definition of needs, the Odoo consultant who manages the development, and of course the Odoo Apps. It is the functioning of this team the enabled a successful implementation. 

Muriel Delaunoy, Sales Representative: "After a long time of skepticism about a new system in our organization, we all agreed it would be more effective to work with this tool than with our old procedures. Today, it takes us only a few minutes to write our offers whereas in the past, we needed a lot more time. A real change and a great improvement in productivity. Wherever I am, I am able to update my offer. It is recorded and made available to all." 

The project began with the CRM app and involved every employee at Choux de Bruxelles, from the management team to sales and accountants. The first and most time consuming part of the job was to clean and import all the existing customer data into the new system which is now shared throughout the company. Another important deployment was the SALES pipelines, centralizing customers’ requests, dispatching them to the most appropriate employee and allowing for the daily work and follow-up to be structured (Prospection, Assignation, Validation, Sale, etc.). 

Another important aspect for Choux de Bruxelles was to be able to offer quotations in 3 official languages (French, Dutch, English) thus ensuring better customer relations. The Calendar App facilitates with reservations and offers a clear view on availabilities. It has also helped in avoiding double bookings. Once a reservation is made, the salesperson can now enter all the information related to a particular event in the system: venue quotation, catering quotation, pictures, etc. Previously, the catering quote took a considerable amount of time due to time spent on finding out the seasonality of products. Now the quotation keeps track of products seasonally for example no strawberries available in December). A new feature much appreciated by customers.

Amandine Leleu, Cook Representative: "​Finally a tool that allows me to predict what I need for my food production." 

This new way of working saves time for everyone and allows for interdepartmental cooperation. With the information centralized, teams know what to do to ensure that for any given event, material is properly booked, enough staff are dispatched and cooks are able to organize in advance. Reporting is also made easier meaning less printing!

In regards to catering, the product list has been a key feature in implementation. The kitchen is now in control of what can be sold. A dish can be available for a period of time whilst another one can be archived because it is no longer being prepared. The availability and archiving of dishes all occurs in real-time enabling the salespeople outside of the kitchen to know exactly what is available instantly. The maintenance of this bible of products has been largely simplified thanks to Odoo.

Patrick Debeck, Maître d’hôtel: 
"Today, we have all the information centrally. This allows us to prepare ourselves better for the success of our client's event." 

With the successful integration, the story between Choux de Bruxelles and Odoo is far from over. This year saw the F&B company migrating to Odoo V11 where they began to deploy invoicing based on quotations. 

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