In Lyon, Uni is applying the subscription model to the catering sector

Exactly a year ago, the Lyonnais restaurant Uni opened its doors for the first time with a concept that contrasted with the traditional catering offer: a low-cost menu for its subscribers.

And it is not the work of a newcomer to the sector who would have come to shake up the codes: Baptiste Lauby and his associates Bruno Callus and Benoît Lauby are seasoned restaurateurs, they already own a dozen establishments in Lyon and in its periphery. “For some time, we had been thinking about making a different value proposition“, recalls Baptiste Lauby. “With the possibility of putting together an offer that also turns out to be enriching in terms of customer relations, and which is not just mercantile?

After surveying their loved ones, the idea of ​​the subscription appeared, a way of building loyalty and exchanging on the medium to long term. “It’s a privileged relationship, because when you subscribe, you want to be satisfied with your service.“, continues Baptiste Lauby.

1,000 subscribers

On the Uni menu, there are therefore two prices in front of each dish and drink: a “normal” price for occasional customers and a preferential price for subscribers – a dish can go from 13 to 7 euros for example.

Subscribers also pay a subscription of 5.90 euros per month, with a commitment period of one year, which allows them to order, pay for and rate dishes via a mobile application.

A proposition that seems to be working, as Uni has a net growth of 10-15 subscribers per week. Currently, the restaurant has just under 1,000 subscribers. “We have two types of profiles, students and urban women.”

And in the space of a year, around 60,000 people have already dined at its first restaurant, Uni Mercière. “We may take two or three before stabilizing our clientele”, notes Baptize Lauby. To boost its offer, Uni also offers entertainment for all ages and changes its menu once a month.

A second United establishment has opened in Décines, but it does not yet have the same attendance as that of rue Mercière. “The start was difficult, we had chosen this location because there was a theater next door, but it was late for the opening and will not open until this week.” Thirty employees work at the two establishments.

To date, the two Uni restaurants account for approximately 20% of the turnover generated by all the establishments of the holding company. Uni Mercière has a turnover of 100,000 euros per month and 40,000 euros per month for Uni Décines.

The application as a point of contact

But restaurateurs are already seeing the advantages of this model: “with the mobile application, we know our customers better“, assures Baptiste Lauby. And even if it experienced a few incidents at its launch, thus generating a loss in the first place (figure not communicated), once improved, it nevertheless binds the establishment to its customers with a new way, ensures Baptiste Lauby:This allows us, for example, to better know what we are going to sell, and also to push certain products within the application. haswith notifications.”

Through this system, customers can also send their feedback, and report what they liked or disliked.

Particularly valuable data for restaurateurs: “If we know that, for example, duck breast with raspberry sauce is a hit, we will seize this opportunity.” A way to optimize their costs when the application provides enough data.

Because until now, in a more traditional restaurant, it was indeed the order intake rate that helped determine the popularity of a dish. Quantitative data, but not qualitative. “This did not tell us what the customer liked, while the rating now present within the application tells us. Not to mention that the customer can also enter their allergies and special diets there.”