How Plus by ASB can add to your business: Double Dutch Fries

31 January 2018 / Published in Business

Tim Van der Werff started Double Dutch Fries to bring a taste of the Dutch delicacy to New Zealand. After two and a half years, the company has gone from a part time passion project to a full time endeavour, with a permanent location in the heart of Auckland’s CBD and Tim’s food truck visiting the local markets. He spoke to us about how Plus by ASB has helped in the running of his business.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you got started?

Personally - I love fries, and whenever I flew back to Holland [where Tim is originally from] I would eat my weight in Dutch fries there. After not being able to find good fries in Auckland, I had the idea to try introducing Dutch fries here.

One day, together with some friends we took two deep fryers, some tables and a gazebo to a Sunday night market, to see if anyone would buy my “Dutch fries”.  We were completely unprepared and it was complete chaos. We had to tell some customers to wait 15 minutes for their order, but it didn’t seem to bother them. After that night I figured this may work.

We’ve been going for two and a half years now and over that time we’ve grown a lot. Our first small food trailer simply couldn’t keep up with demand - so we decided to build another at twice the size. On top of that we opened a small shipping container on Elliott St in the middle of the city.

We decided to focus very little on marketing and instead simply on the continuous improvement of the product. The idea was that over time people would spread the word on our behalf and so far each month is busier than the last - so we must be doing something right!

What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered operating a small retail business in NZ?

A main challenge is that I am just one guy. When it was just one food truck I could easily manage it alone and respond to problems on the go. Fortunately, we have been able to pull together a stellar crew who help look after the business. As I am often working in the food truck myself, I’m not always able to step in and help if something goes wrong at another location. As it’s a close team, instead of asking me for help they contact each other on our group chat and collectively solve the problem.

Which apps do use to help run your business?

From the beginning I wanted a clear overview of the business, so we set up Xero on day one and use it daily. When we opened the container in town we also set up Vend to be able to track sales and identify trends. Both have been extremely useful.

What were the pain points you were encountering in your business before you started using Plus by ASB?

It is hard to find time to sit behind a computer as I’m always on the go visiting different suppliers, sites, events or working in the food truck. Plus gives me quick insights on the go, so I’m prompted to take action when needed.

How has Plus impacted your daily productivity? How often do you find yourself using Plus?

I have Plus on both the mobile and the desktop, but I use mainly mobile. I check Plus about 3-4 times a week, especially when I feel like I might have forgotten something – I often have that feeling!

What is your favourite Plus insight or feature?

My favourite would probably be the day-by-day breakdown of sales for the container, as sales are really fickle and unpredictable. Literally, one day we have double the sales than day or week before, so it helps identify the reason for this.

From your experience using Plus by ASB, which types of businesses do you think would also benefit from using Plus?

Any business where you need a summary of larger amounts of information to gain better insight into day to day operations.

What advice do you have for other Kiwi businesses wanting to be a success?

I’d probably say don’t do it alone. I’ve got my Dad who helps me out with the finances and my Mum who helps with developing the Double Dutch brand. I’ve got Charles Willmer as my mentor - he was the Managing Director at my previous work. He pushes me to be better and grow faster. When everyone else is saying how great we are doing and how fast we are growing, Charles will be the only one to tell me that we can do better. It’s valuable to have someone push you and give it to you straight.

Lastly, I have my crew that I rely on every day including our manager Este who has been with us from when we were just a single food truck. For any other business owner, focus on your crew. Focus on getting good, smart, fun people on board. People you can have a beer with. I couldn’t do it without them. No chance.

Find out more about how Plus by ASB can help your business here.


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