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Secrets To Restaurant Success With Mads Bentzen of OLIOLI

“We’ve opened three new stores in the last few weeks”, says Mads Bentzen. Mads is CFO at the mighty OLIOLI, Denmark’s leading poke bowl brand. I asked him what the secret is to their success. 

OLIOLI is a young company, both in years and in the age of the people running it. “The founders, Nicolai Suwinai Nielsen and Frederik Johansen started the company when they were 21, and are still in their twenties today, as are 99% of the 200 employees.”  

With 14 corporate-owned stores, a catering division, a massive take-out & delivery channel and plans for expansion outside Denmark, OLIOLI is making a big impression. 

How do they do it? Mads explains. 

🏗 Build to scale — “Growth is in the DNA of OLIOLI. When the founders first developed the business plan, they wrote at the top of the page: we aim to open 200 stores worldwide.”

📲 Focus on a digital foundation — “From the start, OLIOLI focussed on creating a robust tech infrastructure. It’s the foundation for the pace of growth.” 

🤝 Partner with the best — “We have evaluated many software systems and chosen the best, which is why we work with Apicbase. It’s the only F&B management platform that understood how to handle our ‘make-your-own-bowl’-offer on the menu.” 

“With 90 ingredients, it generates a gazillion options. Apicbase was the only platform that understood how to deal with that in inventory management.”

🙋 Commitment to our employees — “We put a lot of effort into making OLIOLI a great workplace. For our newest store, we had 5 vacancies. 200 people showed up.”

❇️ Brand identity — “Brand value and identity are massively important. Every time someone interacts with OLIOLI, they should leave happier than before. Thanks to the solid online brand, OLIOLI also has a stronger position in negotiations with 3d party delivery platforms.” 

💧Consistency — “The concept is clear: great food that puts a smile on your face at a reasonable price. People know they will have the same great experience every time they order at OLIOLI, no matter what store they visit.”  

🔀 Diversify revenue streams — “Part of the revenue comes from catering. We service businesses and events in the bigger Copenhagen area.” 

🥡 Embrace takeout and delivery — “Takeout is the biggest driver for us at the moment. 85% of sales comes from it. As a consequence, most stores can be relatively small, which in turn allows for lower rents.”  

🤳 Social media — “Most of our customers are young, and spend a lot of time on Instagram and TikTok. We have built a fun presence on these platforms. We are where our customers are.”

OLIOLI more than deserves its spot in our article: ’47 Scaling Restaurants In Scandinavia To Keep An Eye On (Because They Are Awesome)’

See what other concepts & brands made the list from: 🇩🇰 Denmark, 🇳🇴 Norway, 🇸🇪 Sweden and 🇫🇮 Finland

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