Centra: Beat the Queue


Centra, the leading convenience retail group in Ireland, engaged us to develop a digital strategy to expand the potential of their deli counters. Lunchtime is a busy, limited time period, and potential customers were being put off by queues.

The resulting Beat the Queue app not only offers customers a way to pre-order lunch and avoid queues, but it talks to Centra's existing processes and systems. It sets a new standard for lunchtime ordering apps.

The challenge

Our strategy was to create a simple, easy to use lunchtime ordering app for Centra. The challenge was to ensure the app worked end to end - from Centra customers to Centra's deli counters and stores, while maintaining its ease of use.

This meant creating not only an app (iOS & Android) but also a CMS style system to allow each store to add and amend food items and ingredients. We also needed to build comprehensive reporting and data analysis features. In addition, the operational side required a system to produce and print personalised barcode labels for customer identification and collection.


The Solution

Customisable, comprehensive menu

This app offers the first fully customisable lunch ordering menu on the Irish market. Instead of a set menu users can choose from the wide range of options available in their selected store. As each Centra store does not offer the exact same menu the app tailors its menu and price options for the users selected store.

Integration with operations and processes

Getting the app to talk to the Centra systems was fundamental to its success. We envisioned a restaurant style ordering system which sends orders through to an individual deli counter printer. They are then assessed and prepared as required for collection.

Widest possible audience

Centra wants to reach as broad a section of the Irish lunchtime market as possible. Therefore the app was developed for web, iOS, and Android. The flexible and comprehensive menus also mean they cater for the widest array of tastes.

About Centra

With over 450 locations across the country, Centra is currently the leading convenience retail group in Ireland. The brand is part of the Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, which holds the retail franchises of Musgrave Group.