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There’s a saying that “everything happens for a reason,” and Sabrina Bruni realized this when she stumbled across some table linen handed down by her grandmother. She saw this as a sign that her idea for creating a tableware rental business would succeed. A few years later, and with the help of Booqable, Side Serve is thriving and growing every day.
In recent years, businesses catering to the events sector have seen phenomenal growth, even throughout the pandemic. This has led to a significant number of rental companies worldwide being created to cater to this expansion. Local businesses now cater to everything from tableware to furniture in towns and cities everywhere.
In 2017, Sabrina noticed that high-quality tableware rental was missing in her city and others in Western Australia. She had a strong background in events and hospitality and saw the niche being catered to in other countries. She considered that this could be something that she could bring to the cities with her own rental business, but it was still just an idea.
Coincidentally, she came across some handmade linens with handwritten notes from her late grandmother, who had passed 20+ years ago. Her grandmother would host Sunday lunch for her family. It was a ritualistic affair with wholesome Italian food made from recipes known by heart and always set on a table with beautiful Italian linens and antique crockery.
The discovery of these linens was a strong sign for her and a catalyst to take the business idea seriously. So, she set about sourcing tableware from local suppliers and others abroad. As a result, Side Serve was founded with a strict specialization in tableware and attention to detail, making it stand out in the local area despite a rise in competition.
A tedious process
For the first few years, Sabrina managed her bookings manually with accounting software and email folders. This was a very tedious process, particularly when checking the availability of products. They also only operate three days a week in the office, so they had to wait if clients needed immediate responses to availability.
This wasn’t very pleasant for clients who often had to wait a while for responses and Sabrina and her staff. Every order had to be organized into a specific inbox then processed through accounting software. With each order, data has to be inputted manually, which led to a lot of time spent on admin work.
As a result, it was difficult for Side Serve to operate at full capacity while leaving enough space to grow. There simply weren’t enough hours in the week to work how they wanted. In addition, the business was being operated between a storage unit and commercial kitchens. This made the logistics of managing inventory and deliveries a nightmare.
In 2020, Sabrina took the downtime to figure out the management processes amid the pandemic. After some comparing, she came across Booqable and realized it was exactly what she was looking for. It solved the two most significant issues of managing bookings and accessing availability insight for inventory.
Sabrina and her team can now view all of their bookings in one system through the order and calendar views. They also have access to availability insights when putting together a quote, which speeds up the process. This information can also be accessed from anywhere, which means client requests can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Integrating Booqable with the Side Serve website also means customers can access availability through the interactive calendar. So, they can now browse all of the available items, put together a quote and quickly compare with other businesses to make sure they’re getting the best deal. This has led to a higher conversion rate as customers can do it themselves.
Within two months of integrating Booqable with their business, Side Serve saw their capacity for clients triple. This is a direct result of the optimizations they could make in the booking process, thanks to online bookings and real-time availability. They were also able to move all their inventory to a warehouse as they could forecast growth from the data within Booqable.
Heading into 2022, they continue to expand their inventory with products from international brands. In addition, they will release their own line of tableware products designed and produced in-house. How fortunate Sabrina was to stumble upon her grandmother’s old table linen when she was thinking about starting Side Serve.