Cave Tools is one of the leading grillware suppliers in the US. In 2018, they were rated #453 on the Inc.com list of top fastest-growing companies in the nation and #21 on the list of the fastest growing companies in Philadelphia.
The company challenged Lotasoft to build a mobile application that would allow BBQ enthusiasts to access and share grill recipes from their phones. Cave Tools saw the app as their new lead generation channel that offered a business growth potential.
Grill aficionados themselves, Cave Tools noticed there was no decent and free mobile app for BBQ recipes on the market. Promptly, they decided to fill this niche while delivering more value to their audience.
With this idea in mind, the company started looking for a technology partner to bring this idea to life. Lotasoft proved to be the swiftest and most responsive of all the contenders, which helped us make it through the stiff competition and come out as Cave Tools’ best pick for the project.
The client only had a general idea of the app and left the choice of particular solutions to us. We began with analyzing the market and similar mobile apps. This way, we built up a list of relevant features and a set of mockups. Once Cave Tools approved our vision, we got down to programming.
There have been multiple tweaks and adjustments to the initial ideas on the way. The iterative Scrum development model helped us address requirement changes in a rapid and sustainable way. Iteration by iteration, our project manager would touch base with the client, process their feedback and coordinate further development accordingly.
Implementation of recipe sharing within and outside the app was the most challenging part. We addressed it by developing an extra import/export feature and a web interface for viewing recipe files.
For quality assurance, we combined manual and unit testing. Unit tests proved to be a good decision and helped us reduce the overall QA time and costs by 30% in the process.
Michael O’Donell, Founder, Cave Tools: “It was a pleasure to work with Lotasoft. All requests we had were delivered, including the time frame, which is rare to find with a development company. We also appreciate the fast response times and answering all the questions we have.”
We developed a four-piece set of solutions for Cave Tools, which includes:
- A native iOS app
- A native Android app
- The back-end
- The admin panel
On the user side, the application has the following features:
- Recipes: The app encourages users to tap into the rich collection of grilling recipes created by Cave Tools as well as by other users. It allows users to create their own selection of recipes, manage it and share recipes with others, no matter which OS they use.
- Cooking journals: Users can log every step of their grilling sessions, adding pictures and notes. As it helps users to go back to their cooking history and raise the bar every time, this feature adds sustainability to the app usage.
- Tips and tools: The app provides smoking recommendations for various sorts of meat and fish, flavor profiles for 20 types of wood, 3 time-based reminders, and a temperature guide helping users control how ready their food is.
On the client’s side, they got to enjoy the following benefits:
CRM integration: The app collects new users’ emails and automatically sends them to the client’s CRM. As a result, the client can build up a database of qualified leads for further nurturing.
Recipe management: Cave Tools can upload new recipes through the admin panel and this way keep their community engaged.
Push notifications: The client can pique users’ attention by sending push notification right to their phone.
User data: Users are encouraged to share their data with the app. With built-in analytics, Cave Tools can analyze this data and user behavior to further improve their marketing effort accordingly.
Today, the Cave Tools application has about 3,000 registered users, each of whom is a qualified lead within an easy and exclusive reach of the client. Every week, users download about 500 recipes, which indicates the app found its loyal following showing constant interest and engagement.