It is important for retailers to invest in technology when it is required but as long as it fits the company’s brand, according to Lola’s Cupcakes' managing director Asher Budwig.

The retail boss, who runs the 11-year-old UK cake business, says he has ruled out technology in the past as it might have interfered with Lola’s handcrafted brand image.

“We have tech across the business but as a product we very much remain handcrafted,” he explained.

“People are always coming to us with machinery and piece of technology saying we can personalise this cake on a machine, etc, but we prefer to be handcrafted. Tech gets involved in the right areas but we’re keeping the business human still.”

Customer reviews via Trustpilot, loyalty schemes, contactless payments and software that allows head office to monitor how the company’s delivery fleets are driving are among the areas Lola’s has invested in recent times. Other quirky solutions touted to the business in the past – such as a cake vending machine – were ruled out.

“Lola’s all about fresh product and handcrafted product and a cupcake vending machine doesn’t really work for me,” Budwig commented. “When you buy cupcakes you want an experience, you want to know about the flavours – the vending machine doesn’t do that.”

Budwig was on stage at RBTE in London on Tuesday discussing the various tech challenges the retailer has faced as it looks to scale. He was joined in the presentation by Chris McGullough, CEO and co-founder of scheduling software provider RotaGeek.

Budwig said implementing RotaGeek’s employee scheduling software in 2014 added flexibility to Lola’s workforce management processes.

“We had five or six stores, with seven or eight down the line, and as a retail business you often need to move your team around,” he explained.

“We were in a position where we were running on spreadsheets, they were going wrong and lots of people were trying to access spreadsheets on Dropbox, etc. We decided it wasn’t working for us.”

RotaGeek’s software can also be accessed by staff on a mobile app, where they can swap shifts and maintain this information on a central platform.

Asher joined the business in 2011 and has overseen the organisation’s growth to 22 UK stores and a international presence. The stores are often small kiosks, and are located in a number of London Underground stations and in shopping centres and department stores such as Selfridges.

Lola’s Cupcakes now has sites in Tokyo, Dubai, France, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and there are plans to use technology to grow the business in the UK outside of its London and southern England heartlands.

“Click & collect is a big growing thing, we offer it from all our stores,” explained Budwig.

“We’d love to get click & collect around the country – that would be fantastic for us – whether it’s partnering up with someone or a tech business that does delivery in the UK.”