THE CLOUD, AN INVESTMENT THAT PAYS OFF
Founded in 1987, Restos Plaisirs operates twelve restaurants, three stores, and one ready-to-eat catering service under ten different brands: Cochon Dingue, Café du Monde, Paris Grill, Lapin Sauté, JaJa, Ciel Bistro-Bar, Madame Chose, Café Québecor, À table chez soi, and Restos Plaisirs traiteur. Restos Plaisirs also means one thousand dedicated employees and a strong brand recognized for its customer-focused culture.
Restos Plaisirs pays special attention to the training of its staff, the decor of its restaurants, and its recipes while keeping a close eye on the digital shift it has undertaken in the last few years, which is centred on the user experience (UX). The company has several websites for its different restaurants, a mobile application designed to build customer loyalty and earn points and rewards, and a dashboard for employees to manage promotional campaigns on the company’s various digital platforms.
Vooban was able to guide us through this complex project with the appropriate experts and knew exactly how to navigate our different technologies to make our cloud migration as smooth as possible.
Martin Roy, Partner and Marketing director
Due to performance and stability issues as well as frequent service downtimes, Restos Plaisirs needed to improve its cloud infrastructure.
Initially, Restos Plaisirs was using several virtual machines (VM) on Amazon Web Service (AWS). Since the server had predetermined capacities, the company had to make sure that it always had more resources than necessary to support traffic peaks on its various websites. In addition, during these spikes, the VM’s capacity was occasionally exceeded, causing the server to crash and resulting in service interruptions for the customers.
In addition, all the services used, including the database, had been installed on the same VM. When one system required more memory, it saturated the VM at the expense of the other systems. Finally, these constraints required constant monitoring and intervention by technical staff.
Our mandate was to automate the management and maintenance of the Restos Plaisirs group’s cloud infrastructure. All the solutions have been integrated into AWS Elastic Beanstalk to allow the auto-scaling of the infrastructure according to the level of traffic on the different websites. This allows Restos Plaisirs to pay only for what it uses, thus eliminating the waste of resources during low traffic periods. In addition, since the back ends of the websites are managed by Beanstalk, if one fails because of an anomaly, another one with identical configurations takes over to ensure continuity of the service in just a few seconds.
The websites were then migrated to S3 and hosted via CloudFront to benefit from high-speed data transfer, caching, and low latency. Data migration work was also completed to transfer the existing database to DocumentDB. DocumentDB is a fast, scalable, highly available, and fully managed document database service offering Restos Plaisirs peace of mind regarding the hosting of its data. In addition, we have activated the Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), which allows us to notify the technical team via email or text message when an alarm is issued.
Vooban has also set up test environments to give Restos Plaisirs the means to validate changes and new features and to ensure all bugs are addressed and eliminated before the implementations of modifications.
In addition, Restos Plaisirs uses the AWS Cloudwatch service to automate the monitoring of its systems’ activities, detect anomalies, and proactively alert the technical team so that these problems can be resolved in the shortest time frame. For example, each of the restaurants has a system that allows it to send all invoices to the cloud so that an automatic validation can be performed to see whether they match the invoices issued via the mobile application. This ensures that the customer receives the right number of loyalty points because the amount, invoice number, etc. are cross-checked. The system also detects when a restaurant no longer sends invoices—an alert is issued so that the problem can be fixed quickly.
Did you know that at AWS alone, the number of services increased from 25 in 2013 to more than 182 in 2019?
Restos Plaisirs’s first objective has been achieved—to improve the customer experience on its platforms by offering better service continuity through the stabilization of the infrastructure. The cloudification will also have allowed the company to save on maintenance costs while preventing anomalies from going under the radar for an extended period and getting worse.
Needless to say, this project was timely as it was completed just before the COVID-19 crisis. Without this migration, Restos Plaisirs would most likely not have been able to face the crisis with the same agility. On top of that, Restos Plaisirs found technological peace of mind!
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