The River Café: Shopify Build

Shopify Build

Since migrating the shop to Shopify, The River Café have seen:

Increase in Orders by Valentine's Day
Increase in Traffic
Increase in Revenue

Situated in the heart of West London, The River Café was opened in 1987 by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, and the Italian restaurant has since gained critical acclaim. Ruth Rogers earnt an MBE in 2010 and was recognised once again in 2020 with a CBE for services to Culinary Arts and Charity. She is also a long-time Member of the Order of the British Empire.  

The Michelin starred River Café is also notable for the number of successful chefs that have trained in its kitchens. These include Theo Randall, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig in New York, as well as Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Ben O'Donoghue.

When Covid hit in 2020, the team at The River Café wanted to find a way to bring the restaurant online beyond its current restaurant site to provide for their loyal customer base.

The Challenge

2020 was a challenging year for the hospitality industry and even a world renowned establishment like The River Café had to bow to the pressures of the global pandemic. Although The River Café had ventured into the online world with Christmas and Easter gifting in prior years, this was the first time the business had fully pivoted to online, and in particular in relation to fresh food. They quickly established an offering using Squarespace as a platform, though within a few months the high demand they experienced led to challenges with the manual back-end system when it came to communicating real time orders to the kitchen for preparation and needed a more robust solution to scale for growth. 

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GPMD have brilliantly supported and guided us through the process of moving our ecom business to a new platform, implementing a bespoke and complex back-end system that has helped us to scale our operation substantially since. The team is a delight to work with, and we are excited to continue collaborating as our business grows. We would thoroughly recommend them.
Tanya Wood, Operations Director

Tech Stack


The Solution

The River Café chose to work with GPMD as their full-service agency for the ecommerce store. The re-design followed a complete and intricate design process in close collaboration with us each step of the way. Usability, efficiency and especially scalability were the main criteria, as well as bringing the aesthetic and exceptional customer experience the restaurant offered offline, online. 

GPMD built and designed a Shopify website for the store ( to offer customers an easy and seamless experience that removed friction that had previously existed. In particular, the new site provided an easier way to detail all the individual elements of an order to the two kitchens and one stock room involved. 

Building the site with a strong tech stack in place, GPMD was able to provide The River Café with a more robust inventory management system, and the production and pick lists they required via one click automation. GPMD also provided The River Café with a bespoke integration platform (Apio), built exclusively and, which allowed them to gain full insights into their operations and update orders on the fly and directly through Shopify. 

The launch of the new site was scheduled to coincide with the start of the holiday sales season leading up to Christmas, and with some associated PR and marketing efforts there was a healthy increase in traffic and revenue. The new site and setup helped to  facilitate growth, enabling The River Café to scale its operations quickly and reduce the risk of human error. By Valentine’s Day, the ecommerce store was able to process four times as many orders as it had been able to prior to the new system. 

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Further Reading

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