Ice cream from the cloud
Giorgio and Lisa Leone discovered their love of real gelato over ten years ago in southern Italy. In 2015, they brought the original Italian ice cream tradition to Vienna, more precisely to Lange Gasse 78 in the 8th district, where they opened their first parlor. Two in the city center and one in Leopoldstadt soon followed. The more outlets they opened, the greater became the demand for ice cream, and with it the cost and effort involved. Stock keeping, planning, and organizing production became ever more of a challenge. As necessity is known for being the mother of invention, the light-bulb moment occurred in 2017: their very own ice cream management software.
Giorgio Leone studied computer science at the Vienna University of Technology. While he wanted to spend less time sitting in front of the computer, he had no idea that he would one day be making ice cream. "We now have a high-tech ice cream parlor," laughs Giorgio. Lisa, his wife, is to thank for having dared take the step towards making ice cream.
Together they developed the unique ice cream management software, which helps them to keep an eye on the ice cream varieties, the status of production, and levels of demand. By incorporating weather data and customer requirements, the software works even more specifically and production becomes more efficient. The data are stored in the cloud and accessed as required.
Technology like never before
The technology is used during production of the ice cream itself: the software contains the most important data like recipes, production data, quantity, etc. This information is automatically scanned to the smart ice cream tubs with integrated chip during the filling process. "The tablets let us see which variety we need at which location." Lisa Leone also explains that sustainable production has its pitfalls: "The products supplied to us are always fresh and seasonal. We have now way of knowing beforehand how sweet the raspberries for our sorbet are or whether the peaches are already ripe enough." What is very smart is that the recipe can be adjusted to different degrees of sweetness without affecting the constantly high quality of the ice cream. Twelve to 14 varieties are produced fresh daily, although you won't find the same range in each outlet. The website shows in real time whether that personal favorite is still available. By the way, the most popular flavor is pistachio, made from specially roasted Italian pistachios.
Pioneer in the ice cream landscape
"We no longer know how we would have managed back then without this technology." – Lisa Leone is happy that she dared take the step towards digitalization thanks to the Vienna Business Agency. "A family company that does business for a maximum of six months a year could hardly raise the innovation budget itself."
The Vienna Business Agency focuses on digitalization with specific funding programs and made this first development step possible. There is currently no comparable system on the market. The Leone family can well imagine how other ice cream makers could profit from their innovative idea. And then also dare to take the step into the digital world of ice cream.