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SevenRooms uses CircleCI to manage booming hospitality industry

After implementing CircleCI, SevenRooms has been able to easily manage the complexity of their software as they rapidly scale

The challenge

After a challenging two years since the on-set of the pandemic, restaurants are in recovery mode and business is once again booming as guests flock back to in-person dining throughout the world. In fact, over the last 24 months, a data and technology transformation has been taking place within the industry.

That’s where SevenRooms comes in. A guest experience and retention platform for hospitality operators, SevenRooms helps hospitality operators build deeper direct relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and drive more repeat business. “The pandemic has been a disruptive force, and restaurant groups are turning to tech to grow and scale their businesses like never before,” says Jeremy Pfund, Principal Software Engineer at SevenRooms.

With the hospitality industry doing better than ever, SevenRooms has scaled quickly to meet the needs of their customers. This included rapidly growing their engineering team, which came with its own share of challenges for the remote workforce.

SevenRooms doubled their headcount year-over-year, which introduced more complexity to the software delivery process. “New complexities mean new breaking points,” says Pfund. “Solutions that worked in the past may no longer suffice as you have more hands working in the same projects.”

Prior to CircleCI, the team was using Jenkins but was spending far too much time managing the infrastructure, backups, and servers. They needed the ability to manage different build pipelines for different projects simultaneously, including some that operate cross-platform. “One of our flagship products is our iOS host app,” Pfund says. “We need high availability, quality and efficiency from a CI/CD service because our iOS pipelines are critical to our business.”

The solution

Since joining CircleCI three years ago, SevenRooms has been able to more efficiently onboard new engineers as the team grows. “As you onboard more engineers, you want to unlock that talent and make them as effective as possible, as soon as possible,” Pfund says of how CircleCI has helped his new team members get up and running quickly.

On their Custom Performance Plan, SevenRooms no longer experiences queued build times. They operate about 70 parallel feature branches that go through automated and integration testing, and they run automated unit, integration, and UI test suites, all managed by CircleCI.

“Our engineers have always been very delivery focused and we’ve been able to keep our tech debt very lean,” says Pfund. “CircleCI is a key part of that. Our engineers are able to spend time on tasks they’re best suited for like product enhancements and empowering our customers.”

Jeremy Pfund
“We haven’t seen the need to explore alternative CI/CD solutions. CircleCI is a robust cloud-based SaaS CI tool that does everything we need.”

Jeremy Pfund
Principal Software Engineer at SevenRooms

How CircleCI powers SevenRooms’ business

Because SevenRooms is a hospitality-focused business, their primetime usage is on the weekends. “We make sure we only greenlight lower risk changes on the last couple days of the week but when we leak a change that’s defective, we get feedback right away from CircleCI,” says Pfund, adding that the automation coverage is also key.

Pfund’s team has invested in their QA team in a big way with CircleCI. The platform has been instrumental in making manual and automated testing successful and has enabled them to consistently have high quality release cycles.

The SevenRooms team is also a big fan of the Jira, Slack, and TestRail orbs, as well as Dynamic Config, which they use to isolate the CI/CD pipeline instructions within different feature branches. “This was a key component in our software compliance journey,” Pfund says. Using CircleCI, his team was able to demonstrate the controls they have around delivering a high quality product to their customers in order to achieve their SOC II compliance.

“We haven’t seen the need to explore alternative CI/CD solutions,” says Pfund. “CircleCI is a robust cloud-based SaaS CI tool that does everything we need.”

CircleCI features used

  • Resource class optimization for IO- vs Memory- vs CPU- constrained tasks
  • Parallelism configured for UI automation test runs
  • Workflows with approval stages in CI/CD pipelines
  • Build artifacts caching for package and installation dependencies to decrease build run times.
  • Jira, Slack, and Cypress orbs

Benefits since using CircleCI

  • Moving from self-managed Jenkins to CircleCI allows SevenRooms to operate a lean DevOps function and provide their application engineers with a wider range of ownership scope in operations.
  • SevenRooms is able to release code to production 4 to 5 times daily using CircleCI to fully manage their CI/CD pipelines consistently and reliably.

About SevenRooms

SevenRooms is a guest experience and retention platform that helps hospitality operators create exceptional experiences that drive revenue and repeat business. SevenRooms is transforming the industry by empowering operators to build direct guest relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and drive more repeat business.


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