Technology can play a major role in the pizza business. After all, pizzerias are credited with championing the very first delivery solutions. This blog post will offer you a closer look at the pizza tech trends to watch. Read on to see how you can sell more pizzas with the right technology in place.
When you think of pizza and invention, you may think of unusual topping pairings—after all, the great debate over the sanctity of the Hawaiian pizza rages on today. The pizza industry actually has a long history of technological innovation, though. Legend has it that the first food delivery should be credited to King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Naples, Italy in 1889 when the pair demanded a delivered pie from Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi.
Pizza and delivery are now ubiquitous, and for good reason. Major brands like Domino’s upped the ante for delivery, focusing on digital delivery sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, a quick-service restaurant typically does 5-10% of sales online; Domino’s did 65% in 2019 and increased that figure to 75% in the 2020 pandemic.
A key element in delivery success for pizzerias is the tech and consumer behavior that supports it. Pizza chains were among the first to make it possible to order through any channel, including desktop, mobile devices, social media (Twitter and Facebook Messenger), artificial intelligence devices, and more. The industry also considers speed of service in every move, looking at options for reduced clicks, instant confirmation, and automation to limit the time from order placement to delivered food.
For pizza shops not quite ready to deploy delivery robots to their hungry, off-site diners, there are still great options for delivery and agile tech solutions ready for quick and easy deployment.
An option that’s within reach for most operators is a delivery solution that integrates directly to the restaurant’s point of sale (POS) platform. When feasible, merchants will want to offer native delivery solutions, like Revel’s Delivery XT, for tight control of the consumer experience, direct access to consumer data, and importantly, full retention of profits on delivery orders.
Of course, not all pizzerias are set up operationally to offer in-house delivery. The good news is, cloud-based POS platforms offering an open API infrastructure allow for third-party integrations, too. While this option relinquishes much of the control of the ordering experience and forfeits a percentage of every sale, it’s still a great way to reach a larger audience of hungry customers ready to place orders where they are.
While pizza and delivery go hand-in-hand, online ordering is another way to reach diners that businesses should not overlook. Not every customer is willing to take on added delivery fees or wait for a driver to arrive with their food after they place an order. Fortunately, there’s another way! Online ordering lets the customer handle the transit of the food, but still lets them place their order ahead to take fresh, hot pies back home. As is the case for dine-in guests, experience is still everything when it comes to online orders.
The natural progression of brand experience for off-site orders is online branding. How does it look and feel for your customers to find your restaurant online and place an order on your website? Key considerations include branded elements throughout. After all, you want diners to remember it’s your pies—not your competitor’s pies—that are satisfying their cravings when they order. As for experience, consider ease of navigation and total time to place an order. Your website should be easy to navigate, orders should be simple to place, and you’ll want to achieve all of this in as few steps as possible.
Some additional considerations include features you can enable through data captured in order forms on your site. Customer information like name, address, and even (or especially) repeat orders can auto-populate for returning customers, making your restaurant an even more obvious first choice for their future orders. Layer in features like a rewards program, and you’ll give your guests plenty of reasons to revisit your site!
We live in the information age, and no one likes to be left in the dark; especially when food is on the line! Keep your customers up-to-date on the status of their order through every step in the online ordering process. Start with order confirmation on your website (either a landing page or a popup notice), and reinforce the confirmation with a customer opt-in for text or email status updates. You can leverage kitchen tools, like a kitchen display system (KDS) to integrate with an SMS texting tool that notifies customers when their food is being prepared, when it’s expected to be ready, and when it’s definitely hot and ready for pickup. Your customers will have peace of mind throughout the process. And as an added bonus, you may find that they’re faster to arrive to keep finished food on its way to their stomachs rather than taking up real estate under your heat lamps.
Pizza and technology are strong contenders for a “we go together like” comparison. The two are historically intertwined, and truly work hand and hand to satiate hungry customers.
If you’re looking for a POS platform that serves as a central connector for your delivery and online ordering needs (and more!) look no further than Revel’s Pizza POS System. Our product experts would love to connect with you to show you all the ways our platform knows and enhances the pizza business. Contact us today for more information.