From thin-crust to deep-dish and brick oven to wood-fired, people all over the globe will agree that pizza is one of their favorite foods to eat. Delicious pizza is no longer the food that exclusively belongs to New York (although New Yorkers may argue that point) and pizza sales and consumption prove that the industry has transformed from the traditional idea of a pizza parlor.
Competition has intensely grown for fast-casual pizza restaurants. This surge is leading many owners to explore and embrace new technologies that enhance the speed of their operation and the customer experience. One of those core technologies is a pizzeria POS system.
Pizza restaurants have unique needs compared to other types of quick-service or fast-casual restaurants — especially when it come to point of sale (POS) systems. A common mistake pizzeria owners make (especially first-time owners) is assuming that any restaurant-based POS system is suitable for their pizza shop.
As silly as it sounds, ordering a pizza is a complicated process. It’s much different from ordering a burger and adding bacon. Pizzas come with endless topping options that a customer can mix and match into infinite possibilities. Also, customers can choose if they want toppings on the whole pie or only half of the pie — and precisely what half.
For instance, a customer might want a large pizza, half pepperoni, and half mushrooms. However, the half with mushrooms, they also want to add spinach. In this scenario, you can see how the ordering process in a fast-paced environment like a pizzeria is entirely different from a burger joint. It’s not realistic for an employee, or a customer to type the order just as I have here…for every single request. But, more on that next.
Let’s take a look at seven specific features to look for when choosing a pizzeria POS system for your restaurant.
It’s essential that a pizza POS system allows as much customizability as possible. Like snowflakes, pizza orders are never the same. Customers enjoy being able to choose and custom-order every ingredient on their pie.
From the pizza size and type of crust to the sauce, cheese, and toppings, customers want a meal prepared to their exact specifications. Moreover, this requires a POS system that can accommodate all of those special orders. Whether they want toppings on just half the pizza, light sauce, or extra portions, the POS system must also be able to adjust pricing to menu items that have been substituted or modified.
Aside from creating the pizza how they want, customers will want to pay how they want too. It’s important that your pizzeria POS allow customers with their preferred method of payment — cash, credit, debit or NFC like Apple Pay.
2. Delivery Management and Online Ordering
It’s crucial that owners consider the volume and frequency of takeout and delivery orders. According to FranchiseHelp.com, approximately 50 percent of all pizza orders are takeout or delivery orders. The rising trend of online ordering has made it necessary for pizza POS systems to have capabilities to send a customer’s order directly to the kitchen or alert restaurant staff.
The beauty of many modern pizza POS systems like the one offered by Restaurant Manager is they are designed to make online and delivery orders quick and efficient. You can expedite delivery orders so drivers can make more deliveries at faster times.
Many specialized systems provide mapping technologies so you can track travel distance, GPS directions are sent directly to smartphones, and delivery zones can be set depending on the pizza shop’s preferred radius. The best pizza POS systems come with technology that calculates ETA and automatically notifies customers about the status of an order.
Also, owners can easily integrate their websites into the point of sale system for online orders. With online orders and delivery sales accounting for $4 billion, you can’t afford to overlook this revenue stream.
3. Caller ID Integration
Takeout and delivery orders are further simplified with caller ID integration. Caller ID helps employees efficiently manage incoming calls. Rather than asking a customer for their phone number every time they call to place an order, a POS system with caller ID integration will pull up the customer’s profile based on the phone number of the incoming call. If it’s a new customer, you can easily assign orders to new calls and create a customer profile.
4. Customer Database and Loyalty Program Integration
As we mentioned above, keeping customer profiles and a database is not only essential for caller ID integration but also vital for pizza restaurants in general. POS system customer database records order history and contact information about your customers. Owners and managers can see who comes in the most and spends the most.
This feature is terrific for recognizing regulars and initiating customer loyalty programs. The customer database also saves owners the money and hassle of having to find outside customer loyalty platforms and customers won’t have to rely on bringing a loyalty rewards card during their visits.
5. Inventory Management
A specialized POS system for a pizza shop can assist with inventory management too. Reordering and tracking inventory is much easier when your POS system can do it for you. It will monitor the remaining amount of ingredients with every processed order including raw ingredients.
Restaurants can view popular menu items or what items are not selling. The system can even be programmed to alert staff when the inventory level of a particular ingredient is low or track order trends to show what items you’re using the most.
6. Employee Management
When choosing a pizza POS system, it’s vital to find one that helps with employee management. The best pizza POS system will provide access to the entire employee database with information about each staff member. This feature allows you to create and edit timesheets, calculate overtime, and shift details like sales performance. Many systems will also offer tip tracking features, so tips are accurately divided amongst employees.
7. Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)
A critical feature that is often overlooked is a Kitchen Display System (KDS). A KDS creates more efficiency in the back of house by not only improving order accuracy but also making it easy for kitchen staff to complete orders efficiently. Kitchen staff will be able to seamlessly communicate ticket information and better focus on the quality and consistency of pizzas and other menu items.
A solid pizza POS system is what pizzerias need to stand out from competition and show that they have a smooth, efficient ordering and checkout process. The best pizzeria POS systems help restaurants save time and money and optimize day-to-day operations. Purchasing a POS system is an investment –especially for smaller businesses – but when properly evaluated it will help grow sales, raise profits and reduce costs.
Author: Nathan Falger
As Marketing Coordinator at Restaurant Manager, a leader in restaurant and hospitality point of sale solutions, Nathan Falger leverages his degree in technical communication from Old Dominion University to create valuable content that addresses real problems and solutions in the food-service industry. Prior to Restaurant Manager, Nathan worked in marketing and event planning, as well as several fast-casual and quick-service restaurants.