Each and every restaurant chain is unique. They have their own brand, their own vibe, their own food, and their own processes for back of house operations. Some are quick service, and offer delivery, while others are dine-in only. The right technology mix is a collection of software that you can adapt to your chain’s needs, and it won’t necessarily be the same mix your competitors have.
The Right Fit
A while back, we spoke with Todd Vierra, the Director of Operations with Spinato’s Pizza in Arizona. When they started the process of selecting a new point of sale provider, they were well aware that their point of sale would be the heart of their technology strategy. According to Vierra, they needed something that was compatible with third party systems, but also a provider that held true to their values.
"We aren’t in the pizza business, we’re in the people business. One of our core values is family, and that includes our coworkers, guests, and vendors. We value the service we get above all else. We’re willing to pay a little more to work with good people.”
Mama’s Pizza & Grill, a Pennsylvania chain with three locations, uses SpeedLine, a point of sale designed for delivery. When we spoke with owner Ramon Collado, he told us that his previous point of sale system didn’t have the features he needed to run his business. His business relies on deliveries, and having a system designed for that was critical.
The Heart of the Restaurant
Both Spinato’s Pizza and Mama’s Pizza & Grill have designed a technology strategy that fits perfectly with their restaurant, centered on their point of sale system. The point of sale collects all of their order information from all sources: online ordering sites, third party delivery websites (through an integration), and orders entered in-store. All of these orders are sent to the kitchen printers, assigned to tables, or routed and dispatched for delivery from the POS terminal.
Spinato’s has built their technology strategy by taking advantage of integrations to add additional functionality to their systems. They use enterprise reporting software by Compeat to send the sales, payroll, and other data from the POS at their five locations to their head office. This data is used in their general operations, and also for forecasting and planning.
A Canadian restaurant chain, Gabriel Pizza, also relies on their point of sale to send sales information to their head office. Georges Mouannes, their Director of Call Centre Operations, told us that they use SpeedLink Enterprise to manage their Ontario locations. “It’s great, especially as a chain. When you need the information, you have it from each location, centrally available, in any form you want.”
Designing Your Own Mix
When building a technology strategy for your restaurant, take some time to analyse your operations. Look at the point of sale, reporting software, and integrations you currently use, and consider how well they fit your current and future needs. If you offer dine-in, can your point of sale system handle splitting the bill? If you offer delivery, what software do you use for dispatching orders? Does your inventory system account for portions and create your own pizzas?
Then look at where either new software or new processes could make your restaurant more efficient. The idea is to build a mix of software to help improve your business, so take a look at which issues are hurting your business the most. Mama’s Pizza & Grill needed software that gave them reports on their deliveries, and when they found the right fit, they were able to increase sales by 35%.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. While no other restaurant concept’s technology strategy will fit perfectly with your business, their experience in building it will help. Ask other industry professionals for their experiences.
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Posted on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 09:11 AM.
Updated on June 3, 2020 @ 11:00 PM PST.
Posted by Elizabeth Kelly
As the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions Inc., Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for On Point: The Restaurant Technology Blog. Have an idea for an article? Send her a message!| Author's website