[Webinar] Building Your Brand Experience: Online Ordering

Posted by Brad Brooks

Brad was the Sales & Marketing Director at SpeedLine Solutions from 2019 to 2022. He utilized his 20 years of experience in the restaurant technology industry to help him lead the sales and marketing teams to provide innovative solutions for our customers.

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We spoke with Todd Vierra of Spinato's Pizzeria and Domenick Colandrea of King's Pizza Pronto about how they ensured their online ordering sites match their brand in this webinar. Watch the entire discussion below.



Webinar Transcript

Brad: Hi. Thank you for joining us. My name is Brad Brooks, and today, we're going through a webinar talking about Building Your Brand Experience: Online Ordering for Best Practices. This is sponsored by Networld Media Group, and we're very pleased to be able to do this along with them.

Let's jump into this, and we'll talk a little bit with our guests. I've got Domenick Colandrea. He's the owner of King's Pizza Pronto. Domenick, why don't you tell us maybe just a little bit about your brand and what makes you guys special in the marketplace?


Domenick: Well, King's Pizza Pronto started from my father. He owns a couple of restaurants, and the name of them is King's New York Pizza. And it's a very traditional way of old-fashioned deck ovens. And so when he came to me and said "I want to do something a little bit more modern," he says, "Where do we start?" And I said, "I think we start by working at Domino's and Papa John's." So I went to get a job there, a couple of weeks. I learned what they did.


Brad: Wow.


Domenick: So with their modern concept of how you do screens, they use screens for their pizzas. Easier concept. I wanted to make our pizza and the New York-style pizza, but an easier way. So that's why I kind of combined both the experience I had with my father and the experience I got working at Domino's, Papa John's. And I combined it, and I did a more modern store, fast-paced delivery.


Brad: Excellent. That's great. And then our other guest is Todd Vierra. He's the Director of Operations for Spinato's Pizza. Todd, thank you for joining us as well. Why don't you tell us a little bit about Spinato's and your role there?


Todd: Sure. I'm currently the Director of Operations here at Spinato's Pizzeria. We have five locations. We currently are in the process of building two more even through these challenging times. But we've been in business for 47 years, started with one man and a dream. Probably the same way Domenick's father started his business. And it's a Chicago-based style of pizza, a square cut. We have a sweet sauce. We also have a commissary, our family kitchen, in which we really strive for consistency and the quality of our food. We make over 22 items with our own hands rather than just buying them.

I think one of the craziest examples, when I talk to people about how concerned we are and how much we’re in love with the details, is most restaurants that sell pizza buy their Parmesan cheese, but we actually buy it in blocks, hand-cut it, and then grate and shred our own Parmesan cheese because we can get better quality for that final touch on the pizza for our guests.


Brad: That's terrific. Full disclosure, I just want to let you know, both King's Pizza Pronto and Spinato's, use SpeedDine, which is SpeedLine's online ordering.

But we're not going to turn this into a 45-minute ad for our product. What we want to do today is discuss with both of our guests some of the challenges that they went through as they built out their online ordering sites. They both have excellent sites. I encourage you to go take a look at them, and hopefully what we learn today is going to be applicable regardless of the platform that you're on. Of course, if you're interested in finding out more about SpeedDine, we're happy to help you with that, and you can just reach out to us after the webinar.

Let's maybe talk about branding, and we'll start off there. Domenick, I will share with you that we think your site is phenomenal. We think it's beautiful the way that you've laid it out. How closely aligned is your online ordering site with the rest of your brand?


Domenick: I would say it's very strong. I designed the online ordering now with the capabilities of SpeedDine. It's SpeedLine, but your online ordering is SpeedDine, and with your capabilities on there, I learned how to change it up and do my descriptions and add images. And I'm very familiar with doing all that on SpeedDine. And I think it really resembles the colors, the scheme, all the features that SpeedDine can do to incorporate.

When they created the color scheme on the online ordering, it really resembled my logo and what I represented. A more modern, up-to-date store.


Brad: That's terrific. Todd, you've spent a lot of time, and we've talked before in previous webinars, about some of the things around brand and what makes Spinato's so special. Were there specific decisions that you made when you were designing either the brand in terms of imagery and logo and color that you thought were brand specific to Spinato's? Things that you wanted to call out, for example.


Todd: Well, the branding for us really was a two-fold process because we've been in business for so long, and the existing branding that we had was just very outdated. And in order for us to try to reach a different market, especially from a technology standpoint, we had to make sure that it was a very attractive package for people. So even before we did our online ordering system, we went through a total rebrand as a company as we started to change some of our older locations and then move some of our existing locations to a bigger platform and a bigger impact for the community.

But we went through a long series internally and with a marketing company, and we really just took a look back at the last 47 years to define a couple of questions for ourselves, like who we are, what we do, and why do we exist, and we came up with five questions from a book that we read in The Advantage, which really created what we called the playbook for our company. And after we had that, after a really good self-discovery process of what Spinato's was and how we needed to change our branding in order to honor the past, to protect the present, and to build the future, we really came up with a much more hip branding that still had a lot of ties to our branding history, so that it really was comfortable for a lot of our guests, since we have such a wide variety of guests that have been coming to restaurants over the last 47 years.


Brad: That's amazing. So you did this self-discovery process, then you started doing the branding on your website. As a result of the branding on the website, was there anything you needed to change or update when you discovered ... In your branding package, were there learnings that came out from that?


Todd: Yeah. A lot of it came to do with colors and fonts, and of course, we had some things that were very near and dear to our CEO and founder. So we had this shield, which was our brand primarily, and it said "Spinato's Pizzeria" on it, and it was red and green and white. But that was not really the same direction that his kids wanted to go in, so in order to honor the past and still keep that connection for him, we modified the shield significantly to be a much more current representation, but then were able to change the font. So we were able to include the family kitchen title in our branding because that was a part that we were really proud of is the commissary kitchen, so it gets people asking about that and gives us a great opportunity to talk to our guests about how we focus on quality and are abler to really keep things consistent for them.


Brad: Yeah, I just want to touch on that for a moment. And I think both of you have done such a great job of laying out your site, but one of the things that, as you were just talking there, I realized that as a consumer, I will make a decision the first time to try someplace, but the food will determine largely whether or not I return. But sometimes you can enhance that level of emotional connection by giving them a story, like that family kitchen idea, that you can then go back. Now, that's the reason that I go there, so I can talk about Spinato's and go, "Oh, by the way, did you know that they actually make almost all of their sauces in-store? They have all of these products that they're making," and I can talk about the value of that family kitchen because it makes me feel like that's another good reason for me to support Spinato's. And I think that that's an important piece.

Domenick, I have a question for you. Let's move over to user experience. You spent this time working with the other major brands in order to understand how their operational pieces look. Did you also look at what their user experience was like and look for ways that you could maybe recreate portions of that?


Domenick: Yes, I actually did. And I don't believe in figuring something out from scratch. They say "Just want to be successful? Look what someone else successful is doing, and do it better." So that's what I basically did. I went there, and to be honest with you, I really feel like, even though it's our first store, but the quality is definitely, like Todd, quality is in our business as well. We make our sauce. We make our dough homemade. 

And people these days, the consumer, they're getting smarter, and competition is getting harder out there, so they know where to go get good pizza. And mark my words, I say this, and I stick with it, but 20 years from now, I don't know if many Domino's are going to still be around because the consumer is getting smarter, and people are looking for better products, and they're going to their Mom and Pops businesses. That's where they're going.

So you have to give good quality. And you still see it out there, companies come up to me and say, "Hey, buy this cheese. This cheese will save you this much money at the end of the year." And I look at it, and I say, "No," I say, "I don't want to change the cheese. I'm keeping this brand of cheese." And they say, "Well, you'll change your mind once you have 10, 15 stores," and to be honest, I don't think I'll change my mind. Because, yeah, I could save some cheese, but how many more customers are going to walk away? That's the way I look at it

The user experience, yeah, I think that, to be honest, one of the things was when I did my research on that, I'd go on Domino's and Papa John's. Not even just pizza shops, but I went on even other Moms and Pops and stuff, and especially Domino's, I have to say that their image quality on their user experience was you couldn't even tell. If you go on it, and you probably never pay attention, but I don't know if you order from Domino's. But if you go on there, and you look at their images on their products, yeah, it's a pizza. You can tell it's a pizza, but you can't even see the toppings on the pizza. And I don't know why, but you just can't. It just looks like a blur. You just don't know what kind of toppings are on there. So when I hired the photographer, I specifically wanted good quality pictures.

But the user experience, you really have to do a lot of research. I tell everyone, I say, "You can put me somewhere and you can tell me, 'Hey, learn this business and see how it could be better,' and I'll make it better. I'll see how the consumer is ... What they're looking for, and you have to make it simplistic. That's the big key. You have to make it very simple."


Brad: Absolutely.


Domenick: Which, again, I brag a lot about SpeedLine because of the simplicity of the system, it's 100%. I love it, and I tell everybody. I don't know why Domino's reinvented their whole system, but SpeedLine definitely has it pinpointed.


Brad: Todd, did you look at how it loaded into a mobile site? Was that one of your considerations? We find that virtually 85% of customers coming for online ordering across our customer base are using a phone. Did that play a part in what vendor you ended up deciding with and how you designed your site?


Todd: Absolutely. If you're not thinking about the mobile user, then you're just counting yourself out as far as getting their business. When you look at all the third-party sites, 95% of those people using those sites use it from their phone. And we had already been through a few different online ordering sites before we really knew what we wanted, but the way that it displays and the ease of use on the mobile site, I would say it's even more important than the way it displays in the browser because no one wants to open up their laptop just to order a pizza when they have their phone in their hand. And chances are they're probably on it already doing something else, whether it's social media or answering emails or those kinds of things. So people are going to use the tool that's in their hand and the one that's the closest, the easiest, and the fastest.

So when we considered an online ordering site, or even the way our website was built, that was the primary focus.


Brad: Yeah, Domenick, I just wanted to comment on something you said. You asked if I order from Domino's. I do. I order from all of the major brands frequently because I want to understand what their technology looks like and the experience that they're giving customers. I think it's an important thing to do. I also order from Mom and Pops that are our customers and not our customers in order that I can do that compare. We eat pizza a lot at my house-


Domenick: I, as well, order from Domino's. I have them specifically delivered to the pizza shop.


Brad: That's ironic.


Domenick: I do want to include in there that a must in today's society is the app.


Brad: Yes.


Domenick: You have to have an app for your business. I really don't even think that just having mobile ordering, going to your website and then clicking "order now," I think that's even outdated now. You have to have an app in today's society.


Brad: But don't you think that that's one of the reasons that Domino's and Papa John's have as much loyalty as they have? Forget the loyalty programs. Let's just talk about the fact that there's real estate on my phone that I give to them, and I think you touched on it with you just need to make it easy and simplistic. They certainly do that, especially by having an app.

Now, since you put in your app, what have you done to advertise that, Domenick?


Domenick: Also, the way I market my store is video. I do a lot of videos, and if you go check out my King's Pizza Pronto page on Facebook, I do a lot of videos, and I think you need that in today's world is you have to have videos. I promote my app through videos. I did a Superbowl commercial, and I talked to the camera, and I told them about "Download the app in order for your Superbowl."


Brad: Right. That's fantastic.

Some of the things that were always interesting to me is the impact that it has on actual business in terms of average order size. Do you see a difference, Todd, in the check size between online orders and what you get in-store, whether they phone in or they come in directly to order?


Todd: Absolutely. When we look at our check average between the different order types of what's coming in, I always think of ordering food the same as when I'm on Amazon, which I pretty much order everything from, if you have a good site with good branding and good pictures, like Domenick was referring to, how he wanted to have the best-looking pictures of his food, you're always going to sell more when people have the time to do it. Because you tend to do a lot more browsing. When people call in, especially for Spinato's, usually the people that are still calling in the restaurant are the same people that call at the same time and they want the same order. And as much as we put a lot of emphasis on salesmanship over the phone, usually, those people are like, "Nope, I just want what I want."

But we've seen our dessert sales increase by about five percent on online ordering, and the average ticket price is between five to 13% higher for online orders than it is with call-in orders.


Brad: Wow.

Domenick, we've got a couple features in SpeedDine, and I know that other groups have this as well, but one is cross-selling, which allows you to complete your meal, and the other one is upselling, things like adding extra cheese. Are you taking advantage of either of those?


Domenick: To be honest, I don't take advantage of the extra cheese. The reason why is when I was doing the online ordering, I didn't want to bombard people with so many questions that it took away that experience. You know when you have an app, and you have all these ads coming up, and it's like, "Okay." So I didn't want to incorporate so many.

But I did incorporate the add-ons, like add on extras at the end before they check out. And I got to tell you, when I go and look at those reports, I get $2000 to $2500 extra at the end of the month from extras.


Brad: Wow.


Domenick: It's pretty impressive, and SpeedLine lets you put them in order from priority, and I prioritize my first one to be garlic sauce because everybody loves garlic sauce with pizza. So that's my first one. And you'll be surprised, people add two, three, four of them. It's incredible. So I do take advantage of that.


Brad: That's fantastic. So the garlic sauce sounds like one of those flavors that a person would get a craving for, am I right?


Domenick: Yeah, it's those little cups called Grandioso. You put them with the pizza, and people love it, and they add them to their order.

Another thing, the increasing average order, I have to say, is toppings on pizza.


Brad: Sure.


Domenick: The online ordering experience when people are on there, and they're scrolling through the toppings, and they see all the toppings they love, they can't stop clicking on them. They just add this one, add this one, and add that one. The difference is when they call in, they're thinking of one or two toppings, and they really can't think of all the toppings that you have. So they only go with, "Oh, let me get pepperoni and sausage." But on online ordering, they will see, "Oh, I can get roasted peppers. Let me add this to my order," you know?


Brad: Right. That's really interesting. I know that one of Domino's features that they will typically have is a two-topping pizza on there, and I always think that that really limits people. They get in their head that that's what they're going to get, and by the time you add more toppings, now you're into a world where you could've maybe ordered from a Mom and Pop because adding toppings is not an inexpensive thing with any brand. So I think there's an opportunity there, especially if you're able to show that off, and you create a delicious flavor profile that people crave.


Domenick: Yeah. And with Domino's and Papa John's especially, when you order and you start adding five, six toppings, you'd be surprised how much that pizza cost. It's like over $30.


Brad: Right. Right.


Domenick: That's their model. That's their model because that's why they do their specialty pizzas and those two-topping specials like you said. They want people to order the consistency. When you start customizing, it gets expensive for those companies.


Brad: It sounds like we're Domino's bashing. We're not Domino's bashing at all. It's amazing when you have a competitor like Domino's, like Papa John's, like the Yum brands, because those end up becoming places where you both look to compare yourself and to differentiate yourself as a brand.


Domenick: And learn from because they're doing something right.


Brad: Right.


Domenick: They have thousands of stores, so you've got to look up to them, you know?


Todd: And they have all the money to do all the research.


Domenick: Exactly. Yes. That's a very good point. Good point.


Brad: Let's talk about menu descriptions. Todd, who on your team is responsible for creating menu descriptions?


Todd: Our marketing department does it, but our menu descriptions are really just basically ingredient lists. We spent many years with a lot of time invested into using a lot of buzz words, and "fresh," and all the different descriptive words. But when you have a lot of menu items, those either become repetitive, or you're breaking out the thesaurus to try to figure out a new way to say it.


Brad: How many words are there for "delicious?"


Todd: Oh, hundreds. And we've found that with mobile ordering, that it just wasn't worth it because then it was taking up too much room on the screen. So we left it basically as just an ingredient list, or in our case, if it was a Mamma's Spinach Pizza, then it was spinach, Spinato spice, garlic and tomatoes, and tried to keep every menu description as simple as possible.


Brad: That's excellent. Good advice. Domenick, how about you? What have you done with your menu descriptions?


Domenick: I'm on the same page as Todd. I realize that, again, I did my research, compared to different places when I was doing it before I created it. But I keep it simple, just like you said, the ingredients. And mostly because I look at it as, okay, if they're looking for the ingredients, it's because they want to know what's in it. So I don't make it complicated. Just keep it just ingredients.


Brad: Todd, you have a slightly different experience in your location because you also have dine-in, and you do a lot of dine-in there. And, Domenick, do you do dine-in as well?


Domenick: My father's restaurant does. I don't.


Brad: Okay. So, Todd, in the restaurant experience, if I were to come in and sit down, are the menu descriptions different on your menu than they are online? Is there more flowery language used there?


Todd: There's some, but very little. Not with the pizzas. Mostly on the appetizers, there's a little bit of that in there, just because of the fact that we have some menu items that need a little bit more description. Like we do a stuffed mushroom, where our mushroom filling is made from stems of mushrooms, and it does have a lot of seasoning. So rather than listing all the seasoning items that are in there, we'll use "our special seasoning" or something like that. We try to keep that just as clean because our dining menus emulate what's on our online menu, and we try to replicate that in our online ordering menu.


Brad: It's an interesting insight that you've gotten to there. Domenick, what do you think of this idea? It makes sense to have limited descriptions for your pizza items, but when you're talking about things that are potential add-ons, your garlic sauce for example or your appetizers or desserts, maybe a little more descriptive language that just gives me that nudge to order that item. Do you think that makes sense?


Domenick: Yes, I do agree. I do agree with that. And, in fact, for dessert specifically, I incorporated a little bit more description like that. I do like this 10-inch pizza cookie, and the description I believe is "It's Hershey's chocolate chips," so you've got to emphasize that. So it's "Hershey's chocolate chips baked into ..." I forget exactly how it is, but it does give a little bit more. Like, "Oh, wow, that sounds really good."


Brad: Yeah, exactly. You want to make my mouth water in order to move me towards that.


Domenick: Right.


Brad: Let's talk about images here. Todd, we'll start off with you. Do you use photos on your website?


Todd: We do, yes.


Brad: How about you, Domenick? Do you use photos?


Domenick: I do. 


Brad: Okay. And you talked, Domenick, about hiring a photographer. Todd, you did the same, did you not?


Todd: We did. We have a system called Popmenu that we use, and they host our website, and it also helps allow our online website to be interactive. So with that, we have a concierge service that does a lot of additional services for us, but they also provide a professional photographer. I think we get x-amount of hours per location to use, so it gives us an opportunity to really update the photos a lot.

And also we have time included in that that we do a lot of lifestyle and ingredients shots as well so we can use that on our social media, so that all the branding and all the pictures are consistent with what we're using for our branding and for our online ordering.


Brad: That's great. Domenick, your photographer, what kind of guidelines did you give them when you asked them to take the photos?


Domenick: So one of the main points for everyone listening, I think that, number one, you want to hire a professional photographer. And I actually hired someone that was a food photographer, specializing in food. And I got to tell you, he was picky. The first shot when he had to get the first pizza shot, he made me make that pizza about four or five times, the first pizza. He's like, "Remake it. Remake it." He was trying to get that perfect angle and positioning the toppings exactly right.

Because here's the thing. We all got to be honest here. When you see that commercial from McDonald's, and you see the burger, and you're like, "Oh, it doesn't look like that," you know? When you order it.


Brad: Right.


Domenick: I think it's more they're doing that because they're emphasizing everything that that burger has. They have to show the lettuce, tomatoes, the onions, all that stuff. So even on a pizza, the way you serve a pizza to your customer ... This is a big tip for everyone. The way you serve a pizza, you can't photograph that pizza because everything looks mixed in. The cheese on top of all the toppings. You can't even tell what kind of toppings it is. That's when you serve a pizza. So you're not going to grab that and say, "Okay, let me photograph this," and it's going to look good. Because you won't even be able to tell what kind of toppings that item has, you know?

So a food photographer specializes in that, so they'll make sure that you put a little bit of cheese under at first. Sauce, cheese, and then a little bit of toppings. They move the toppings around to emphasize and it shows each topping. And also, if you go on my online ordering, and very specific, if you look at the subs, the subs can be ... If you just do a steak and cheese sub, and just take a picture of it, all you'll see is lettuce on top because that's the last thing it adds on top. So you've got to be able to fix it right so you see the meat, the cheese, the lettuce, tomato. You have to do those kind of things.

And I will tell you, it's very different from when you go to compare to different people that have online ordering, and you can tell who took their time and did something professional versus someone just hired someone local and had a camera and did pictures. You can really tell.

Another tip is you want to have, for instance, if you have your category for pizzas, you want to have all the same background for pizzas. If you have subs, you want to have that same background. It just makes your overall feel when you're ordering looks organized.


Brad: Right. Where did you find that photographer, Domenick?


Domenick: So the best way to do this is just search on Google pizzas, for instance, and then you look through pizzas, and you see one that looks catchy to the eye, and you click on it, and just see who basically took that photo. And you can research it and do a little bit of research. So that's how I did it. I was looking through pizza images, and I saw something I liked. Certain angle, the way the pizza looked. And I clicked on it, and then I clicked, and there was actually a blog from a photographer. And it took me right to his website. As simple as that, and then I was like, "Oh, this is the guy." And he was from Pittsburgh.


Brad: So he came in specifically to do your shots.


Domenick: Correct, yeah. He drove. He commuted.


Brad: I'll just say, Domenick, that's an unusual level of commitment that you typically don't see in most smaller chains with that level of commitment. That is very, very admirable.

Todd, your photographer through Pop Menu, do they assign a photographer do you, or do you get to choose your own? How does that work?


Todd: They do assign us a photographer, but we've been working with them for so long and their support team is amazing, and we've worked with probably only two different photographers over the last four years. So we usually have one or two of them, and one is better at the lifestyle shots, and then the other one has been better at the menu pic shots. So they'll usually send the right person for the job.


Brad: Right. Okay, good.

Before we jump into questions, and by the way, if anyone in the audience has questions, feel free to put them into the Q&A section here. We're monitoring that, and you can ask questions of our guests, and we'll do our best to answer all of them. I want to just touch on the concept of in-store processes. I know that both of you ... SpeedDine is completely integrated with SpeedLine. From your perspective, what does that allow you to do that you wouldn't be able to do with a non-integrated system? Is it saving you time and money and labor, or does it matter? Todd, maybe to you first.


Todd: Sure. It is integrated. We use SpeedDine, and we're thrilled with it. This is our third online ordering platform system, and we learned a lot of lessons along the way, and that's why we were very patient last time before we decided to make this switch to SpeedDine. It was really able to provide all the functionality that we wanted to.

The biggest thing for us, the out-of-stock items is amazing because a lot of platforms, the communication isn't a two-way communication. It's a one-way communication.

  Our managers are able to save a lot of time from having to call guests back when an item's out of stock, and they're able to manage it in the store themselves, and turn it off if needed or adjust hours or create holidays and those kinds of things right from the terminal. Which saves us a lot of time on the back end, because in the past, we were having to do that.

But what I love the most about it is that we're able to manage the site, add items, create new ordering tabs at the top, and really make the changes to the site ourselves. While the support from SpeedLine is amazing, the best support that they ever gave us was teaching us how to do it, and we spent probably a good 10 hours in training on how to build everything on the back end ourselves, so that way we were able to make changes as needed on the fly without having to call anyone for support, and really becoming experts on how to manipulate the site to get it to do the things that we wanted to. Or to look the way that we wanted it to.


Brad: Yeah. I'm glad to hear that. Domenick, are you using things like updating your out-of-stock, for instance, in-store so that any items that are out of stock don't appear to the customer, or at least they're aware that there's maybe an ingredient that's missing?


Domenick: Yes, I do. I do use that feature. I love it. When I discovered it from SpeedLine, it was so easy. You go in-store, you just put "out of stock." It updates your whole online ordering. So it's really useful.


Brad: And, Domenick, do you have multiple delivery zones, or do you have a flat-rate delivery zone setup?


Domenick: I tried both. Actually, I have to say I tried both, but I found out that the delivery zone, having zone one, two, three and four, or even color-coded, I feel like it didn't work out for me.


Brad: Okay.


Domenick: Because two deliveries could be in zone red, and they're both in zone red, but the way to get there, you can't really go from delivery A to delivery B. You have to come back to a main road and go around. So it's counterproductive. 

So I found out that the best way for me was just doing a radius, and I kind of zoom in, and that's honestly the best feature that I love from SpeedLine is that no other online ordering system, their capabilities of doing this. But having all multiple ... You open up the dispatch screen, and you're seeing the map, and you're seeing 10, 15 deliveries at a time. And usually what I will do is I'll click on the first one that needs to go out, and then I'll hit "map," and it'll zoom me right into that one, and I'll just see what other ones are around it. And I'll click on them to see if they're ready.

So I have to say, to be honest, I did so many demos with so many different POS systems, and none of them to this day compares to that specific feature from SpeedLine. And actually I saw there was another one, it was recently, because I'm opening up another two stores. Someone contacted me and said, "Hey, check this demo out," so I was like, "You know what? I'll give it a chance. Let me see." It kind of looked good, but as soon as I went into their demo, I knew it wasn't compatible with what SpeedLine had to offer.


Brad: Yeah, that's interesting. Todd, are you using the same sort of process when you do a dispatch from your stores?


Todd: Yeah, we use a single zone. We've done it both ways with some of the other systems, but when we moved to SpeedLine, that's kind of when we made the change to one zone. Ours was more for an efficiency standpoint with our staffing as to why we made that decision. Unfortunately, there are some delivery drivers that are interested in making the most amount of money, so we ran into a small issue where they would take an order that was further away instead of the one that was close or the ones that was next up. Because we do our delivery fees a little bit different, so the company doesn't keep one penny of the delivery fee. 100% of it goes to the driver. And so what we found was if we had a $2.50, $3.50, $4.50 fee, then one driver might take two of the $4.50s and come back, leaving another driver to take two of the $2.50s rather than take them in order.

And it just became one more thing that, with the amount of volume that we do in the dining room, out the door for pickups, to-gos, and out the door for deliveries, that it was a necessary evil that we just didn't have to manage. And as soon as we switched to just a flat fee with one zone, we became a lot more efficient, and the drivers realized that it didn't matter what order they took. Now, they can take even more orders, so we were able to add increased sales while they were able to make more money as well.


Brad: Right. We've got a couple minutes for questions here, and I just want to open that up. So if you have questions ... The first question that has come in though is how long did this take to implement your online ordering site, Domenick?


Domenick: How long did it take? I have to be honest, it takes awhile. It takes awhile to get it right.


Brad: Right.


Domenick: If you want something half-assed, you're going to get something half-assed. If you want it done right, you really have to take the time to make sure everything's in order, everything looks good, all the images. Because, here's the thing, even when you're adding images to your online ordering, if you just add all the pizzas in, but when you're incorporating those images, there's a certain guideline you have to stick with to make it look symmetrical, all the pizzas. So you have to spend some time to make it right.


Brad: Great.


Domenick: I can't tell you specifically how long it took me, but I'm always improving it. And I love the fact that SpeedLine is always adding new features because I get those updates from SpeedLine. It says, "Oh, the new features of the new update software," so I'll look through those and see what new features are coming out for me to implement into the platform and make it even better.

And I have to also say that the support that SpeedLine gives is like no other. That's also another reason why I stick with SpeedLine. I love it because as soon as I have a question and something I can't figure out, I call them, and within three minutes, I'm on the phone with someone.


Brad: That's great. I've got a question actually that's come up. It's about caller ID and when a person phones in and wants to make modifications. The question is can you see who the customer is and are you able to modify the order after it comes in? Todd, over to you.


Todd: Yeah. So we do use the caller ID feature. It works really well when a guest calls in. If we just select their name and phone number, it will pull up all their information. And then the lower left-hand side of the screen, it will show their previous orders, which usually, like I said earlier, with the amount of people that we have that order the same thing, the conversation goes from being a five-minute conversation to more of a "Hello, Mr. Johnson. Great to talk to you again this Friday. It's Marina. How can I help you? Would you like your large Super Six, extra crispy?" "Yes, I would." "Thank you, great. We'll see you in 25 minutes." So it makes the call-in process very efficient.


Brad: Nice. Nice. And, Domenick, are you using the same type of setup?


Domenick: Exactly, yeah. The same thing.


Brad: Wonderful.


Domenick: Only because when you do that to the customer, "Okay, would you like your large pepperoni, sausage and onion?" And it's so funny because I've had a couple people say, "Oh, wow, you remember."


Todd: All the time.


Brad: Yeah. In our family, we've been talking about relationships and why relationships end, because it's an interesting topic, and one of the things that's come out of all of our discussions is the relationship ends when one person no longer feels appreciated. And those tiny things that you're doing, they seem small, but saying their name, repeating their last order, and asking if they'd like to order it again, it's a "You see me." And it creates this moment of, yes, you recognize who I am, and you're giving me good service, and that's another good reason why I go there. Because you know my order, right? And that's very interesting.

We're out of time. I want to thank Domenick Colandrea and Todd Vierra for spending some time with us and educating all of us in terms of some of the best practices for creating an online ordering website. Really a terrific discussion, gentlemen. I appreciate the time that you spent with us today.


Todd: Welcome. Our pleasure.


Brad: Excellent. Great. Well, thank you, and have a great rest of your day both of you. Bye now.


Domenick: You as well. Okay, bye-bye.



Posted on Wed, Jul 21, 2021 @ 13:07 PM.
Updated on July 21, 2021 @ 8:27 PM PST.

Tags: Online Ordering, Restaurant Marketing

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