Case Study - Pizza Pirates
A Big Menu Only SpeedLine Could Handle
Ask anyone within a 20-mile span of the Route 60 freeway in southern California: Pizza Pirates is the place to go for a variety of fresh, delicious pizzas, with unlimited options to choose from. With three locations, no one goes hungry, and with over 60 specialty pizzas alone, there’s something for everyone at this pizzeria chain—family-owned since 1989.
Owners David and Louise Kenney ventured into the pizzeria business back in the late ‘80s when they were newly engaged and excited about new beginnings. One month after purchasing their first location, they married. Louise’s three older children from a previous marriage worked their way through high school in the restaurant. Louise and David grew their family and their business, adding two daughters and two more locations, all while breaking away from the franchise they had originally bought into.
In 1995, Pizza Pirates was born.
David and Louise keep their operations profitable in two ways: keeping sales up and costs down. Sounds simple enough, but as every restaurant operator knows, the challenge is in the application.
At Pizza Pirates, the key has been in managing the fine line between skimping and saving. “We don’t skimp on labor or food cost,” David says, “and while we are far above the industry average in both these areas, our other expenses are relatively low because of our high sales volume—and we have no debt.” Keeping tabs on their labor and food costs was important, but barely manageable with their original point of sale system.
When the Kenneys went looking to replace their antiquated POS system, menu flexibility was the deciding factor. At the time, their menu was less extensive than it is today, but they had plans for growth, and knew that a POS system purpose-built to handle the complexities of create-your-own pizzas, coupons, and delivery was the only way to go. Today, the Pizza Pirates menu boasts 60 speciality pizzas, and every imaginable topping: something their old point of sale system never would have been able to handle.
“Our first priority wasn’t saving money on our next point of sale,” David mentions. “Our POS choice was more about equipping our business for bottom line growth.” SpeedLine was a key to achieving the growth they wanted, as David confirms: “The system easily paid for itself in the first 18 months.”
David and Louise credit their choice of SpeedLine and its menu flexibility for the part it played their business’s rapid growth. “We would have been in complete shutdown mode back then if we had had the menu and multiple locations we have today,” Dave tells us.
While the menu flexibility was the initial draw, Pizza Pirates also soon realized they couldn’t live without the delivery mapping and extensive reporting in their SpeedLine POS. “Most of our drivers know the area like the back of their hand,” Dave says “but a lot can be said for easily training new staff, as well as speeding up delivery to that oddball address no one recognizes.”
With menu flexibility, extensive reporting, and ease-of-use, Pizza Pirates has come a long way with SpeedLine. "I tallied up our total orders the other day," David says, "and over the last ten years we have logged just a hair under two million orders throughout the SpeedLine System." He adds, "As of today (knock on wood!) we have not lost a single order!"
Now, with three locations covering over 20 miles of freeway (and a fourth to open this fall), the whole family is contributing to the success of the Pizza Pirates organization. Michael and Ryan, the two oldest sons, and Carrie, Megan and Robin, the three younger daughters, manage the Ontario and Riverside locations.
When asked what their favorite menu item was, the answer was unanimous: Pepperoni and Sausage. Ironic for a pizzeria serving as many specialities and toppings as Pizza Pirates does, but the Kenneys have found that catering to their customers' needs is what drives their business. For this pizza family, that translates to giving them what they want. As a family, their tastes may be simple, but their collective pizza know-how is as rich and varied as the menu they offer.