Pizza Today - December 2020 - 28

pizzerias given the nation's hefty appetite
for comfort food amid a global health pandemic. Online ordering streamlines
operations for pizzerias, has been credited
with increasing ticket sizes and delivers
convenience to time-starved, digitally connected customers. Since February, online
ordering has soared across the U.S., headlined by a 3,868-percent jump in large
suburbs, according to data from Upserve, a
leading restaurant management platform.
" Pizzerias that aren't prioritizing online
ordering are missing out on serious customer demand, " MenuDrive CEO Saleem
S. Khatri says.
But online ordering cannot be a set-itand-forget-it proposition. With new players
entering the fold and ongoing technological advancements, savvy pizzerias consistently monitor new offerings and critically
evaluate their digital ordering platforms to
ensure online ordering is operating at peak
performance.
" If you wish to sell more and serve more,
you must leverage the power of online
ordering and keep optimizing it to keep up
with the changing demand, " says Bharti
Batra, the co-founder of Restolabs, a leading
restaurant ordering system headquartered in
Reno, Nevada.
To get the most out of online ordering,
prominent players in this still-evolving
space offer these tips:
Favor the " white label. "
White-label branding refers to a product
or service removing its brand and logo from
the end product. With respect to online
ordering, that means an individual pizzeria's branding overtakes any mention of
the specific online ordering platform. It's
Sciarrino's Pizza, for instance, not MenuDrive. White-label branding is important,
Batra contends, because it allows a pizzeria's
customers to " feel at home when interacting
with your brand online. "
Assess online ordering's impact on
sales.
Khatri encourages operators to investigate how their online ordering solution
is contributing to sales. MenuDrive, for
example, will automatically create customer
offers for individual restaurants on Facebook
and Instagram. When a customer wishes
to redeem that offer, they receive a prompt
for their name, e-mail, phone number and
birthday. This information then heads into
the restaurant's secure customer database,

which operators can later use for periodic
messaging to drive traffic and orders.
" Restaurants will need to optimize their
digital marketing efforts and automated
communications in order to grow their
customer base and bottom line efficiently, "
Khatri says.
Show, don't tell.
The ability to add images to menu items,
so long as it does not compromise website
speed, can drive sales. In fact, online food
ordering system LimeTray reports " an
increase of more than 25 percent in conversion rates when restaurants moved from text
menus to image-based menus. "
Allow customization.
Personalization is ingrained in the pizzeria world. Some customers want to split
pizza toppings, request heavy sauce or favor
a well-done pie. In today's age, customers
expect customization from all restaurants
and online ordering should seamlessly and
capably accommodate such requests.
" Pizza ordering should have the ability to
modify different complex modifiers, " Batra
confirms.
Be mobile ready.
Heading into 2020, one out of every
10 food orders at quick-service restaurants
came from a smartphone, according to Business Insider Intelligence - and that figure
continues trending upward. Today, any
online ordering platform should absolutely
be optimized for mobile ordering.
" I see so many platforms that don't work
as seamlessly on mobile, which can be a
major turnoff for customers, " Batra says.
Look beyond the online ordering.
Khatri says restaurant technology has increasingly moved toward holistic, all-in-one
restaurant management solutions. Rather
than a patchwork of different solutions,
pizzerias might explore the full scope of
capabilities different online ordering platforms provide. This can drive more seamless
operations as well as potential cost savings.
" 'Online ordering platform's will, like
'point of sale' before it, become a misnomer
as leading technologies evolve into comprehensive platforms for online ordering,
delivery, menu management, stock levels
and so forth, " Khatri says, adding that more
layered, comprehensive solutions provide
restaurants more " complete ownership of
their online experience. "

Monitor new functionalities.
Over recent years, multi-language support, order-ahead optionality, social media
ordering and real-time analytics have all
become commonplace on online ordering
platforms. More recently, contactless ordering has become important - if not a " permanent requirement " of restaurants, Batra
notes. Having access to such functionalities
helps a pizzeria up its online ordering game
and respond to evolving customer needs.
" When all of these come together, you
create a comprehensive and intuitive system
for your restaurants that helps generate
profit, " Batra says. n
DANIEL P. SMITH Chicago-based
writer has covered business issues and best
practices for a variety of trade publications,
newspapers, and magazines.

WHEN IS IT TIME TO INVESTIGATE A NEW ONLINE
ORDERING PROVIDER?
Much as a discerning pizzeria operator
would investigate alternative providers of
mozzarella or chicken wings should prices
skyrocket or quality fall, operators should
apply that same scrutiny to their online
ordering platform.
For most, investigating a new online
ordering provider begins with investigating orders and profits.
" If you're paying high monthly fees
and not getting a decent ROI, time to
start looking, " MenuDrive CEO Saleem
S. Khatri says.
Support is also critical, as tech snafus
and limited technical assistance to
address customer quandaries can leave a
pizzeria vulnerable to irking - and losing
- customers.
" You really don't want your customers
hanging there, waiting for their complaints to be resolved, " says Restolabs
co-founder Bharti Batra.
And given the public health alarms
ringing in the wake of COVID-19,
contactless features stand vital to serving
wary customers.
" Without contactless delivery, ordering and payment being an integral part
of your online ordering system, your
customers will not trust your business
and move to the next one, " Batra says.

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http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2020

Pizza Today - December 2020
Commentary
Online Ordering
Front of House Refresh
Buying Kitchen Equipment
2021 Menu Guide
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Pizza Today - December 2020
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Digital
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Online Ordering
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Front of House Refresh
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Buying Kitchen Equipment
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 36
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 2021 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 42
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 44
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 46
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - December 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - December 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2020 - Cover4
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