There’s simply no escaping it—technology has entered our lives and it’s here to stay in almost every corner of them. As Modern Restaurant Management explains, “Nowhere is this more evident than in the restaurant industry,” and pizzerias a certainly not excluded. A growing percentage of the population is comprised of digital natives—those who grew up surrounded by technology and hardly remember a time without it, if they do at all—and they expect their lives to be optimized by technology, even when they’re stopping for a slice of ‘za on the way home late at night.
If you’re a pizzeria owner and are wondering how you can get onboard with technology without pulling all of your hair out or investing crazy amounts of money in major switches, here are a few tips and tricks for integrating technology into your pizzeria in a relatively painless way.
Get Social Media Savvy
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are the way that customers both decide where to eat at any given time and interact with their neighborhood spots. While it might sound intimidating to set up and run social media accounts for your restaurant, it’s not as daunting as it might seem. The best thing you can do is hire someone a few hours a week to manage your accounts—there are plenty of freelancers out there who specialize in exactly this—but even if you can’t, just focus on covering the basics.
Start with setting up a profile on just one platform and scheduling a couple of posts a week as well as an hour here and there to interact with the people who follow you (the key to social media success is engagement!). Once you get the hang of one platform (they quickly become second nature), move onto creating a second and, eventually, if you get really ambitious, a third.
Switch to a Tech-Friendly POS System
Think about the last time you went into a restaurant that had those traditional, legacy POS systems that take up serious space and simply look… well, old. Now thing about the last time you ate somewhere and they swiped your card through a sleek looking iPad-based POS system—you got to pay, add a tip, and request a receipt with just a couple taps and swipes of your finger.
Not only do pizza POS systems give off the vibe up being up-to-date, they can actually make your work life easier too. Unlike traditional systems, you can access them without having to actually be in your pizzeria. Just imagine getting inventory done from the comfort of your own home.
Hop on the Mobile Ordering Train
While most pizza joints have always offered delivery services, people just don’t like to talk on the phone like they used to. Actually calling a pizzeria often means being put on hold and reading your credit card number aloud to someone on the phone, which in this day and age is less than safe. If you want your pizzeria to be tech forward, you’ll either want to develop your own ordering app, add the functionality to your website, or sign up with any of the app-based services like UberEats that takes care of it for you (with a charge, of course).
Consider Table-Side Technology
“Diners hate it when waiters take their credit card away and run it up at the register—it’s a common point for credit card fraud,” Forbes explains. The good news is that this can easily be avoided by investing in a tablet-based POS system and giving one to each of your servers to ring up payments right at the table. “Hand [customers[ a restaurant iPad they can self-checkout on where their card doesn’t leave their sight, and they’re happy,” Forbes concludes.