In the pizza business, your pizza phone system can be as important as your cheese blend, selection of toppings, or crust recipe. Before customers even get a taste of your pizza, they have to order it first, and a bad experience can taint even the tastiest pie. That’s why pizza places need communications technology that fits their budgets AND gets the job done.
Pizza’s a big deal, especially in the U.S. Consumers spend $33 billion on pizza every year. In 2016, 41 percent of the population confessed to eating pizza at least once a week. Pizza also wears the crown as the U.S.’s top comfort food, beating out its closest competitors by double the votes. With nearly 77K pizzerias in the country, it’s important to stand out from the rest of the pack. One of the key ways to accomplish that is through technology.
It’s no secret that pizzerias, like the rest of the restaurant industry, are turning to online ordering to add convenience to customers’ experiences. In 2010, consumers placed 1.39 billion pizza delivery orders by phone. By 2015, that number hovered over one billion, while online ordering had risen to 904 million.
The industry anticipates an even greater upswing in online ordering in the near future. However, even with online options available, look at the numbers: more than half of all pizza customers, over one billion of them, still preferred to place their orders over the phone.
And that’s only pizza orders. Customers also call with questions about hours, menus, and directions—information that’s easily available online for national pizza chains. The point is that customers want options, and that includes the ability to call their favorite local pizza joint if that’s what they prefer. The problem is these customers will expect the same experience and service they’d receive from a national chain.
That’s when phone functionality becomes especially important. Almost 80 percent of customers say that technology improves their restaurant experience, and four in five restaurant owners agree that up-to-date technology boosts their sales, makes their staff more productive, and gives them a competitive edge.
Hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provides pizzeria owners with a chance to compete on a different scale, with lower capital costs and enterprise-grade voice quality and features.
With Hosted VoIP, your phone service is routed through the Internet rather than through a phone line. Equipment costs are typically limited to an Internet-compatible phone, a business-class router, and an Internet connection. You don’t need any special hardware to enjoy advanced voice features, and you don’t need a tech degree to manage it and make day-to-day changes. Other advantages Hosted VoIP offers as a pizza phone system includes the ability to:
Hosted VoIP is available across multiple devices, including smartphones. Take Jive, for example. We offer a softphone application that allows pizzerias to treat smartphones as an extension of their system. That way, instead of juggling all your delivery drivers’ cell numbers, you can reach them simply—and without service charges—using simple three, four, five or six-digit extension. Hosted VoIP is also compatible with the different types of phones used in the pizzeria business, including headsets, wireless handsets, and regular desk phones.
With Hosted VoIP, you gain access to automated features usually reserved for companies with generous IT budgets. One such feature is the auto attendant, or IVR (interactive voice response). An auto attendant allows inbound callers to listen to a prerecorded message and self-select options from a numbered menu.
For example, the attendant can prompt customers to select 1 to place an order. But if all your callers want is to know your hours, they can select 2, or 3 if they want to listen to the menu, or 4 if they want a list of locations. This better manages your inbound call traffic and frees your staff to focus on taking orders instead of answering routine questions.
Even with auto attendants improving your efficiency, putting customers on hold is inevitable. But you can put that time to good use. Hosted VoIP is very versatile about uploading music files and creating custom playlists that suit your pizzeria’s personality. You can also interrupt the hold music with prerecorded messages that advertise specials on particular pizzas or sides like cheese sticks, salads, or drinks. This gives customers the chance to change their mind or upgrade their order to take advantage of your current specials.
Another intelligent tool Hosted VoIP offers is custom scheduling. Custom schedules give you the power to implement time-based call routing. During typically busy hours, you can put a more detailed auto attendant in place to better filter your calls. You can program specific messages and music to play for mornings and evenings, and you can direct calls differently during off-hours, weekends, and holidays.
Hosted VoIP phone systems come with a call management interface, usually in the form of an online portal. Jive has a browser-based admin portal you can use to make real-time changes to your inbound call paths, upload recorded messages and music files, and add new users and extensions—all with a few quick clicks of a mouse.
Jive’s portal also comes with our simple, intuitive Dial Plan Editor, a tool unique to Jive where you can visually map out your pizzeria’s call paths on a drag-and-drop canvas. Using the Dial Plan Editor, you can easily assign auto-attendant options and where those options go, set up call queues with customized music and messages, and specify which dial plan goes with which custom schedule.
A Hosted VoIP pizza phone system empowers you to deliver better experiences to your customers and eliminate many of your IT hassles by:
Check out this infographic to see what a pizzeria powered by Jive Hosted VoIP looks like.