Make Takeout and Delivery Pizza More Profitable
Pizza is one of those dishes that has universal appeal. Everyone from little kids to grandparents can get behind a delicious slice, and pizza styles can be about as versatile as it gets. Even here in Chicago, we have both deep dish and crispy, thin crust pizza in the same city. For those pizza lovers out there, we agree on its popularity. For pizzeria operators, we also see its profitability.
Fortunately, with consistently high demand and with the right service methods it can be easy to increase pizza profits. Considering the rise in off-premise dining over the last few years coupled with pizza's popularity in delivery and takeout, operators who embrace these trends and pair them with the latest technologies can make takeout and delivery pizza more profitable.
Let's find out how.
Top Chicago Area Pizza Trends
For many years, Chicago has been synonymous with deep-dish-style pizza and crispy, cracker-like pizzas. While there's still plenty of room for traditional Chicago pizza, the area is changing rapidly. In recent years, Detroit-style pizza has become more popular, as have the standard grab-and-go offerings. Since deep-dish isn't well suited for individual slices, operators are considering options that do provide a bit more portability.
The types of pizza people are ordering has also changed dramatically in recent years. For example, there's shrinking demand for meat and growing demand for plant-based alternatives. Also, nothing is sacred anymore, as customers are willing to swap everything from the crust (cauliflower is making waves) to the sauce (barbecue, Alfredo, and pesto are common) to the cheese (mozzarella is no longer king).
While there's always a place for traditional pies and toppings, customers want something fresh, bold, and exciting. Chicago has always been a melting pot of different cultures and ideas, and pizza perfectly represents that diversity.
Improving Your Takeout and Delivery System
The last couple of years has driven higher demand for takeout and delivery. Pizzerias were well-prepared for the shift to off-premise dining because pizza has been a leading category of takeout and delivery for decades. Fortunately, pizza delivery equipment has improved vastly in modern times, as have different takeout options. This means there are always new ways to improve off-premise service.
For example, better-insulated bags ensure pizza arrives hot and fresh, even if the delivery time is more than 30 minutes. Dedicated takeout stalls allow customers to come in and grab their pies without waiting in line for a cashier. Mobile ordering has also reduced wait times and empowered customers to be more proactive and efficient. Overall, pizzerias that embrace high-tech takeout pizza equipment and delivery options can provide a better customer experience, while those who still depend on old-fashioned methods may struggle.
Keeping Pizza Warm
No one wants to dive into a lukewarm and slightly soggy pizza. One of the most significant challenges that operators face is keeping pizza warm without continuing to cook it. Fortunately, Carter Hoffman offers incredible equipment like pick-up cabinets (PUCs) that work for both front and back-of-house settings.
Front-end PUC systems allow customers to access their orders using numbers or QR codes. So, as long as workers load the cabinet correctly, customers don't need to interact with anyone once their order is ready.
BOH PUC equipment allows workers to fulfill more orders and keep them warm for delivery. Also, if a large order comes in, these cabinets can ensure consistent quality and freshness for all the pies, not just the ones that come out last.
Pizza Delivery Made Easy
Realistically, the best way to deliver hot and fresh pizza is to have a mobile oven or warming tray. That kind of technology has only recently become available with the CookTek Pizza Delivery System. While this model only works for individual pies, it can help provide better results for nearby customers. Once they see the higher quality of their pizza, they're more likely to order again.
Typically, the biggest challenge with the CookTek system is keeping it charged as deliveries rotate throughout the evening. So, businesses will need multiple devices to ensure no lag time between charging sessions.
What About the Oven?
A pizza oven is often considered one of the four main ingredients of great pizza, along with flour, cheese, and tomatoes. But which oven is right for your unique operation? Take the pizza oven quiz below to find out.
Our own Chef Ron also put together his top 5 secrets for a successful pizza program and wanted to share them with you. Click the image below to tell us a bit about you, and then you'll instantly be taken to the infographic.