Business and Operations
Good sense in going green
By Laura Aiken
Amadio’s Pizza delivery drivers probably never get lost. In fact, they
probably don’t squint too often looking for unlit house numbers at
|Joe Leroux inside his revamped store, Amadio’s Pizza.|
Amadio’s Pizza delivery drivers probably never get lost. In fact, they probably don’t squint too often looking for unlit house numbers at midnight either. Thanks to Amadio’s owner Joe Leroux, each delivery vehicle has a GPS system and his drivers have in-store access to Streets and Trips software. This is just one measure Leroux has taken in revamping his Port Credit, Ont., based business into a more environmentally friendly operation that makes for a better bottom line.
“You buy smart, save time and save money, and that’s saving the environment,” says Leroux.
The mapping and route co-ordination is hooked into the Point of Success computer software for POS systems, which Leroux invested in, to save precious seconds in his business as well as green up the store. The system provides the most efficient routes by taking into account all the orders placed in a given time. By delivering several pizzas at once and in an order that reduces driving time, the amount of gasoline burned is significantly decreased. Furthermore, the drivers know exactly where they are going and this prevents detrimental periods of idling. According to the Centre for Energy, just 10 seconds of idling your vehicle consumes more energy than is used to restart the vehicle. Cutting out idling helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. The efficiency of the delivery system has allowed Leroux to continue to offer free delivery despite the rising price of gas, as he says the system has resulted in an average delivery time of only seven minutes from the time the pizza comes out of the oven. When a driver is lost and needs to pull out a map, three minutes can easily pass, he explains. If a driver is having this happen on a regular basis, a great deal of gasoline will be wasted along with unnecessary pollution added to the atmosphere.
Leroux installed the computer software in 2006, and he says it has enabled him to make significant time savings in other aspects of his business. His average time for phone orders has dropped from 90 seconds to 30 seconds. An instrumentation technician by trade, Leroux concentrates his business improvements on saving time through technology.
“You can add time, but you can’t take it away, he says, noting that even cutting 10 seconds off a process will add up over a whole night. He says he strives to gross a nickel per second, and uses timers with everything, including his pizzas. In traveling to Europe and seeing how things were done in the kitchens over there, he says he noticed that it was all about time. Another result Leroux achieved in streamlining his business with software was a reduction from 370 man hours a week to 265, saving on payroll. He was essentially able to eliminate two employee positions.
Inside, the pizzeria is open, airy and spotless. Leroux installed a washer and dryer at the back of the store as another cost-saving measure. As part of his co-ordinating efforts to green up the store, he uses recyclable cardboard pizza boxes and on-site composting. In addition, the computer system saves a considerable amount of paper in receipts.
Amadio’s menu is based on a model of stone-baked handmade pizzas with no preservatives and market fresh ingredients. Leroux offers 38 toppings, including a variety of cheeses, tuna and grilled steak. His full menu includes wings, pasta dishes, panzerottis and chicken fingers. The restaurant offers take-out or
Leroux started in the pizza business in 1974 at the age of 14, and has been in it full-time for 19 years. He has experienced moving a business three times. He became owner of his own pizzeria in 1990 and has been in Port Credit since 1993. Port Credit is a harbour front town on Lake Ontario and is part of the city of Mississauga. Since his time in Port Credit, Leroux says he has noticed the number of independent pizzerias reducing in comparison to chains, and this means independents must be willing to make changes to stay in business.
All of Leroux’s business experience has culminated in a deep respect for commanding efficiency in your business, where going green just makes good sense.