Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations Trends
Making Dough with Diane: A few things operators can expect in 2022



Here is a look at what you can expect in 2022 with some convenience, digital, and safety issues, emerging trends and concepts.

Ensuring contactless ordering, curbside pickup, safe delivery
It’s hard to serve your customers outside your restaurant if you don’t have a drive-thru area. However, there are many other ways to get food quickly to your customers. You can offer curbside or pick-up options that allow customers to order without having any social interaction.

Contactless ordering
Contactless ordering and payment are done using a mobile device and scanning a QR code. Digital QR-code menus and touchless payments will certainly become more mainstream in 2022. A QR code is an online menu that allows customers to scan and access a digital menu displayed on their smartphone devices once scanned. Consider displaying a highly visible QR code on your front windows or countertop to direct your customer either to your website or to multiple online ordering apps. Put in place a digital menu with excellent food quality and also take delivery into consideration.

Contactless curbside pickup
These days, many customers are more interested in curbside pickup because of convenience, as a faster alternative to third-party delivery and drive-thru service and at no extra costs per order.

Advertisement

Try to figure out where you can safely drop the food for a contactless curbside pickup. These orders can be placed by phone or online, and in both situations, can inform the customer through text and/or email that the order is ready to pick up.

Find and advertise a suitable place for your customers to park safely and pick up the food..

Safe delivery
The pandemic prompted the trend to digital and delivery, and this trend is here to stay. Delivery has increased again and again over the last two years, and customers using food delivery apps have increased one hundredfold due to demand spurred by the pandemic.

Large pizza companies have long managed their delivery services independently. However, many small restaurants have let a third-party delivery company handle their orders. Don’t forget that the key to success during this situation is to integrate a top-notch multi-function POS system that will let you take phone orders, process payments, oversee the kitchen and offer delivery options.

Strengthening online presence
Approximately 70 per cent of consumers would rather use a restaurant’s website or app for food delivery rather than a third-party app and be able also to access an online menu. Many restaurants are now working together to keep as much revenue as possible and are building local-only delivery services. You should carefully decide whether you need the benefits of a third-party delivery service or if you can make a delivery system work independently. Take the time to estimate if doing delivery is worth your effort.

Some online review forums and even Yelp have dropped in popularity, and this is the right time to use your pizzeria’s website and social media accounts to take orders from your customers directly.

There are a lot of small pizzerias, small chains, stand-alone and mom-and-pop operations that still don’t have a website. Although it’s a significant investment for your restaurant, creating a fun and colourful website for your pizzeria should be on your to-do list. It’s the best way for your customers to easily find your pizzeria, book a reservation, order some food, review your menu, get directions and leave positive reviews.

Diversifying revenue streams
Many restaurants went into survival mode during this crisis by trimming their menus to streamline their operations. A lot of operators quickly found out that they could no longer rely on a single revenue stream and have created one-stop-shop hybrids of retail and restaurant concepts. Explore alternative revenue streams such as these mentioned below.

Meal kits
Many restaurant operators have created premium meal kits so that customers can re-create the indoor dining experience from the comfort of their home kitchen. Sell these meal kits at your restaurant, on your website, and consider reaching out to convenience or grocery stores to sell fresh or frozen ready-to-make meal kits, including pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions.

Retail-pantry area
Many restaurants have now set up a mini pantry area where they sell ingredients and other food items in bulk. Consider selling cookbooks, t-shirts, tote bags and reusable mugs with your logo and gift baskets. This is also a great way to grow your brand awareness.

Most of the food items in your pizzeria’s pantry could be repurposed into take-out options such as using your cheeses, condiments and meats to create beautiful charcuterie boards.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or chiasson@chiassonconsultants.com, or visit chiassonconsultants.com.