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Trends in Pizza Restaurants

Trends in Pizza Restaurants

“When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie that’s amore!” With apologies to Dean Martin, Americans love our pizza to the tune of close to 70,000 pizza restaurants, and around $38 billion in annual sales according to ask.com. Whether it’s a national pizza chain; a franchise pizza restaurant; or a small mom and pop pizzeria on a quiet corner in the city, the pizza business is changing and there are many challenges that affect the bottom line. The goal of getting as big a piece of the pizza “pie” as possible is essential to any pizzeria’s success.

Pizza restaurants–especially those offering delivery–face a unique situation in that success is not only gauged by the quality of the pizza it serves; it’s also based on the time it takes for that pizza to reach the home of the customer. Dietary concerns like calorie reporting requirements and an overall trend toward eating a more healthy diet has forced many pizza makers to become increasingly creative in the types of pizza products offered. Expanding menu items that focus on veganism and gluten-free options for customers provide additional choices and broaden the customer base.

And, if this wasn’t enough, pizza is starting to show up in restaurants that traditionally carried other food options. A story from QSR outlines how restaurants like Subway and Dunkin Doughnuts are launching or testing pizzas in select markets across the country. The article goes on to describe how the pizza restaurants are fighting back with new desserts and specialty items.

Outside pressures from new government regulations will also play a key roll into how pizzerias operate in the future. In California, the governor signed a new minimum wage law on September 25, 2013 raising the rate to $9.00 an hour by July 2014, and $10.00 an hour by January 2016. The Affordable Care Act is now in effect and will definitely influence staffing decisions and scheduling in many small to medium sized pizza restaurants.

Technology is also a big factor in streamlining the ordering and delivery process in an industry where time is money.  The familiar call to the local pizzeria has been replaced by online ordering, and the big pizza chains provide apps for mobile phone ordering from just about anywhere. Revel’s Delivery Management Console tracks and manages all facets of the delivery process so orders arrive on time at the right location.

The Revel Systems Pizza Restaurant POS can also help with the technological challenges by streamlining essential management tools like printing orders to kitchen stations and tracking loyal customers for improved customer service. After all, isn’t the whole idea of a successful pizzeria trying to keep more “dough” in the company’s pocket?

Another interesting innovation in terms of technology and pizza comes from the consumer side. Projects such as Paint Your Pizza (pictured below) allows users to “paint” their own pizza design via web browser and order it from a local pizzeria. Random Acts of Pizza has grown increasingly popular on Reddit:  those in need request a pizza, and magnanimous redditors can send it to them.

paint your pizza

The painted pizza [left] and the finished result [right] from Paint Your Pizza

One of the many benefits of technological innovation is its ability to benefit both restaurants and consumers alike. How have recent trends in technology affected your pizza restaurant?