Starting a small business—even one as delicious as pizza—is a big undertaking. From creating a business plan to finding the right location to hiring employees to setting up pizza delivery, there is a lot that you need to get done.
But before you can even consider launching your company and opening your doors to customers, you need to find the software systems that can help you manage, operate, and grow your pizza business.
6 Types of Software for Pizza Businesses:
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for starting a pizza business—after all, people will always argue about whether or not pineapple belongs on your list of topping options—there is necessary software that you should use if you want your company to succeed. Set your pizza business up on the right path with these six types of software.
1. Point-of-Sale (POS) Software for Pizza Businesses
Sometimes referred to as the point-of-purchase, a point-of-sale system is where and when a sale is made. This includes everything to do with the immediate transaction, including calculating the cost, communicating the cost to the customer, displaying payment options, and making the payment itself. How this transaction is carried out and the tools used to do that are known as the point-of-sale system or POS system.
Point-of-sale systems have grown over the years. They began as the manual cash registers of years past and grew into the digital software that is currently making life—and business—easier for companies and customers all over the world.
POS software for pizza businesses is important because it allows orders to be made and paid for. When you opt for software rather than a manual point-of-sale system, you gain a wide range of benefits, including:
- Increased speed of transaction: A few simple taps and the swipe of a credit card are all it takes to complete the purchase.
- Sale accuracy: Since everything about the transaction is done digitally, there is no room for error, creating a more accurate process.
- Expanded integration options: POS software has the potential to integrate with other software that you use.
What to look for in your point-of-sale software:
- Local and cloud-based backups: This dual storage capability can give your business more flexibility and peace of mind.
- Easy-to-use interface: Orders should be easy to place and customize, and payment should be captured without hassle.
- Order tracking and management: You should be able to make, edit, and send orders to fulfillment easily.
- Online purchasing capabilities: Along with the ability to use it in your brick-and-mortar location, your POS software needs to integrate well with orders placed online. This is especially true for delivery-centered pizza shops.
- CRM and marketing functionalities: Your software should automatically collect information about your customers to be used later for marketing campaigns. This can be done through built-in prompts that ask customers to provide feedback via SMS text or email notification.
2. Customer Loyalty Software for Pizza Businesses
A goal of any business is to keep customers coming back for more. That’s where customer loyalty software comes into play. This digital tool is a way to track customer behavior after their initial purchase, and is designed to then reward your customers based on certain parameters that your business sets. For example, you could offer a deal like “buy ten large pizzas, get one free.” This marketing tactic helps reach existing customers in an effort to increase brand loyalty and retention.
The best customers are returning customers, which is why loyalty program software is so important for your business. This software helps you engage with the people who already know and love your brand, which encourages them to buy more. Customer loyalty software builds excitement and sales through free gifts or special offers, helping to grow your business.
What to look for in your customer loyalty software:
- Ease of use: Make sure your software has the ability to both manually add customers and have an online opt-in form where customers can sign up for the program themselves.
- Customization options: You should have the ability to offer a wide variety of promotions and customize each one.
- VIP offers: Give customers even more incentive by rewarding them with special surprise offers from time to time, or by upgrading them to a VIP account after a certain threshold is met.
Some point-of-sale software supports built-in customer loyalty programs. If this is the direction you choose for your business, make sure that your software still gives you all of the options that standalone customer loyalty software provides, including transferable customer data for other marketing campaigns. This data will help inform you about how to structure your loyalty program based on your audience behavior.
3. Inventory Management Software for Pizza Businesses
You can’t be successful without the physical tools that it takes to carry out your business. Inventory management software can help you handle this. Used for tracking inventory levels, orders, sales, and deliveries, this digital system helps give you a snapshot of your assets.
Simply put, inventory management software assists in the daily operations of your business. Everything from pizza boxes to ingredients to napkins to receipt tape and more can be easily managed within the software, automatically. This not only keeps you organized and informed, but it also saves you incredible time and effort by eliminating manual counting.
What to look for in your inventory management software:
- Automatic reordering: Never run out of to-go bags or marinara again. The right software should alert you when items are running low, and automatically reorder them for you.
- Invoice integration: Even if you have to manually upload a scanned image of each invoice, you need a place to store your ongoing invoices related to inventory levels.
- Real-time reports: Know exactly where you stand at each moment with real-time reporting and insights.
Most point-of-sale software already offers some form of inventory management. It is up to you whether you should integrate with yours or opt for a separate inventory management software.
4. Reservations and Wait List Management for Pizza Businesses
Gone are the days of calling ahead to a restaurant to book a table. Now, customers are expecting a digital experience that will allow them to go online and set a reservation or join a wait list with just a couple of clicks. Luckily, you can easily make this available to your customers through a reservation and wait list management platform.
Partnering with a scheduling platform is important for both your customers and you. Customers will appreciate the ability to choose their dining time and cut down on their wait for a table. Your business will benefit from this increased satisfaction and the ability to quickly see who and how many are planning to dine with you.
What to look for in your reservation and wait list management platform:
- Customer-friendly interface: Customers should have the power to schedule, reschedule, cancel, and add details to their booking.
- Full menu display: The platform should provide your full menu to customers—or at least a link to the menu on your website.
- Up-to-the-minute wait times: Along with showing peak times for your restaurant, the platform needs to display the current queue and estimated time remaining.
As you search for a platform, consider using some of the popular wait list and reservation sites that show all of the restaurants in your area. This will make it easier for customers, and get you in front of more hungry people.
5. Delivery Software for Pizza Businesses
With a recent hike in demand for restaurant delivery, your pizza business needs a great delivery software. Delivery software is used to get your food to customers who are not at your physical location. The one you choose should have everything you need to complete this task, from order creation to route planning to delivery confirmation.
The right local delivery software will get your food to customers quickly. This allows customers to get the food they want when they want it and where they want it. Delivery software is also important because it cuts down on effort needed to actively manage deliveries, giving you more time to invest in growing your business.
What to look for in your delivery software:
- Easy-to-use dashboard: Everything you need to get an order to customers should be available in one single, easy-to-use dashboard. Bonus points if your software offers an app.
- Order management: The software needs to offer both automated and manual order entry, as well as the ability to edit orders.
- Real-time location tracking: Customers should know up-to-the-minute delivery estimates, and you should be able to track all of your drivers using location tracking.
- Mobile app for drivers: Drivers should be able to communicate with customers, route plan, confirm deliveries, and more within an app designed for them.
- Mobile app for businesses: Your delivery software’s mobile business app should provide all of the dispatch control panel functionalities available on a desktop version—but in a much more user-friendly smartphone or tablet setup. From adding drivers to tracking real-time locations of orders that are out for delivery, all of it should be possible with just a few simple taps.
Shipday can help with all of these features and more. Our delivery software for pizza businesses provides everything you need for successful delivery and happy customers. We help facilitate the entire process every step of the way, and can get your delivery service up and running in a matter of minutes.
6. Accounting Software for Pizza Businesses
Few things in operating a small business are as vital as accurate accounting. Accounting software is a digital tool that helps manage your finances, including document management (W9s and other tax papers), budgets, reporting, and more.
Your pizza business’ accounting software provides an all-in-one place for you to track and manage the figures for your business. This can be helpful for daily looks at where your restaurant stands as well as yearly reviews. Accounting software also makes setting goals for next week, month, or year easy.
What to look for in your accounting software:
- Security standards: You need to trust that the personal information of your business and your employees is safe.
- Digital file storage: The ability to scan pictures of paper documents manually or automatically pre-fill information, like employee W9s and other tax documents, will make record keeping easy.
- Multi-user access: You and your accountant should both be able to have user access to the software so that you can easily manage the information you need, as required.
While some point-of-sale softwares have accounting systems built in, it’s a good practice to have a dedicated space for this. Your accountant will be able to help you decide what is right for your small business.
As you research the right software for your pizza business, keep in mind that all of the software you choose should seamlessly work together. Look for automated integrations that will help your business run smoothly so that you can focus on gaining customers. When you have the right software systems in place, your business’ potential is limitless.