At That’s A Some Pizza and now Sourdough Willy’s, Will Grant has been satisfying Bainbridge Island, WA, locals with premium quality sourdough pies for more than three decades. Will is also an accomplished pizza-baking competitor and frequent speaker at Pizza Expo.
KEY IDEA – An early adopter of online digital ordering, Will has long offered his tightly focused menu of pizza, salad, beverages, and desserts for takeout and delivery via his own website.
Will’s POS company originally helped build the website menu and order platform. While buying an online-compatible POS system wasn’t cheap, the investment continues to pay for itself many times over.
Here’s how. First, accepting digital orders allowed Will to tap into the growing portion of consumers who prefer ordering that way. (Since 2016, more than half of all North American takeout and delivery orders across all restaurant types are being placed digitally.)
Second, while outside order-taking services would also allow Will to take digital orders, processing his own transactions directly has been even more cost effective.
KEY IDEA – Now this early-adopter is making another bold move! Since COVID, so many of Will’s regulars now prefer this cashless/touchless digital option that Will has decided to eliminate phone orders altogether! (Guests can still dial the restaurant for help
with “order emergencies.”)
Regarding digital ordering, Will’s guests seem to appreciate:
- Not feeling rushed while placing orders.
- Greater accuracy (eliminates misheard/misspoken verbal orders).
- Smoother pickup/delivery because orders are prepaid via credit card.
Will sees multiple advantages to completely switching over. First, based on the high percentage that order that way, the vast majority of his patrons already prefer it.
Second, eliminating phone orders greatly slims his staffing needs. Instead of multiple employees jotting down phone orders or cashiering “to go” payments, a single employee now coordinates Will’s delivery drivers, queues customer pickups, and answers occasional customer questions.
Closing is also faster since 100% cashless sales eliminates needing to reconcile cash drawers at shift end. Operationally, busy shifts are also far quieter. With no one on the phone and fewer “misheard orders” to correct, the kitchen workflow is smoother than ever.
Operationally, busy shifts are also far quieter. With no one on the phone and fewer “misheard orders” to correct, the kitchen workflow is smoother than ever.
It is true that a few older “phone only” customers have chosen to go elsewhere. However, eliminating verbal orders/ cashiering has allowed this “early adopter” to rebuild sales to pre-COVID levels with half the staff, greatly enhancing profitability in the process!