By: Elizabeth Kelly, Marketing Specialist with SpeedLine Solutions Inc. SpeedLine builds point of sale systems for pizza and delivery restaurants.
Let me paint a scenario for you. A customer walks into your restaurant and orders two slices of pizza and a pop. Your employee knows how to enter that into the point of sale, collect payment, and give the hungry customer what they want. But what happens if the customer orders two slices of pizza, a pop, and a little bit of extra ranch sauce? Does your employee know how to charge for that? Or do they give that extra sauce away for free?
Do you offer delivery? Here’s another one: A customer calls in for two small pizzas to be delivered to the other end of town. That delivery is going to cost you extra in gas and labor because of how far it is, and two small pizzas may not cover it.
Situations like this happen everyday, whether you are aware of them or not. If your employees aren’t trained to deal with them, or your point of sale system isn’t set up to handle them, chances are you’re out money. Extras, add-ons, and distant deliveries are all things you should be charging for.
Charge for extras and add-ons.
In your restaurant’s point of sale system, start by setting up “extra” buttons for meats, cheeses, and sauces.
Charge for extra toppings on pizzas by ensuring ingredients are set up in your point of sale. If you use a pizza-specific POS, you should be able to enter the ingredients for each pizza, and the cost of each topping. If an extra topping is added to an order, your point of sale will automatically charge the correct amount for it, even on portioned pizzas.
You can also use this as an opportunity to upsell to your customers, by including prompts in the POS asking if the customer would like to add extra cheese or meat to certain menu items.
Train your staff.
Your staff shouldn’t be giving anything away without approval from you. While it may feel to them like they’re just being nice to a customer, it is actually theft from your business. This may be a habit they learned from coworkers, or it may be part of your company culture, but unless you give things away for marketing purposes, it’s lost money.
Once you have a system in place to charge for add-ons and extras, take the time to thoroughly train your staff. Walk order-taking staff through entering orders with extras using the point of sale training mode, and make sure prep staff know what portions to use for extras. Also train them on the portions for each “extra,” and how to inform customers that there is a charge, to avoid nasty surprises.
Cover your delivery costs.
Set a minimum charge for distant delivery zones, or increase your delivery charge based on distance to cover costs.
Ensure your delivery fees are calculated based on your real costs, like gas, labor, insurance, and vehicle maintenance. Then design your delivery zone fees around those costs, and remember to allow for any road tolls. Make sure these delivery zones are entered into your point of sale, so the proper amount is automatically added to every delivery transaction. By using an online ordering provider that pulls prices from your point of sale, you’ll also be able to ensure that delivery fees are correctly added to orders placed online.
Charging correctly for the things you sell is important in every industry, but especially for restaurants, with their narrow margins. Decrease your restaurant’s delivery and food costs by ensuring your extras, add-ons, and delivery costs are always covered.