&pizza, a 40+ location restaurant chain, has been working with Happy Cog for years to help its business stand out in a highly competitive market. When the pandemic hit the U.S. last March, &pizza shifted all of its transactions to digital channels. Even after its physical locations began to reopen, a significant percentage of orders still came from digital platforms we worked on. As a result of our efforts, &pizza saw its highest digital sales ever amidst the pandemic.
Adapting to COVID Restrictions
In the span of just one month last year, the chain’s number of new guests increased by nearly 360%, from about 10,000 individuals in February to nearly 47,000 in March. &pizza needed to step up its game early and fast; the ability to accept a high volume of digital orders was a virtual must for &pizza to survive the pandemic. As their digital agency of record, Happy Cog stepped up to the challenge.
A Digital Revamp
We first expanded their online ordering system with direct integrations to third-party delivery providers like UberEats and DoorDash in order to make the playing field larger for them. We then implemented a new curbside pickup feature and integrated text messaging system to keep consumers safe when picking up their pies. For example, when an order is ready, the system sends an automated text to the guest; guests can also pick their parking spot or let &pizza know where they are in the new interface for ease and convenience.
Following curbside pickup, we then worked with &pizza and their design team to revamp their entire menu interface, from pie selection to checkout, to make it more accessible. The goal was to make the menu easier to navigate, allow for quick selection of your pie and extras with a single click, and enhance the overall look and feel of the experience. Guests can now browse through many new pie creations by &pizza’s culinary team and easily customize their order by adding and removing ingredients from a vast list of options. We built a new interface to highlight the large list of ingredient options paired with colorful photos.
Redesigning the Guest Experience
To support the increase in guest traffic, new menu offerings, and ability for a guest to choose curbside or in-shop smart pickup, &pizza needed a more streamlined way to manage order interactions. Happy Cog built a whole new infrastructure and system in the form of back-of-the-house expo tablets that make it easier to give the shop instant order status information and guest interactions.
Now, when new orders come into a shop, they appear on an expo tablet where a team member can quickly triage orders in progress and those ready to be delivered to guests. The simple statuses for the orders let the team members clearly assess the current status of the pie and quickly respond directly to the guest if there are any issues or questions via an integrated text messaging platform. When a guest arrives at the shop, they have a space in the mobile app to enter in their parking space number and identify their vehicle. That information displays on their corresponding order that the team member sees on the expo tablet. Once the order has been handed off to the guest, the team member can quickly complete the order with a one-touch action on the expo tablet. The expo tablet has revolutionized the way team members interact with each other, guests, and their orders. Team members no longer have to physically check to see when orders are ready by opening a pizza hot box storage.
Along with a redesigned guest ordering interface and streamlined shop order hand-off processes, the kitchen display system (KDS) needed some upgrades. Happy Cog originally built the KDS software and hardware for &pizza three years ago and, while there had been many requests for enhancements over the years, with COVID and increased shop orders, it was time for a refresh. Happy Cog worked with &pizza to retrofit the existing KDS systems to allow for team members to “bump” an order through each of the three build processes. With a single click of a button, an order’s pie build can be passed between 2 or more crafting stations in the shop. Orders are segmented into cards with easily scannable ingredients and notes of substitutions. This streamlined process allows an order to be started and finished with fewer errors of missing ingredients, etc.
Record Digital Sales
Over the last 6 months, &pizza’s priority has been to build up their overall digital presence and we’ve worked right alongside them to make those goals a reality. From fast requirements gathering, to rapid prototyping and development sprints, Happy Cog has been able to turn out multiple new features and enhancements to their mobile and online ordering experiences.
As far as numbers go, &pizza saw its highest digital sales ever amidst the pandemic. And, in the course of just mere weeks, &pizza saw 10 times the digital volume on its ordering system. Because of increased sales, Happy Cog and &pizza are exploring more options for the future including enhanced delivery features and other technical third-party optimizations.