#Australia#social media#food#mobile#new zealand#iphone#AFN#Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar#Domino's Pizza Capers#Don Meij#Eagle Boys#Graeme Houston#Internet#Pizza Hut#QSR#Scott Geiszler#Tyson Cobb#WindowsPhone7#application#apps#digital marketing#pizza#restaurant

Order Up, Oz

|May 14|magazine13 min read

This story originally appeared here in the May issue of Business Review Australia magazine.

Written by Raya Greenbaum, WDM Staff Writer and Project Manager

Pile the pineapple on that slice of 'za, Australia: you are about to have as many options when it comes to ordering your pizza pie as toppings on your favourite slice.

In 2010, pizza was one of Australia’s top five meal solutions, according to Domino’s. Australian Food News also reported pizza has the fastest growing food trend in the Asia Pacific with the average Australian ordering once a month. This equals more than 264 million pizzas, or about 10 hectares, annually.

With an insatiable demand and the growing use of technology, it is understandable pizza chefs need to offer Down Under pizza cravers and pie scroungers more ways to have their customised slice of heaven delivered out in the bush.

Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Eagle Boys represent the Quick Service Restaurant pizza segment of the fast food market in Australia and New Zealand. QSRs are distinguishable major chains, and therefore not include smaller chains and independent outlets.

The new purchasing channels popping out of the oven offer a way to reduce the gap between customer and business. Benefits of these efficient methods of point of sale and back-of-house systems create a faster ordering process, and greater customer insight and operational performances, which result in higher customer satisfaction.

To properly picture this delectable digital communication pizza, imagine the usual phone ordering system as the crust followed with a saucy Internet. The proper cheesy coating is updated and enhanced websites sprinkled with a generous amount of e-marketing toppings:  social media, interactivity, reporting capabilities and applications for tablets and mobiles.

Domino’s expects more than half of its sales to come from this side of the business during the next three years, says Don Meij, Domino’s CEO and managing director. Out of these digital sales, more than half of that pie is expected to come from a portable device.

“This will mean more than 25 percent of our total sales are from customers who are using new hand-held technologies to order their favourite things,” Meij says. “We strongly believe in investing significant time and money into this platform and are already looking at ways to grow our digital footprint even more in the future.”

Eagle Boys ordered up the first WindowsPhone7 application in 2011 that allowed customers to access the menu, find their nearest store, and exclusive offers and coupons.

Breaking out of the typical cardboard box can be a challenge if plenty of care is not taken to quality check. Pizza Hut has instituted online training and recruitment systems, Graeme Houston says. These simple steps in the preparation process lead to less burnt crusts.

“They improve employee and franchise engagement, leading to better and more aligned customer experiences,” Houston says.  

The pizza sector is booming with technology surges, requiring more hands to knead the dough. Australia’s largest pizza company, Domino’s, announced more than 1,000 job openings in its 482 Australian stores in March. Smaller gourmet chain Pizza Capers is expanding its fat-free offerings into the Sydney market, adding 25 new stores to its already more than 100 locations.

The gourmet pizza industry is performing with the cost of eating a well-cooked pizza comparing favourably against the cost of eating in a restaurant, says co-founder Scott Geiszler. In order to properly cook up this ever-growing marketing opportunity, plenty of research and development must be stirred in. Pizza Capers takes care in measuring the main ingredient in creating the perfect pie: feedback.

“The founders are very active in R&D, and listen to feedback from customers and staff,” says Tyson Cobb, national marketing co-ordinator.

Social media is an effective method for customers to provide direct feedback to companies like Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar. Social media is a priority for Crust, combined with its website, online ordering VIP program and iPhone application, says CEO and co-founder Michael Logos. Fans and followers can tweet concerns or like what’s cooking, and expect two-way conversation.  

Pizzerias across Oz are taking a bite out of the digital pie. Be sure to grab a slice for yourself. Log on, download, call or walk right up to the counter. Your pizza chef is waiting for your order.