Car-side pick-up, delivery, 20-seat outdoor patio. We make American-style pizza using the highest quality products we can get our hands on. We have three different crust options: Original Hand Tossed (thin), Fat Crust (thick) and Cauliflower Crust.
The idea for car-side, although not a new concept (done by: Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse etc.), we had never seen it done with pizza before. The idea really came out of our need/desire to stand out in a town with 20 pizza competitors. Outstanding/superior customer service, combined with a quality product would be our staple. Car-side was going to be a huge part of our concept. People are looking for convenience in their lives. Example: My wife now orders all of her groceries online, drives to the same grocery store every week, and they bring her order out to her. She loves it…and because of that service, it is the only grocery store we now do business with. Light bulb moment! If they can do it with groceries, why couldn’t we do it with pizza? And we have. Over 70 percent of our orders are picked up car-side.
On car-side pickup logistics — You must have designated car-side parking close to your entry door, four to six designated parking spots for your car-side customers only and a reliable camera notification system letting you know the exact moment your customer has arrived. We use cameras and have a couple monitors in our store so we can stay on top of it. We ask the customer when they place their order what make and color of car they will be picking up in. This speeds up our car-side service. When they pull in we immediately know who they are. We can take their payment right at their car with a handheld payment device. We move quickly to their car. We do not want them waiting for service. We definitely do not want them getting out of their car and coming inside. We want them to be in awe of our speed and reliability. So the next time they order take-out pizza they remember Dougie John’s does it best!
Advice on adding car-side pickup — You have to sell out to it. Done poorly, car-side pickup can be a negative to the consumer, not a positive. For example: if you market to the consumer the speed and convenience of car-side pick-up, but you leave them waiting in their car for too long, they will be less likely to do car-side again. You must have one or two designated people running the car-side pickup at all times to do it right.