The Italian Place, “THE” destination for fresh, delicious and authentic Italian favorites, is sharing lessons learned during COVID-19 – including its strategy to leverage self-serve kiosks to streamline its ordering process, maintain consistency and enhance convenience and safety for customers. Although The Italian Place is an emerging concept at the start of its franchising journey, their significant upfront investment in technology has enabled them to remain adaptable in these uncertain times, and increase its revenue and profitability.
“We pivoted fast, communicated with our customers, and pursued opportunities to build efficiencies and add profitability to our model,” said Adriana Penachio-Sifakis, founder of The Italian Place. “We added pizza to our menu, leveraging the latest ventless technology to cook the pies in 90 seconds at more than 900 degrees, which enabled us to increase revenue and profitability over the past few months.”
In addition to ventless technology, The Italian Place is making full use of its portable self-serve kiosks. The kiosks can be moved easily to a window or other isolated area in the store, giving customers the ability to place orders without the need to come into direct contact with a person. Customers are also able to quickly review products, pairings and process their orders independently with additional payment options like Apple Pay.
Like other fast-casual concepts, The Italian Place is also finding success through online ordering. They launched online ordering more than one year ago, allowing customers to place orders from their mobile device or computer. Customers can schedule their time of pickup for convenience, and the store can capture contact information for its loyalty program and continue to remain engaged with its customers.
“In light of what’s happening in the world today and how it has impacted folks in the food space, online ordering and self-serve kiosk ordering has made a significant difference,” said Penachio-Sifakis. “The kiosks provide a seamless process for customers to quickly place their order in our busy and fast-paced world, and with a global pandemic, they appreciate the convenience factor even more now than ever before.”
The Italian Place is partnered with Fransmart, the industry-leading franchise development company behind household brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries and The Halal Guys, as its exclusive franchising partner to grow the brand.
“Concepts with built-in technology are thriving and continuing to see sales growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging chains should take notice,” said Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart. “Investing in technology may seem like an unnecessary gamble for an emerging concept, but in these unprecedented times, operators are seeing first-hand how crucial it is to remain adaptable and nimble. Technology can play a key role in a concept’s ability to pivot and address changing customer behaviors.”