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John’s Pizza Cafe in Saint Paul, Minnesota opened in 1987 as a take and bake business - which didn’t work so well in the summers with warmer weather. So what did John Weatherston do? Added an oven, of course! From there they started delivering, and the rest is pizza history. An innovator in “fast casual” before that was an industry standard, delivery is now at the heart of John’s Pizza Cafe.
As a pizza shop owner, John experienced two milestones that changed his pizza life. First, attending Pizza Expo...because until you go to Pizza Expo, you haven’t really experienced the pizza right-of-passage. Secondly, finding the right pizza Point of Sale. That technology love where your POS knows and loves pizza just as much as you do, and birds sing, and cheese melts. “Having the right POS helps you understand your business. You know what you’re selling (or not selling), who you’re selling to (or not selling to), and you have a database that can help you build your menu, build your customer base, build your business,” says John.
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to jeopardize your bottom line (or your sanity). “A good POS takes all of the guesswork out of running the restaurant. You have the answers you need at your fingertips. Stops mistakes. Stops freebies. When I first bought a POS system, I was worried about something going wrong with the system. Now, that thought never crosses my mind...I don’t even think about things like that”.
As Easy As [Pizza] Pie
There’s a definite intimidation factor in trying to “speak technology”, but a good system speaks your language. It shouldn’t be the other way around. John’s favorite aspect of Thrive is how easy it is to use. “You don’t have to think about it. You aren’t losing money because of your cash register system. Your POS system has got to be the #1 priority item in your restaurant. It’s critical to a successful operation. Ovens, prep tables, various equipment...all those things are important. But the POS is the MOST important. If I was going to open up a second location, I would absolutely start with the POS!”