For Dave Cozzola, a love of pizza runs deep. His Italian ancestry instilled an appreciation for delicious food and it was a central part of his early years. His uncle regularly took a young Dave and his brothers to sample pie at Chicago's best pizzerias. Years later, Dave turned favorite bread recipes into pizza crusts and began experimenting with various sauces, inviting friends over for regular pizza parties at his house. His friends talked him into opening a shop, and in 1987 Cozzola's Pizza was born. Now, nearly 25 years later, Dave's pioneering use of offbeat and healthy ingredients has been adopted by the mainstream. But his commitment to his customers is what really sets him apart.
We sat down with Dave to discuss how the technology he uses makes a difference in his operation. Since 2007, his FireFly pizza point-of-sale system has helped him manage effectively, gain new customers, and even get some time to relax at home (rarely).
“By far, my favorite feature with the Firefly POS system is that it allows me to support the store remotely from my basement. I can also keep tabs on what is happening while it's happening. There are a ton of things I like about the software. It's feature-rich and incredibly powerful. Of all the products that I looked at when we bought, it offered the greatest flexibility and sophistication."
Customers For Life
Customers are at the heart of Dave’s business, so keeping them happy is his top priority. “One simple marketing strategies I have used is to export my new customers. I just mail merge the list into a personal welcome letter where I introduce myself as the owner of the business, thank them for giving us a try, and tell them what we’re all about. I want them to know why they made a great decision to buy our pizza. And I’ll give them an offer - like $5 off their next order. The POS system makes this easy to do and it’s very effective.”
Once a customer becomes a regular, the FireFly system can help smooth over the occasional rough spot. “I love the FireFly customer credit feature,” explained Dave. “If we make a mistake, we just issue a credit in the POS system. Customers love it when they call up and we tell them that we owe them a free pizza because we put pepperoni on instead of sausage last time. They can’t believe that they don’t have to remind us. We can take a bad experience and turn it into something that will keep a customer forever.”
FireFly's customer credits feature help you give great customer service to win back customers you may have otherwise lost!
Another favorite feature is FireFly’s Customer Groups. “They are easy to set up and it's a great way of making someone feel special. I hate seeing other pizza places delivering to people on the street where I live. So I created the "Dave's Neighbor" discount for the pizza eaters on the block. I haven't seen a competitor's vehicle on my street for over a year!”
Check out this video on how the FireFly point-of-sale system helps restaurants market to key customer groups - like Dave's Neighbors!
Dave’s got two locations - one with the FireFly POS system and one with an older piece of software. “Order taking is very quick with Firefly. Even complicated customer requests are handled quickly. I love that we can easily add messages for our make table and drivers for special requests for individual items as well as for the whole order. FireFly is very robust when it comes to pricing & discounting. We have some pretty unusual pricing rules & FireFly can handle them all.”
“It’s amazing how much quicker we get deliveries out at the store with the FireFly system,” Dave commented. “The routing, mapping - everything we need to know about the order is right there. We're extremely efficient - not just in getting orders out the door quicker. The "driver alert" feature has eliminated return runs for forgotten items and hugely improved customer service on the delivery side.”
Feeling Secure about Credit Card Processing
These days, credit cards can be a huge liability for small business owners. “It’s hard to keep up with all the details of PCI compliance,” said Dave. "It gets extremely technical and keeping up with it seems to be a full job in and of itself. But we recently switched to PPI for credit card processing because with the direct Firefly integration, all credit card entering the system is pre-encrypted - whether it is swiped or key-entered, and no credit card data is stored in our system. Obviously we have other safeguards against data compromise, but even if a hacker were to gain access to our system, he'd be disappointed to find no useful information there. The people at PPI have been extremely helpful and the Firefly interface was quick, simple and without a single glitch.
It’s Not A POS - It’s A Relationship
“My feeling is that your relationship with your POS provider is the most important one you have as a restaurant owner - more than any other vendor. The POS is so critical and you have to be able to count on it at all times,” said Dave. “My relationship with the FireFly team has been great. Not only are the techs at Firefly extremely proficient, they're all personable and very easy to work with, unlike our previous system where they always seemed annoyed when we had a problem. With Firefly we get a ton of personal attention and hand-holding even though we are just a small one-store client. And the system has never crashed.”
More About Cozzola's, GRS & PPI
Dave’s great pizza can be ordered online at www.cozzolaspizza.com. The FireFly POS system is by Granbury Restaurant Solutions (www.granburyrs.com), providers of complete technology solutions for restaurants including point-of-sale, online & mobile ordering, customer loyalty and enterprise management solutions. PPI, the preferred credit processing partner for GRS, offers merchants great value and peace of mind at https://www.paypros.com/landing/granbury.asp.