CLEVELAND — Think independent pizzerias are too small to afford and benefit from online ordering? Think again. Six-unit Rascal House Pizza in Cleveland has launched an innovative online ordering site developed by O-Web Technologies and ticket averages are rising. (Read also Web ordering: From computer to makeline.)
 
According to a news release, the chain has received more than 500 online registrations since the recent launch of its new online order mechanism. Rascal House's average online order size is about $28, which is nearly 40 percent higher than the average call-in order.
 
O-Web research shows customers tend to return to online ordering sites because they're convenient. The site retains registered customers' order history, which gives them the option to repeat previous orders automatically. Retained order history also allows Rascal House to customize direct marketing efforts to each shopper.
 
"If a customer ordered a veggie pizza in the past, the system suggests something similar when they come back," said Niko Frangos, vice president of Rascal House Pizza. "This isn't just blind marketing to a diverse customer base; we're able to cater toward what they're actually interested in. We're not just interested in sales, but also knowing our customers. These tools make it possible."
 
Rascal House plans to continue to market the system through in-store promotions and all major mailings, but the online system also will return the favor. Future marketing plans will use system-stored information for special e-mail campaigns that will target specific users' personal food preferences. New revisions of the software also will utilize specialized artificial intelligence technology for smarter upselling of new menu options based on trends in each customer's ordering patterns.
 
Rascal House's online ordering system now is completely integrated into each franchise and should help owners better manage their increased business as colleges and universities reconvene in the next few weeks.
 
For more information, contact Stan Garber at O-Web Technologies, 440-785-2870.

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