We’ve always been fans of pizza. Who isn’t, right? We’ve also always been following the growth and development of one of the company’s making ordering and buying pizza even easier for us consumers and for independent pizza shop owners.
We first visited the offices of Slice back in the summer of 2017. That visit was a full eight years after CEO and founder Ilir Sela started the company. By the summer of 2017, Ilir and his team had raised $33 million. Since then the company has raised two additional rounds. In 2019 they raised $42 million. And then came an $85 million round in mid-2020.
Now the online pizza ordering platform is expanding its product suite with the addition of a point-of-sale system and a rewards program for the consumer side of the equation. Slice is using the point of sale platform the company acquired via its acquisition of Instore. As part of the acquisition, the company has now named Instore CEO Matt Niehaus as senior vice president for payments.
Today the 15,000 pizzerias on the Slice network will now be able to run their businesses the modern way — no more pen and paper — and leverage customer-friendly technologies. Niehaus explained it this way. “If you run a pizzeria, you are certainly great at making pizza, but you are typically less comfortable with the accounting side.”
Taking on Domino’s
Niehaus doesn’t think existing POS systems are suited to the unique needs and workflows of pizzerias. He also pointed out that the average local pizzeria only sees 19% of its orders coming from online sources. By contrast, the average Domino’s location generates 75% of its orders online.
“Domino’s is really the competition. Not the POS companies,” he said.
So what is Slice’s new POS? It is a combination of both software and hardware. Think of it as a iPad interface with the back-end integrated with Slice’s ordering system. The solution will also enable pizza shop owners to execute email and mobile marketing campaigns. Like all good small business solutions, it will also offer the pizzeria owner a consolidated view of each customer.
For now, the Slice POS – aka Slice Register is available at no extra monthly charge but it will take a small “slice” of each transaction. Slice will announce its pricing plans next year.
The new Slice Rewards program will offer diners who order pizzas through the Slice platform a free large cheese pizza for every eight orders of at least $15. The Slice Rewards program is like the online ordering and POS platform in that it’s designed to help independent pizza stores compete on the same plain as the industry behemoth Domino’s.
Slice will foot the bill for the free pizza. Because Slice is paying for the pizza, consumers can order from Sally’s Pizza one night, and from Joey’s Pizza another night. Slice will combine these orders until they meet the eight order/$15 dollar threshold.
Here’s how Ilir described what they’ve learned on their journey with local pizza shops. “What we’re learning is the local consumer has up to four local favorites. And they love all of these locations equally . . . What we think is really cool is, you’re going to get rewarded for buying at all four of your local favorites.”
Now that is a concept we pizza lovers can really sink our teeth into.