good systems

good systemsHave you ever noticed what word is often referred to when we’re discussing a group of components and actions that produce a desired and repeatable result? System. There are economic systems, nervous systems, ecosystems, and more. Systems are responsible for achievement; indeed, systems are critical to life itself. And though systemitizing your pizzeria isn’t likely to solve global warming, it is likely to make your pizzeria more efficient and more profitable.

Good systems = great service = happy customers = profits

That’s the topic of a seminar I’ll be giving next March at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, and it’s a topic I live and preach every single day at our Detroit Style Pizza Co. locations. Systems lend themselves to success for a variety of reasons: they’re easy to maintain, and they provide blueprints for employee training and expectations.

Your pizzeria should have incorporate several different systems to maximize your success, including systems for:

  • food prep and baking
  • storage
  • taking orders
  • serving
  • delivery
  • cleaning

Moreover, each of these systems can be further broken down into smaller tasks, or checklists. Checklists make it easy for staff members to follow proven methods that produce a desired outcome. So, if you want clean, spot-free silverware, you might have a checklist that covers washing, sanitizing, drying, and double-checking the silverware.

Having systems broken down into checklists not only allows you to reproduce desired results, it also helps you hold people accountable for their responsibilities. At Detroit Style Pizza Co., we use iPads to track our systems. Employees log in at their stations and manually check off each task as it is complete. The system logs the employee, task, and time of completion. If a link in the chain is broken, it is then easy to pinpoint the problem and quickly correct it.

Another benefit to having well-defined systems is the ability to continually improve upon them. Employees might notice inefficiencies they can bring up at meetings; then, you can test a different task or ordering of tasks within your system. If it proves better, you can make it permanent. Again, using technology simplifies this process for us; I can make the change at a remote computer, and our iPads automatically reflect the change.

When you incorporate systems into your pizzeria, you are able to accomplish more in less time – and you’re able to reproduce the desired results every time. That leads to consistent recipes, spot-free forks, on-time deliveries, and clean facilities. Those things, of course, make customers happy. When customers are happy, they come back and they share their experience with their friends, families, and colleagues, who then come to your pizzeria. All of this adds up to increased profits and greater success.

If you do not incorporate systems into your pizzeria, it’s time to do so; if you do have systems, it’s time to reevaluate them to ensure they’re as efficient as possible. While the initial setup can be somewhat tedious and your systems deserve consistent tweaking for improvement, the immediate and long-term benefits of creating and following good systems are incredible.