PizzaCloud has always strived to use the features of its advanced phone system to help increase pizzerias’ revenue and reduce labor costs. Four years ago, PizzaCloud added call center capabilities and today is running 14 different call centers, ranging from five to hundreds of seats. The smaller ones are run by multiunit operators, and the larger ones outsource, where a call center company provides the staff and the PizzaCloud platform is routing the calls, providing reporting, etc.

But in today’s labor market, the call centers have the same staffing issues as store owners. Call centers are more efficient, but, at the end of the day, you must have enough staff to cover the traffic. So PizzaCloud decided to finally build a “Virtual Call Center,” meaning an AI platform speaking with the callers, answering questions and taking orders.

They started by looking at the existing AI order-taking platforms and found profound issues with all of them.

  • High cost. Sometimes the cost is ridiculous—7% of the order or a flat $2.50. That’s way more than the average owner wishes to spend.
  • Poor quality. Bad natural-language processing means the system simply fails to understand the caller’s request. Many of the companies would say, “After a few months your customers will learn how to talk to the system.” Wow—wrong attitude! The system needs to adapt to the callers, not the other way around.
  • No ability to do normal prompts for repeat customers. For example: “Hello, David. I see your last order was two large pepperoni pizzas and 16 super hot wings. Would you like to repeat that order?”
  • No ability to handle coupons and specials.
  • Frequent errors involving business rules or combos. Let’s say you have a lunch special for $2 off a personal pizza, drink and side salad or chips. But the AI system sees it as $2 off a personal pizza, and you get hundreds of those orders.
  • No upselling! 

There are many causes of these problems, one being that the people writing the AI system have never worked in a restaurant—or, evidently, never ordered pizza. Another is lack of proper integration with the point-of-sale system. You have to get the order history before you can prompt for it. You have to get a list of specials and coupons before you can handle those requests.

So, PizzaCloud went back to the drawing board, found a great “AI tool kit” company and worked directly with multiple POS companies to get them to enhance their data connections to allow PizzaCloud to pull more data.

The result is a system that 1) customers are happy to use; 2) increases average ticket by upselling; 3) handles coupons and specials; and 4) is very accurate. Oh…and very reasonably priced: well under one dollar, with the exact price driven by volume and menu complexity.

For more information, call PizzaCloud at 866-511-5521, email, or visit


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