Rusty's Pizza Parlor

Online Ordering System
Rusty's Pizza Parlor

Rusty's Pizza Parlor is a beloved institution in its California markets. With eight restaurant locations in Santa Barbara and ten in Bakersfield, the company has secured a large and loyal customer base by offering premium-quality food and the easiest possible way to place orders.

Visus LLC created a state-of-the-art online ordering system for Rusty's that lets desktop and mobile users efficiently order pizza and other menu items from a web browser. Visus also created a new website and content management system (CMS) that allows authorized users at Rusty's to control corporate web content.

"We had a very specific vision of what we wanted in an online ordering experience," explains Tyler Duncan, president of Rusty's Pizza Parlor. "Visus did a great job of turning that vision into a reality by delivering an incredibly stable online ordering platform that is very easy for our customers to use."

In the first year following the launch of the Visus solution, Rusty's set an all-time record in sales – up eight percent from the previous year. "We are selling more pizzas as a direct result of the new website and online ordering system," Duncan says. "The response from our customer base has been phenomenal. Visus exceeded my highest expectations."

Simplicity is king in consumer-facing technology, but it's also one of the hardest things to do well. Visus delivered an online ordering solution that differentiates us from our competitors with its ease of use and clean interface. Our steadily increasing sales since launch indicate it's exactly what our customers wanted.
– Tyler Duncan, President, Rusty's Pizza Parlor

Careful Planning Yields Easy-to-Manage Web Platform

With an educational and professional background in IT and business, Duncan understands that leveraging technology can give his company a competitive edge. Rusty's built a centralized call center in the early 1990s. The call center has been very successful, streamlining internal operations and giving customers a single telephone number for all locations, citywide.

Meanwhile, a new generation of tech-savvy consumers has entered the market, preferring clicks to calls. With major competitors offering options for online ordering, Rusty's sought a technology provider that could modernize the ordering experience for customers and put a new digital face on the company.

Rusty's initially hired an offshore firm to create an online ordering system. But after more than a year of substandard results, it became clear that the provider lacked the necessary talent and design skills to deliver a solution that would meet the high expectations of the popular restaurant chain and its customers. "We needed skilled resources that could rescue the project for us," Duncan recalls. "I saw the success other businesses in our area experienced as a result of solutions Visus provided. I was confident they could get the job done for us."

Duncan knew he was serving up a tall order for the team at Visus. Because pizza is a customizable product, the online ordering system required a unique database design. And the new platform needed to be fully integrated with the proprietary Linux-based call center and point-of-sale (POS) system that connects Rusty's stores. "Our project was complicated but Visus made it look easy," he says.

We needed a home run when it came to offering our customers an online ordering experience. Visus hit it out of the park by delivering an incredibly stable system that has been thoroughly tested and vetted. Our customers love it.
– Tyler Duncan, President, Rusty's Pizza Parlor

Visus organized a series of meetings to discuss the requirements with Rusty's management. They also studied the online ordering systems of other major players in the restaurant industry. The consensus was that many of Rusty's competitors had missed the mark and failed the customer, indulging in flashy graphics instead of delivering smooth functionality. Rusty's wanted its system to have a clean, user-friendly interface so customers could place orders with a minimum of pages and clicks.

"Doing the design and engineering work upfront truly pays off," Duncan says. "It's what separates Visus from other providers. Visus is a pioneer in how projects are managed and controlled. They took the time to understand our needs, our industry, and our customers' expectations. That was critical to their success in delivering the solution we envisioned."

Customers Embrace a Dependable Online Ordering System

Rusty's uses software from oneSystem for its well-established call center and POS platform. To integrate the new online ordering system with the call center and POS, Visus worked with the software architects at oneSystem to extend the capabilities of the call center API that allows the website to communicate with the proprietary Linux-based system.

Developed with ASP.NET Web Technology and Microsoft SQL Server database, the new online ordering websites for desktop systems and mobile devices give Rusty's a fresh, modern web presence and offer customers a simple and efficient ordering experience.

Customers can store multiple telephone numbers and delivery addresses, such as home and work. They can save items and entire orders as favorites that can be easily reordered, and they can place timed-orders that specify when and where food is to be delivered. For pickup orders, the site allows customers to specify which restaurant location is most convenient for them.

The new website and online ordering system are desktop, tablet, and smartphone friendly. Authorized personnel at Rusty's can log in as administrators to make changes to the company website and the online ordering site, with full control over the menu of products, descriptions, options, and other details.

The Visus team was very professional and easy to work with. They developed the online ordering solution we envisioned, on time and on budget. We would definitely work with them again.
– Tyler Duncan, President, Rusty's Pizza Parlor

Visus used Telerik Reports to create an analytics tool that provides insight into website traffic and transactions via webbased reports. Company leaders can get an overview of all stores and drill down into a region or an individual restaurant to acquire details.

Metrics from those reports confirm a consistent upward trend in online ordering and overall sales since the launch of the new site.

"We originally projected that this system would pay for itself within five years," Duncan says. "But based on the steady increase in revenue it delivers, we now expect a full return on our technology investment within only two years. Our exceptional web presence brings more new business to Rusty's every month. People love how easy it is to order food from us. The solution Visus delivered is an absolute success."

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