At the heart of Vittoria Wynne’s journey to crafting Sydney’s best pizza has always been the concept of growth.
From her shift from the advertising field into the hospitality industry, Vittoria has used her life experience to grow Society Pizzeria from pipe dream to reality.
“The original idea came from food trucks, who were making artisanal food more available and accessible,” Vittoria shared. “So, we started with a mobile pizza oven and migrated to our pizzerias over time.”
Vittoria believes that founding Society Pizzeria with her brother, Jonathan Faro, was an “organic and slow-paced” transition from their initial catering business. Society Pizzeria, based in Bondi, was actually initially established to act as a permanent base for food preparation for the catering business. It was only after the venue started generating more revenue than catering that the pair knew that it was time to shift their business plan and grow their business. This adaptable business mindset and focus on natural and organic growth is something that Vittoria attributes to their success.
Following the success of Society Pizza on Bondi Road, Vittoria decided to open a second venue, Society Pizzeria di Catania, at Bondi Beach. While opening two restaurants in the same suburb sounds like a recipe for disaster, Vittoria was able to ensure both could co-exist by guaranteeing the experiences at both establishments remained different enough. “We compete with ourselves in a deliberate and controlled way,” Vittoria explained. “We have a much greater eat-in focus at Bondi Beach and a pure takeaway vibe at Bondi Road.”
This differentiation between locations enabled both Bondi restaurants to thrive, which inspired the idea to open a second Catania location in the bustling Sydney suburb of Potts Point. However, this business growth was not without some expected growing pains. “They say that success is a bad teacher and for us, it was,” Vittoria said. “We made our big mistake early by biting off more than we could chew in a venue that didn’t match our offer.”
Despite having a great product, great reviews and a growing customer base, the restaurateurs couldn’t make the Potts Point location work like their Bondi ones. After closing their second Catania location, Vittoria says that the pair now employ a much more disciplined, data-educated approach when making decisions. This new style of operation was supported by a change in their point-of-sale system to NCR Silver which has given them more data, which Vittoria believes is crucial to the success of a business.
Even though Vittoria used a perfectly-good system that rarely broke down, she explained it was fairly basic with a highly-manual back end which made it hard to understand what was actually happening in the business. Vittoria explains that since switching to NCR Silver, the “instant access to rich business data, accessible in real-time from anywhere” has allowed for “more confident and successful decision-making.”
While immediate growth may not be on Society Pizzeria’s short-term business plan, Vittoria is confident that her new NCR Silver point-of-sale system will support any business move she makes from here on out. She attributes this to the ease of installation and the 24/7 support system that is just a phone call away, which ensures that she’s back up and running quickly if the system goes down so the business doesn’t lose money.
Beyond this previously untapped, insightful data that is now at her fingertips, Vittoria says her favourite part of her new sales system is how easily her staff has adapted to and adopted it. Not only saving her time and money, the intuitive user-experience has meant Vittoria has been able to reap the efficiency benefits. With minimal downtime in installing and understanding the system, the NCR Silver Concierge team setting up the menu items on the POS for her, and limited time needed to train her team, the staff were able to quickly begin efficiently serving the customers who have helped to grow her business to the level it is at today.
Despite having a chef who placed in the top three pizza chefs in the world, Vittoria explains that it was actually the loyal customers who voted Society Pizzeria best pizza in Sydney. “We didn’t coin that phrase, we earned it through customer advocacy,” Vittoria said. “We’ve been voted best pizza by our customers, and that’s the key.”
Through the ups and downs of the evolution of her business, Vittoria’s main learning is that growth is not always necessarily the key to success. “I’m not sure I believe in growth for growth’s sake,” Victoria concluded. “I would rather be consistently brilliant and consistently profitable than constantly growing.”
Society Pizzeria is one of many small-medium Australian businesses who have switched to NCR Silver. NCR Silver is the all-in-one POS, marketing and business management solution that can help grow business profits, make life easier, and save serious time for Small Business owners. To find out more about NCR Silver, head to ncrsilver.com.au.