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How to market a pizzeria

Updated on August 4, 2015

Marketing the modern pizzeria

Introduction

The knowledge of how to correctly market your pizzeria over the first two years, will determine the prosperity of your pizzeria over the longer term. By the close of the second year you will know the approximate amount of gross sales you are going to have over the long term in your pizzeria.

You will have shaped how you will market your pizzeria over the coming decade, and even though you will increase your gross sales during the good years, your long term sales are fairly well determined. Since the way you market your pizzeria the first two years is so important to the long term profitability of your pizzeria, we need to investigate it in this article, and understand how to successfully market your pizzeria during the first two years.

Your opening pizza special
Your opening pizza special

Getting ready to open

When you are finished with your final inspections, and you have tested your equipment to make sure everything is ready, it is time to start your marketing. You need to establish a three mile radius area and start passing out fliers. This will establish your gross sales through the first week, so your opening special needs to be good.

Since about 36% of pizza customers buy pepperoni pizzas, that is the pizza I would use for an opening special. It is an easy pizza to make well, so I would use it to attract customers. You need to have something like a large 14” pepperoni pizza for $5.00 on pickup to get off to a good start. After all you want a majority of the people in the area to try your pizza, and see how good it is compared to the pizzas at the other places .

You then need to get ready for your grand opening after you have been in business for about three weeks. By that time you should be ready to handle the rush of a grand opening and the business it will bring. However, no matter what, don't do your grand opening till you are fully ready.

The grand opening is what will make a good or bad overall impression, so make sure you are ready. You need to come up with about three good specials for your grand opening, that will make a good impression. I would use the pepperoni pizza for a single topping pizza, a meat lover pizza, and a supreme pizza for specialty pizzas.

You will have to come up with different names for the last two, as those are trademarked by pizza hut. After you have had a good grand opening it is time to start planning your marketing for the first year, which is what we will take up next.


using pos for online ordering

Marketing the first year

The first year of pizza marketing will set the parameters for your future gross sales, and will define the type of pizzeria that you run. will you have an average pizza and get your sales through discounting, or will you have a really good pizza and get some of your new business through major discount coupons, but build your online presence, and use this online presence to build a good business without major discounting.

You will need to use coupons heavily during the Monday through Thursday period. During this time you are trying to reach working families without a lot of money to spend. These are people who will order mostly single ingredient pizzas, and want to feed their families without spending a lot of money, because they are to tired to cook.

If you don't offer them a discount they will go to one of the big four franchise pizzerias that will give them a discount. During this four day period you will do about forty percent of your gross business.

The next time period to consider is the Friday and Saturday period, and during this period you will do about 50 percent of your gross business. These are the two days when you will sell most of your multi ingredient pizzas. You will need a meat lover type of pizza, and a supreme type of pizza to really succeed during these two days. You will also need a three ingredient pizza and a five ingredient pizza to have good gross sales during these two days.

With this type of combination pizzas and a really good pizza overall, you should do well on the weekend. On Sundays you will sell a lot of pizzas to fans watching sporting events. This is pretty much how your week will happen in the pizza business.

The next thing to consider is your online presence, and how you will build that presence up to securing at least 20 percent of your business from online ordering by the end of the first year. These online orders are what will get you through the weekend without major problems.

The first thing to consider is that you have to have a good website, however that is just the start. You then need a POS provider who will provide online ordering capabilities. This company should also provide smart phone apps for mobile ordering and put it all together, so that it doesn't matter whether the order comes in by phone, by online ordering, or by smart phone app, it will print out on the pizza make line.

There is only one company that I know about with all those capabilities, and that is Revention. You can reach them at www.revention.com. This type of POS system is very important to your overall success.

We will now look at how to drive customers towards being online customers, and succeed with the younger generation. You will need to have little coupons printed up that offer a discount if you order online. Every order that comes in over the phone gets one of these coupons tagged to it before it goes out.

The POS system will mark how the order came in, and then you can staple a coupon to the receipt, if it was a phone order. You will also want to offer special coupons to customers that they only see when they order online. All of these things will drive more people to order online and save you money on labor cost.

The next thing we will look at is the three major reasons why you want customers to order online. The first reason is because you get larger orders, on average about 18 percent bigger. The second reason is because customers don't use discounts as much when ordering online. The third reason is because you have lower error rates when customers order online.

There is of course the idea that you also save on your labor cost when people order online. If you are doing a good job of pushing customers to order online, you should be getting about 20 percent of your orders that way by the end of the first year.

The next thing to consider is how you get your initial order from a customer during the first year. This is where passing out fliers is a useful tool. You need to have the ability to pass out a thousand fliers every day to build up your business during the first year. The flier would have a coupon on it that would be good Monday through Thursday as a limited time offering.

The idea behind a limited time offering is that you can stop it anytime you want to, and all your coupons should be worded this way. The website should also be talked about in the flier and how there are more coupons if you order online. You will always want to push everyone towards online ordering in all your advertisements.

Remember that the main idea in all your advertisements during the first year is to build your customer base. You want the vast majority of all people in your delivery area to try your pizza more than once during the first year.

The second idea behind online ordering is to get your customers email address. It is cheaper and easier to send your customers an email, than to get their attention any other way. The main thing to remember with email is not to send them to often. That means not more than once every two weeks, and preferably not more than once a month.

You should use email to contact customers that haven't ordered recently with the idea of getting them to order again on a regular basis. Over the course of the first year you need to try to build up a list of at least two thousand email addresses for your database. Then if business slacks off you can send an email to your database to bring it back around again.






getting orders from mobile apps

Marketing for the long term

Over the longer period of the next five years the thing to remember is that pizza ordering is a habit driven process, and customers will return to where they have ordered multiple times before, and have been pleased on many occasions.

The idea during the first year is to get enough steady customers to create a profitable business. This would probably be around two thousand customers that order at least once a month.

In the second through the fifth year you need to try and build a business that will justify putting up your own building. That would be a business of at least $10,000.00 a week or more.

If you are doing a business of at least $5,000.00 a week, then that would justify signing another five year lease, and anything under that amount I would look for another location to do business.

The marketing emphasis over the long term should be on the website, ordering, and doing the majority of your marketing by email. As a small business do not waste your time with newspaper advertising, television advertising, or radio advertising. You cannot do the volume of advertising necessary to get any real benefit from these forms of advertising.

Your business is going to mainly come from passing out fliers, good use of your website, effective use of online ordering, email marketing, and marketing by text message. If you cannot build a good business with these forms of advertising you are probably in the wrong area of business, or doing something wrong in your advertising.


Summary

The way that you market your pizzeria will determine just how successful you are in the pizza business. The pizza business is about 80 percent marketing and 20 percent how good your pizza is.

All of the large pizza chains understand this, and are successful because of the quality of their marketing, not because of the quality of their pizza. Most of them at best just have an average pizza, and with others the pizza is not even average. The only reason that they are successful is because they are very good at marketing.

Think how good a local pizzeria would be if they were really effective at marketing, and used the right equipment to put out a good pizza at a fast rate that would really please customers. The problem is that a lot of local owners have a good pizza but don't understand how to market and they also use inferior equipment that is slow at finishing pizzas.

The new conveyor ovens cook a pizza in four minutes compared to the old deck ovens that take twelve minutes and burn pizzas if not watched closely. The reason that they use these inferior ovens is because they usually get them for a couple thousand dollars compared to almost nineteen thousand for one of the new conveyors ovens.

Most local pizzerias are there own worst enemy because they won't do the right type of marketing, and they usually try and buy the cheapest equipment they can. As a person just going into this, you need to learn a lesson and do things the right way.

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    • Dan Johnson18 profile image

      Dan Johnson18 3 years ago

      You can also look-up this awesome pizza directory http://ca.mypizza411.com/ and find pizza place near you!

    • Jason Feemster profile image

      Jason Feemster 2 months ago

      I noticed you have a picture of the Harbortouch POS system. It works great for pizza restaurants and can help with your marketing efforts. http://www.harbortouchpossoftware.com

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