Bill York's Idea Forum

Strategy #93
Put the Wireless Web to Work For You!

You've probably noticed the recent explosion in wireless devices. Internet-enabled wireless phones and Palm Pilots™ are showing up attached to just about everyone's belt. So how can you tap into this great new marketing tool?

One way is by partnering with E*TRADE®, the online banking and brokerage company. They are looking for high traffic locations where they can locate an ATM machine to give their customers, as well as just about anyone else with a debit or credit card, access to their cash.

As a business owner, you can see several benefits from the E*TRADE® program. When you buy or lease the cash machine, you set the charge that the customer pays to use the machine, and you (not the bank) get to keep the majority of that money. So with just a few transactions per day, you can make a decent profit each month on a very small footprint in your operation.

What's more, with a cash machine in your restaurant, you can encourage your customers to pay in cash. What's the advantage? Not only will it help to reduce your credit card fees and bad checks, but studies also show that customers who pay with cash tend to spend more readily in your establishment.

So what does all this have to do with wireless technology? That's one of the best parts. E*TRADE® has 3 million plus account holders who are looking to access their money. Since E*TRADE® is a bank without any traditional branches, the only way customers can get to their cash is through an ATM machine. On the E*TRADE® web site, they've got an "ATM Locator" program that lets customers enter their zip code to find the nearest ATM machine. If you've got one, your restaurant name and address will pop up on the web site, or on the wireless web application. So if the customer is driving around town looking for an ATM machine, they can look it up on their internet phone or organizer and they will be directed right to your restaurant, where chances are they will buy a pizza!

The ATM machine doesn't stop marketing once the customer is in the restaurant, either. You can promote your in-store specials on the screen, and with coupons that print from the machine. Since this promotion happens before your customers order, it's particularly effective for up-selling or promoting new products.

So how do you get hooked up with this E*TRADE® program? Work with FireFly Technologies. The team at FireFly has been working with pizza operators for years, helping to implement money-making cash management solutions, so E*TRADE® has partnered with FireFly to bring this concept to the pizza market. You can call FireFly Technologies at 866-678-6781 or e-mail them for more information at info@fireflypos.com.

Strategy #94
Image, Awareness and Profits…..in a Shake!

"Why didn't I think of that? Customers look at this….shake their heads…and then shake the bottle. It's a winner.

If you're like a lot of pizza restaurants your dining room tables are probably cluttered with an assortment of condiments like salt, pepper, grated cheese, red pepper, oregano and who knows what else- all of which are contained in individual shakers. Kind of a mess isn't it? Well, now there's a product that will help clean-up the clutter, enhance your image and put profits in your pocket.

Flavor Shakes is a new concept and product, marketed through Ambassador Products, which packages three pizza favorites in one self-contained package. From one shaker container your customers can get fresh oregano, crushed red pepper and grated cheese. That clears your table of at least three individual containers. And the really great thing about the Flavor Shakes containers is that your customers will want to take these handsome and functional shakers home to their kitchens. You'll be happy to sell them their own pizza flavoring kit with your name and phone number right on the top of the shaker. And because the product is so unique, neighbors and friends sharing pizza are bound to talk about where they got this unusual conversation piece.

With your special stock of pizza condiments nearby in your customers home, your pizza will also give them the same good taste they get when they eat in your restaurant. Of course the element I find the most exciting is your ability to merchandise the Flavor Shakes as a take-home product. And since your customized Flavor Shakes product comes prepackaged all you have to do is order them and move them out the door.

Marketing your own brand of pizza condiments will build your image, raise your stores awareness level and ad profits to your business. If this sounds like a good idea to you then take a close look at Flavor Shakes by visiting their web site at www.flavorshakes.com or give them a call at (630)-783-0856

Strategy #95
Can't find that Pizza Coupon when you need it? Print One!

For better or worse, the pizza buying public is sold on coupons. In fact, coupons can be the main reason for choosing the location they purchase their next pizza. That means without your coupon they may be going down the street. Of course you already know this. Your dilemma-how do you get coupons in the hands of the consumer without spending money you don't have? Well, thanks to PrintPizzaCoupons.com you can now offer more coupons at less cost.

According to Doug Kisor, Director of Marketing, for Columbus, OH. based Minuteman Pizza, "PrintPizzaCoupons.com has done pretty well. We've experienced a noticeable spike in sales, greater awareness and exposure for Minuteman Pizza since hooking up with PrintPizzaCoupons.com."

Instead of printing, boxtopping, inserting, or mailing your coupon offers to the public, PrintPizzaCoupons.com allows you to use their preprinted boxtoppers and marketing POP material to get your customers to go to your more flexible and less expensive on-line coupon system. You save the normally high cost of marketing and get more business because you are now part of a larger and growing pizza-coupon-only marketplace.

What makes PrintPizzaCoupons.com different is that they help do local marketing and that separates them from the other 50 million websites that customers could choose from. PrintPizzaCoupons.com provides more than just advice and marketing leadership to their network members; they provide free marketing material and regularly use their super customized PT Pizza Cruiser to drum up consumer excitement where ever they can. Columbus, Ohio was their first success story with 20 participating independent locations. Now they are going national and are offering a three month free trial. If you'd like to be a part of this exciting and growing marketing concept contact Tim Telesz at Print Pizza Coupons.com 1-800-428-4061 (sales) Or point your mouse to www.PrintPizzaCoupons.com and take a look.

Strategy #96
Scratch-Proof

Delivery Sign Breakthrough They're a blessing and a curse…cartop signs. They may be your number one form of advertising. Every time your delivery person hits the streets that cartop sign lets people know that someone out there is getting one of your delicious pizzas delivered to their home. It's as good as word-of-mouth advertising. The down side to cartop signage is the damage the magnets can do to the roof of a vehicle. And that vehicle usually belongs to a valuable employee and could be the reason many signs end up in the front seat or on the back floorboard when you aren't looking! Well fret no more. Thankfully, the research and development folks at Cassel Promotions have developed a scratch-proof magnet that will not damage the roof of delivery vehicles. Once you see and feel these super soft magnet covers you'll want to make the switch and use Cabbie cartop signs for all of your delivery vehicles.

The innovative new magnets developed at Cassel are called the Soft Shoe. The Soft Shoe is a neo-magnetic cover that is made of a premium grade rubber-soft vinyl that is designed to fit exclusively on a new 3-inch diameter neodymium magnet. In addition to being safe for a vehicle's finish the new neo-magnets are lighter and twice as powerful as standard powder coated magnets. This really great product is now standard on the Cabbie I, Cabbie II and CabbieXL. Cassel also created the first lighted window-mount signs- the Autosox and Ultralight Insider. Now employees have no excuse for not putting your signs on their car instead of in their cars and your mobile billboard advertisement is assured. Federal and state studies have concluded that the average vehicle receives 750,000 impressions per month. Make sure the name and image of your pizzeria "sticks" with them. If you think it's time to save the roofs of your delivery vehicles and feel confident that those expensive signs are being used I suggest that you give the folks at Cassel Promotions a call at 1-800-729-7769 or visit www.autosox.com and take a closer look at the Soft Shoe.

Strategy #97
Check the Dot to see "It's Hot"

Here's the marketing bullet you have been looking for: A product that will guarantee your pizza is hot and fresh. Budweiser came up with the "born on date" and Butterball Turkeys have the "pop-up-ready-to-eat thermometer." Now you have the "Check the Dot to see It's Hot" pizza seal.

Until now, the only way customers could tell if a delivered pizza was fresh and hot was to open the box, pull out a slice and bite into it. The only way the pizza operator could guarantee fresh, hot pizza was to offer a time guarantee as Domino's did with the 30-minute delivery promise. Now you and your customers can simply look at the temperature sensitive dot on Check Corporation's patented HOTBAG Quali-Temp Seal sticker. No matter how long the delivery takes, you can prove the pizza will be hot right to the customer's door!

The Quali-Temp Seal with its temperature sensitive black dot fades to reveal the words "It's Hot" when the desirable temperature is reached. When used with Check Corporation's HOTBAG delivery system, your delivery customers will immediately know that the pizza inside the box is still oven hot and ready to eat. In fact, they should be cautioned to "be careful, the pizza is very hot". The HOTBAG Quali-Temp Seal also secures the pizza box, making it tamper-proof from the oven to the customer.

Imagine the marketing opportunities you now have. "Check the dot to see "It's Hot" " is your promotional campaign. By showing customers the heat sensitive pizza seal, you are proving their delivery was delivered fast and fresh out of the oven. Even it the delivery is "running a little behind" you can assure the customer the pizza wasn't sitting in the delivery driver's front seat getting cold. For delivery, use these seals in conjunction with Check Corporation's electric HOTBAGs , which plug into the vehicle's cigarette lighter to maintain a constant 160º to 175º temperature right to the customer's door. The delivery system also works great as a holding cabinet, keeping pick-up orders warm until the customer arrives.

Electric HOTBAGS, the HOTBAG delivery system and the Quali-Temp Seal are patented products of the Check Corporation. For more information contact: Check Corporation 800-927-6787 or visit www.hotbagdelivery.com.

Strategy #98
Kids will Flip Their Lids Over This Idea

Move over Pokemon, there's a new craze that is here to take your place-FLIP-ITZ. Here is a new toy/marketing tool created by two kid inventors that has the attention of the Wall Street Journal, The Early Show and kids and parents everywhere. So, what is it? It's a pizza box lid support that's also a collectable toy. What these young entrepreneurs have done is turned something that is usually thrown away as soon as the pizza box is opened into something kids and adults want to collect, trade and play with turning them into powerful marketing tools.

These three- and four-legged stands serve first as lid supports to protect the pizza as it is being delivered, but their purpose doesn't stop there. Take them out, place then on a flat surface and press your index finger down on the center and slide it off and the toys come to life jumping across the room. What adds to their value is they come in a wide range of more than 30 characters and several colors, including "rare" FLIP-ITZ in silver, gold and glow-in-the-dark FLIP-ITZ.

The inventors came up with the idea when they were only 8-years old. While at a youth basketball banquet, the two bored kids started playing with the lid supports from the pizzas that were ordered for the party. Soon, every kid and parent in the room was flipping them everywhere and the boys decided this would be a great toy. Now, they are showing up in several toy stores and have been tested in pizzerias with favorable results. They even have FLIP-ITZ mini collector books to show the kids which FLIP-ITZ they do not have. A box of these was sent to our office and soon everyone here was caught up in the fun flipping them across the room all day!

They are so hot that they were featured on the front page of the February 12, 2001 issue of the Wall Street Journal and several other newspapers across the country. The boys were also invited to be on the Early Show and the Today Show and featured in a children's magazine called Scholastic News, which is given to over 1 million school children.

FLIP-ITZ are already in over 1,500 independent gift shops and Zany Brainy and Learning Express toy stores and negotiations and in the works with KB Toys. There is even a FLIP-ITZ cartoon in the making. This would be a great public relations opportunity for any major pizza chain or independent operator to team up with the kid inventors, Matthew and Justin, and probably would create plenty of media attention. Imagine this, kids wanting parents to buy pizza so they can get the lid support to collect, trade and play with then telling their friends about your pizzeria where they got them. For more information about FLIP-ITZ contact David Gantner (dgantner@itztoys.com) with ItzToys at 630-427-0356 for a quote so you can get in on the next craze to sweep the nation.