Idea forum

Strategy #123
Kick-Start Your Lunch Sales
Pizza operators are always looking for ways to get lunch sales going. A good strategy is to aggressively target businesses and offices. One way to effectively do that is to utilize the power of email and fax machines, but you want a way to use them that doesn't consume all of YOUR time. There is good news. There are companies who can do the legwork for you. Here's how you can use this medium to effectively get lunch sales jumping.

One approach is to target offices in a manner similar to delicatessens with a variety of different choices and mouthwatering product descriptions. Don't just market pizzas; everyone already knows you have pizza. Use faxes and emails to offer a good mix of salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes or soups rather than just promoting pizza for lunch. This gives everybody in the office a choice and doesn't limit them to just one food item. Faxes and emails give you more room to market your great products instead of offering coupons or discounts to entice customers in. You can describe what's in each dish in detail or let them know about your daily special. Your daily fax or email can have more than one daily special included, giving them even more reasons to come to you for lunch. Here is how RFG Marketing's program works.

You select what specials you want to promote for the day from a predetermined list they help you put together. They help you develop your fax and email lists, then send your daily specials and menu to local businesses. They also post the specials to a website they host just for you. Not only do the faxes and emails list specials and menus, it also contains daily trivia and the Chalkboard area where you can post special messages. One idea is to use the Chalkboard area as a thank you note for offices that may have called you to cater a lunch. This makes them feel special and creates more long-term business.

People want choices. Let them know you can offer more than just pizza. Rather than discount your food to get lunch customers, let your fax and email marketing strategy sell them on the product with tantalizing descriptions and variety. Do you have the time to spend tending to all of the details of faxing and emailing everyday? If not, it's time to give RFG Marketing a call at 877-444-2099 or visit their website at www.rfgmarketing.com. Most of their clients have seen $750 to $1,000 per week increases in lunch sales. You tell them what you want to do and they take care of all the rest – for just $10 a day!

Strategy #124
Year-Round Promotions For Pennies
To create repeat business, customers need two things. A reminder and an incentive to come back. Calendars with coupons can provide both a reason and a reminder at a cost you can afford. Refrigerator Friendly Coupon Calendars offer a coupon for each month and a small calendar ensuring your printed promotion sticks around all year. Use calendars as direct mail pieces or rubber band them to doorknobs and use them like door hangers. These low cost coupon calendars can work great as box toppers and with a different coupon offer for each month, your pizzeria's name, number and address are right there reminding them who to call for lunch or dinner.

Calendars are a great way to start off on the right foot with customers because it serves as an appreciation gift to customers. The best time to distribute these are in the months of December and January, so now is the time to consider this promotion. Some effective ways to increase redemptions is to make sure not only regular customers get a calendar, but really hit offices and secretaries, because they are usually the ones who decide where the office eats for lunch. If your calendar is there with coupons and phone number, you've just increased the chance of a lunch order. Another advantage to calendars is they can work better than expensive magnets. This product serves the same purpose in that it keeps your name in front of customers, but also gives customers an incentive to come to your restaurant each month – something the more expensive magnets cannot do.

The best results are achieved when you present your best three offers on the attached coupons. Where else can you get calendars with perforated coupons for about 24 cents each? This allows you the largest advertising on the refrigerator at the lowest price. More bang for your buck! They can even come with self-adhesive Post-it-like backing so they can be attached on the refrigerator, in the office or near the phone. Twelve coupon offers in one promotional item. For more ideas and products from Gold Seal Promotions, like scratch-off cards designed specifically for the pizza industry or customer loyalty punch cards, call 800-848-8150. Logos are printed at no extra charge and Gold Seal Promotions offers free shipping and set-up.

Strategy #125
Offer A Party In a Box
Mr. Bachagaloop, a.k.a. Carl Giardina, has held over 3,500 parties with over 50,000 happy children. Pizza parties are a great way to allow parents to do something special for the kids and have a significant effect on your sales. Parties create profits from sales to the kids, parents and grandparents who accompany the children. Not only does it create sales, owners create goodwill by giving parents a fun and friendly environment for kids, while taking the burden of preparing food for all of the little rascals. Here is an additional way you can generate revenues from pizza parties, whether they are held at your restaurant or at home – The Bachagaloops Make a Pizza Party Kit.

Here's the idea and how it works. You purchase the kits that show how to throw the perfect pizza party and sell them at your restaurant. The kit comes with a pizza box, chef hat, pizza Frisbee, coloring book, badge, diploma and a fun video for the kids and parents showing them how to have the perfect pizza fun party anywhere, either at home or at your restaurant if they choose. If they decide to have the pizza party at home, the kit lets them know they can purchase the crusts, sauce, cheese and toppings from you. You package small amounts of each and sell them to the parents and they have everything they need for the pizza party. You also give them the option to have the pizza party at your restaurant for a higher price where you sell them the pizzas. It's like a party plan in a box. You can generate revenues from the sale of the kit, supplies or the party itself.

There are several packages for Make a Pizza Party Kits from which you can choose. The Beginners Package comes with 10 kits that contain everything listed above. The Advance Package comes with 20 kits plus a pizza party profit video where Carl shares his knowledge and details on how, when, and where to use the Make a Pizza Party Kits to really boost your sales. The third level, the Executive Package, includes 50 kits, the pizza party profit video plus a customized commercial ready to air for television advertising. It is a 30 second video commercial advertising the Make a Pizza Party Video Kits with your name, address and phone number in the last stop. The Ultimate Package includes everything listed in the Executive Package but includes 100 kits and exclusive rights to the program. If you purchase the Executive Package, you will be the exclusive supplier of Make a Pizza Party Kits for your zip code and be the only one with this unique party gift.

The Make a Pizza Party Kits are prepackaged, profit-making parties in a box. All you have to do is place them at the counter or someplace in your restaurant and let them sell themselves. You can even offer to deliver the party kits with pizza deliveries or order additional supplies when you order kits for individual sale. Order extra pizza Frisbees or chef hats and offer them as an option for each child who comes to the pizza party. As a result of creating and offering the Make a Pizza Party Kit, Carl has received tremendous publicity in the form of newspaper and magazine articles. He has been asked to appear on Good Day NY and was given the "Best Family-Friendly Restaurant" by A.O.L. For more information about the kits, visit www.bachagaloops.com or give Carl a call at 973-694-0956. He can be reached by email at bacha@webtv.com.

Strategy #126
Promote, Advertise, or Up-Sell Without Saying A Word
Sometimes a simple four-word question can be more effective than a thousand dollar promotion. Example: How would you go about promoting a new dessert or appetizer? Direct mail? Newsprint? Door hangar? Sure, it may get some customers when they order – if they remember the promotion. A more targeted effort may be to suggestively sell or offer the product as customers order, but you cannot be sure employees will remember to tell the customers. Going back to the first sentence of this paragraph, think about promoting in a different way that targets customers in your restaurant every time an employee comes to the table without them saying a word. How? By using a button or pin that employees wear that says "FREE APPETIZER! ASK ME" or "TRY OUR NEW DESSERT."

If I saw a button on my waiter's or waitress's shirt that said "Free Appetizer! Ask Me" you can certainly bet I will inquire. This would be the perfect opportunity to bring curious customers a single hot wing, Popper or tender to sample – and the restaurant didn't even have to pester customers with "Would you like to try our new side item?" routine. You target curious customers who are interested and leave those not interested alone and each table is suggestively up-sold without the staff having to remember to do so. Buttons and pins are also great ways to get customers talking about any aspect of your restaurant you want to drive them to. Buttons or pins with lines like "Ask us about Catering" or "We Now Deliver Anywhere" or "Join Our Team, Apply Now" are great ways to promote food, parties, and catering or recruit employees. Adding a new topping? Try something like "Free Topping for Limited Time." Now you're getting the idea

Other ideas for pins or buttons are to use them as gifts or giveaways. You could have lapel pins shaped like pizzas or your logo and give them out at birthday parties, with catering orders or to random customers as a thank you. Here's an extreme idea for using pins and buttons as mobile advertising. Get some buttons made with your logo and phone number and give them out with every order. Run print, radio or TV ads saying something like "During the week of ____, Joe Blow's Pizzeria will have scouts around town looking for people wearing our buttons. If we catch you wearing our button in public, you get a free pizza." There's an idea that can get some talk started.

All About Pins is a company who can fill your pin and button needs. They can make just about any size, shape or color. Give them a call at 866-604-9462, or see their website www.allaboutpins.com and see what they can do for you. You can email them at info@allaboutpins.com.

Strategy #127
Get Your Name on the Map with Specialty Dough-Cutting Rings
It's really no big secret – the independents who set themselves apart from the competition are typically the top-grossing operations in their respective markets. They're the trailblazers who shape their destinies by consistently challenging the way it's been done before. Why not give customers a reason to talk to their friends about you? If you can't name any pizzerias in your area offering pizzas in the shape of footballs, hearts, shamrocks, or Christmas trees – these ingenious "Pizza Tools" from Lloyd Industries could provide just the niche you've been waiting to fill.

Just imagine the promotional opportunities. With football season upon us and the Super Bowl on the horizon, try this: Go "hog wild" with a Pigskin Special -featuring any combination of bacon, sausage, ham and pepperoni offered on a football shaped pizza and combined with wings and sodas as a bundle package for your customers' parties. And with Christmas just around the corner, how about an offer for weary holiday shoppers that's just too good to refuse? You don't have to dream about a bright Christmas with a trim the tree package deal: tantalizing toppings loaded on a Christmas Tree pizza and mini dessert pizzas small enough to look like cookies. What a great late night treat for "Santas" needing a break from toy assembly duties on Christmas Eve!

And before the last carols are sung and decorations stored away, retailers are selling your customers gifts for their sweethearts. Why not get in on the action with a Two Hearts Are Better Than One offer for all the hopeless romantics in your area? A "His and Hers" special can cater to individual preferences and/or encourage customers to enjoy their favorites with one heart-shaped pizza-while getting adventurous enough to sample a creation they may not have considered before with the second. Perhaps you'll want to consider some cross promoting with a local florist or confectioner. They'll help you sell heart-shaped pizzas, and you'll reciprocate by helping them deliver flowers or sweets on their busiest day. Valentine's Day isn't the only time you can use your heart-shaped cutter. Just a bit of imagination can spark a number of ideas for an I Love Pizza special.

Looking to the next holiday, you won't need the Luck of the Irish with a Shamrock Special to tempt your customers. Whether or not they're Irish, they're looking for a reason to party -so give it to them. Offer a shamrock-shaped pizza with a green beer special in honor of St. Paddy's Day, and they'll be flocking to your door. But don't put that specialty cutter away once the holiday's over. Why not market its availability as a "Good Luck" gesture for special occasions -like when the sales team is working late on a big presentation?

Specialty Dough Cutting Rings from Lloyd Industries make shaping up your pizza sales child's play. The topping guide, just 5/8" smaller than the cutter, is designed to keep the edge of your crust free from sauce and toppings -because you want it to look as good as it tastes. To use, simply place the topping guide on the crust, cover with sauce and toppings in the middle, remove the guide and bake. If you're ready to blaze your own trail with these specialty products, visit their website at www.pizzatools.com, email them at sales@pizzatools.com, or call 800-748-6251.