IDEA FORUM: Five New Ways to Sell More Pizza

Strategy #70
Color It Green

      Who makes the eating out decisions in most American families? Of course…KIDS!

     That's why we're constantly looking for ideas that will keep your restaurant #1 in the eyes of kids. And here's a beauty: iron-on transfers that kids can create in your restaurant.

     A really terrific company called Color-Ons has developed a product where kids can color an iron-on transfer with regular crayons and mom can iron the creation on a t-shirt. The kids get a fun t-shirt which they created and because your logo is also printed on the iron-on you get a walking…running…jumping billboard.

     There are so many promotional applications to this product you hardly have to have much imagination to put it to work. Kid's will love creating their masterpieces in your store while the family waits for their meal.

     You can supply the transfers to schools, churches and day care facilities. You can have a t-shirt design contest. You can give kids a free soft drink or premium item when they wear their t-shirt into your location…the list goes on and on.

     The bottom line is you get a lot of advertising impressions from some real cute ambassadors. And with a unit cost of between 10 to 50 cents you can afford to spread these premium items all over town.

     Another nice promotional application to the Color-On transfer is your ability to use the backside of the transfer to print a kid's menu or coupons. This is really an example of a promotional product with unlimited possibilities.

     If this sounds like a product you can use in your pizza restaurant, I suggest you check out the Color-On Web site at or give them a call at 515-421-7838. They've lots of ideas and success stories they can share with you.

Strategy #71
Promotions – Promotions – Promotions

     What promotion will you be implementing this coming June and July? What's your promotional mix for 2000? What's your promotion next month? Not a clue? You just failed the Y2K promotional readiness test!

     This is really serious. The restaurants that are going to succeed in the next century are the ones who know how to put together a promotional calendar.

     We all know how important promotions are. A well thought-out, goal-oriented promotional calendar can help you achieve your marketing objectives of reaching new customers, increasing customer visits, increasing average checks and developing positive employee-customer interaction.

     In addition, your promotional calendar should contain a balance of couponing, premiums, pricing package and generic product promotions.

     Ok, you agree 100%, but you're a small operator and you just don't have the time or money to develop innovative appealing promotions…after all, the big guys have promotions departments and advertising agencies to help them accomplish this.

     Well, here's where you're in luck. There are a number of companies out there who specialize in helping the small-to-medium operator develop, plan and implement really exciting promotions.

     One such company is Pizza Promotions based in Cleveland, Ohio. Pizza Promotions, which is owned and managed by brothers Dean and Mark Kampman, specializes in providing small to medium size pizza operators with complete pizza promotions.

     At Pizza Promotions you can find Scratch & Win promotions, Birthday Clubs, Birthday Party programs, generic family-oriented pricing promotions, a Jackpot game and much more.

     According to Mark Kampman, they are about to release close to 100 new, fully developed, customized promotions. "We provide the pizza operator with the ideas and provide them with a menu of support elements such as table tents, window signs, counter cards, game pieces and a complete marketing and implementation plan. And because hundreds of other pizza stores around the country are using our promotions the development costs are shared. This insures that the cost of our promotions is very cost effective".

     Kampman also points out that because their promotions are a balance between premium items, dollar discounts, games and generic product promotions, the smart operator can give his yearly promotional plan a balance between food giveaway and product/service oriented promotions. It really makes sense to start planning your promotional calendar well in advance.


Strategy #72
Catch Employees Treating Customers With Respect

     What's the best form of advertising? Of course, word of mouth. And, the best way to insure positive word of mouth? Insure that every customer has a pleasant experience in your restaurant.

     The key here is quality control in both product and service. Your product must be consistently great and you must maintain a high quality of service even when you're not there watching the shop. So, when you are away, how do you get your employees to act the same as when you are there?

     Closed-circuit TV. A well-planned CCTV system can help you maintain quality control while you're away from the shop. You can monitor how your employees are interacting with customers, you can keep a close watch on the register and you can give your employees a feeling of safety when they are working alone and leaving the restaurant at night.

     A CCTV system will allow you to reward excellent performance and it will allow you to give more training to those employees who are falling short.

     There are many great reasons to incorporate a CCTV system into your operations. For most operators the real question is what type of CCTV system they should buy.

     Because of the nearly infinite options available, this can be a hard question to answer. The first thing you need to look at when investigating a CCTV system is to decide how you want to use the system.

     It really makes a lot of sense to look for a system that you can monitor away from your store. You also need a system that will store images in a format that you can easily retrieve at a later date. Finally, you need a system that is cost effective.

     With these three elements in mind, most business owners are looking toward a digital system. A digital system stores all images in a database – this makes retrieval easy. With a digital format, you can search for past images much quicker than rewinding hours and hours of videotape.

     According to John Williams, President of, ÒWith digital format CCTV you have a real hands on management tool. We find that once a system is in place employees perform at the same level as if you were in the store with them. And because of the ability of digital recording you can monitor several locations with ease.Ó

     The bottom line here is that performance stays at its highest level. That means happy customers and according to John Williams, lower food cost.

     There are a number of different companies out there that can provide you with a digital CCTV system – my recommendation is to look for a company that specializes in restaurants. They will have a much better understanding of the unique needs of a restaurant operator.

     You might start your investigations with Their website is, or give them a call at 800-999-3130.

Strategy #73
Why Serve the Same Old Round Pizza

      Uniqueness. It's one word that will help bring customers back to your restaurant again and again.

     When you think of a typical pizza, what pops into your mind? A big piping hot pizza that's topped with delicious ingredients served in the round. Ok, now imagine the same pizza delivered in the shape of a heart, a football or maybe a cloverleaf. Now that would be a unique pizza!

     Well, believe it or not Lloyd Industries, the company you've probably been buying your pizza pans and prep materials from, is now offering heart, cloverleaf, football, perfect round and square shaped dough cutting rings.

     Now, can you think of promotional applications? How about a heart shaped valentines pizza or maybe a "I Heart Pizza" special – served heart shaped. The cloverleaf is a no brainer for St. Patrick's Day. Of course the cloverleaf pizza would make for a great "Good Luck" gesture – like when the sales team is working late on that big presentation, imagine their delight when the cloverleaf pizza arrives compliments of the sales manger. Hey, how about a "Two Hearts Are Better Than One" special. During football season, have a football shaped pizza special.

     Just use your imagination and I'll bet you can come up with lots of other applications. That's why I believe these specialty pizza shapes should become a permanent part of your product mix. And, because these dough cutters are made of heavy-duty stainless construction you can use them constantly.

     If you'd like to check out these new Lloyd Industries products visit their web site at or or give them a call at 800-748-6251.

Strategy #74
Hot New Premium Item – Softer Saucer

      We've discussed the subject before-"Using Premiums To Build Store Sales". It's an extremely effective way to bring customers through the door. And if it's the right kind of premium it will be the kids that do the leading!

     Well, I've discovered a premium item that both kids and adults can enjoy and it will serve as a flying banner for your store. A company called Easyboard has developed a soft, foam, flying saucer that looks like a PIZZA. And kids love it. And, because of the Softer Saucer's soft foam construct it's completely safe for kids of all ages.

     So how do you turn this fun premium item into a marketing vehicle? Just print your name and phone number on the reverse side of the saucer. Once it leaves your establishment it becomes a tremendous advertising tool. And with a per unit cost of around $1.00, it's extremely cost effective. Why discount your pizza by $2.00 when you can give the customer a $1.00 Softer Saucer that has a perceived value of around $4.00.

     Not only is the Softer Saucer a wonderful in-store premium item, it offers lots of promotional opportunities outside your store. Imagine taking a handful to local high school football or basketball games and tossing them into the crowd.

     What a great way to plant the seed of having a pizza at your place after the game. You could also give the saucers to day care facilities and churches. Anywhere kid's play the Softer Saucer could be used to make an advertising impression.

     Unique premiums are a great way to build sales! And the Softer Saucer is a really great find. Also, custom imprints are available with volume discount.

     If you would like to get more information, about the Softer Saucer, I suggest you give the folks at Easyboard a call and find out how your restaurant can benefit from the Pizza Softer Saucer. Call 440-942-2822 for more information.