Idea forum

Strategy #89
Bounce Back From Bounced Checks

Nearly 66.9 billion checks were written in the U.S. during 1998. Approximately 1 percent of these checks bounced. And you probably got your share of them. So what's the solution? Continue accepting checks then chasing down the bad ones? Or, do you hang up the sign above the register that reads -We DO NOT Accept Checks! You already know the answer – you're going to have to continue accepting those checks. Your business depends on those valuable customers who favor checks over cash. And after all, hasn't everyone at one time or another bounced a check. The embarrassment alone will keep most people from doing it again. The real problem with bounced checks is the amount of time and effort it takes to get your money into your account.

One of the most innovative and painless check recovery programs can be found through a company called CheckBack. CheckBack uses a new debit system called "Electronic Check Re-presentment" – checks returned for insufficient funds are converted and processed as electronic transactions. In this way all vital information is pulled off of the bad checks and the funds are electronically debited from the check writer's account. "It's really simple, your business accepts the check and deposits it in your account; your customer's check bounces; your bank sends the bad check to CheckBack for recovery; CheckBack electronically debits the check writer's account and transfers the recovered funds to your business. For the restaurant owner there's no need for expensive verification equipment or high-priced, time-consuming guarantee services. You'll have your money in 7 to 10 days – without having to chase down the funds yourself.One important merchant benefit differentiating CheckBack's service is Online Reporting. Merchants can receive all of their returned items data on the Internet. From clear check images to unlimited reporting capabilities, Online Reporting makes it easy for the merchant to quickly retrieve data, and to process, analyze and print their transactions. This is an incredible cash management tool that is free to the merchants offering CheckBack's RCK service.If you want a closer look at this terrific service you can visit the CheckBack website at www.checkback.com or give them a call at 1-800-436-1710.

Strategy #90
Expand Your Menu INSTANTLY

Would you like a low-cost and simple way to expand your menu to include pastas and soups? Fresh pasta dishes, soups, portion control, two-minute cook times, minimum or no waste and an expanded menu is what you get with The Souper 1 Step pasta and soup cooker by Kreative Koncepts. This could be the easiest and most economical way you have ever seen to get all of these benefits and provide your customers with a wider variety of menu choices.

This easy-to-use product allows you to cook pastas and sauces evenly and at the same time while maintaining the integrity of the pasta with perfect portion control. The Souper 1 Step allows you to heat soups and chili in a microwave without stirring while eliminating the problem of soup reduction or cold spots in the middle. Pasta sauces can have Italian sausage, chicken, shrimp or vegetables added and cooked with the pasta all in one durable co-polymer container to produce many new menu offerings. The best thing about The Souper 1 Step is that each pasta and soup dish can be cooked to order in two minutes without overcooking the pasta.

Having a wider variety of menu choices will allow you to cater to many different customers and sales strategies. Now you have an alternative to pizza for members of large groups who may not want what everyone else is having. Kids can have pizza and mom or dad can have chicken, shrimp or sausage pasta or soup. The Souper 1 Step will also allow you to offer bundled deals for your office lunch strategy. In the Big Dave Ostrander article in the fall 2000 issue of PMQ, Big Dave demonstrates how bundled packages, such as pasta, bread sticks and a drink, can really boost lunch sales. Wider menu varieties also means you now have catering capabilities since you can provide multiple bundled deals for large catered events.

Because The Souper 1 Step is affordably priced ($15 per unit or $180 for 12 units), you can prepare a dozen or more servings and refrigerate for later use, virtually eliminating waste at the end of the day. And since they are clear, The Souper 1 Step allows for instant recognition of various sauces. They are even designed to stack neatly to reduce wasted storage space in or out of the cooler. Perfect pasta provides profits for pennies a pound. Also, be sure to check out their pasta source page on their website (www.kreativekoncepts.com) where you can find your favorite precooked pastas. For more information on The Souper 1 Step call 800-638-2019. Watch Your Profits Balloon

You can't make money if you can't get customers into your restaurant. And one key ingredient to getting store traffic is to get attention – especially at the street level. There are lots of ways to attract attention to your location and I'm sure you've tried a number of them. But, if you're located on a busy street or buried in a congested strip center it can be a very difficult task. What you are probably going to need is a great deal of Visual Noise. And I've discovered a promotional product that can create a lot of attention with Visual Noise. This product is a giant transportable cold air balloon that features interchangeable message banners and illuminates at night with the equivalence of 1400 watts of internal lighting.

The Hilton National Corporation has developed and patented the BALLOON on Wheels- a really great system that centers around a 14-ft tall trailer-mounted advertising balloon system. This giant balloon can be positioned in your parking lot, at school events, ballparks and even in parades to let people know your pizza restaurant is open for business. It's a really great way to introduce your location to potential new customers and to remind current customers that it's time to pay you a visit. A real visual plus for Balloon on Wheels is the illumination factor. At night it really pops out…kids will demand that parents pull up for a closer look. And according to Hilton Glass, president of Balloon on Wheels, the off-site applications of their product is key to its success. "We've got operators who take their Balloon on Wheels to football games, parades, schools, church functions…you name it. With our unique Velcro banner application, customization is simple. Plus, the unit sets up in just minutes and it can be done by one person." Based on the thousands of viewers it attracts per day, its repetition and the many years this advertising asset will be working for you, the return on your investment is unlimited. The Balloon on Wheels parade deluxe model will be featured at the 2001 PIZZA EXPO in Las Vegas. BALLOON on Wheels has released their new BALLOON on CASTERS "Pop-up" model. It's portable design on a frame allows you to quickly set it up in front of your location or set inside the back of a pick-up.

Cutting through the visual clutter is a very important marketing tactic. And as our city streets get busier and more congested, the job gets harder."If you're thinking you could use a little more Visual Noise, I recommend that you check out Balloon on Wheels. You can contact a representative at 228-385-9800

Strategy #91
Watch Your Profits Balloon

You can't make money if you can't get customers into your restaurant. And one key ingredient to getting store traffic is to get attention – especially at the street level. There are lots of ways to attract attention to your location and I'm sure you've tried a number of them. But, if you're located on a busy street or buried in a congested strip center it can be a very difficult task. What you are probably going to need is a great deal of Visual Noise. And I've discovered a promotional product that can create a lot of attention with Visual Noise. This product is a giant transportable cold air balloon that features interchangeable message banners and illuminates at night with the equivalence of 1400 watts of internal lighting.

The Hilton National Corporation has developed and patented the BALLOON on Wheels- a really great system that centers around a 14-ft tall trailer-mounted advertising balloon system. This giant balloon can be positioned in your parking lot, at school events, ballparks and even in parades to let people know your pizza restaurant is open for business. It's a really great way to introduce your location to potential new customers and to remind current customers that it's time to pay you a visit. A real visual plus for Balloon on Wheels is the illumination factor. At night it really pops out…kids will demand that parents pull up for a closer look. And according to Hilton Glass, president of Balloon on Wheels, the off-site applications of their product is key to its success. "We've got operators who take their Balloon on Wheels to football games, parades, schools, church functions…you name it. With our unique Velcro banner application, customization is simple. Plus, the unit sets up in just minutes and it can be done by one person." Based on the thousands of viewers it attracts per day, its repetition and the many years this advertising asset will be working for you, the return on your investment is unlimited. The Balloon on Wheels parade deluxe model will be featured at the 2001 PIZZA EXPO in Las Vegas. BALLOON on Wheels has released their new BALLOON on CASTERS "Pop-up" model. It's portable design on a frame allows you to quickly set it up in front of your location or set inside the back of a pick-up.

Cutting through the visual clutter is a very important marketing tactic. And as our city streets get busier and more congested, the job gets harder."If you're thinking you could use a little more Visual Noise, I recommend that you check out Balloon on Wheels. You can contact a representative at 228-385-9800

Strategy #92
It's Tapps Without Maps!

Aren't you glad that your police and fire departments use maps? And your customers are glad that you also have a reliable map system. But, if you deliver pizza and still don't have a good map system, it's probably because you didn't know of a good way to get one going. Good news! The problem is over.

If you don't have a good map system, get one and watch your business get stronger.

Maps make your pizza taste better
Since the delivery time is shortened and your pizza gets there faster, it tastes better because it arrives hotter and fresher. Maps make customers happierThey spend less time giving directions to your drivers and less time looking out the window for their pizza.

Maps reduce your employee turnover
Not only do your drivers get better tips, but they experience less frustration and more job satisfaction.

"OK" you say, "I need a map, I want a map, my competition has a map. Now what?"

If you don't plan on creating your own map system, I highly recommend you check out the pizza people at ACH. They have been making maps specifically for the pizza operator for over 10 years and really are the pizza-mapping experts.

You can have them make a customized wall map with driver maps for your specific delivery area, or if you want even more sophisticated assistance, they can dazzle you with POS, demographic, digital printing and mailing extras when you want to get into more detail.

Call ACH American Clearing House at 1-800-944-6361.