Victorville, CA . . . John's Incredible Pizza Company. Incredible is a fitting word to describe this innovative concept: John Parlet's 16,000 sq. ft. combination restaurant and fun center.
The exterior invites attention, not only because of it's size, but because of its strikingly different design and bold, bright decor. Nothing ordinary or boring here.
Parlet says that the advertising for the opening was simple. He didn't do any. "We did deliver press releases with fresh hot pizza to the media a couple of days before opening and invited them to a VIP night", said John. After that, "We just unlocked the door and ran like heck."
The buffet-style pizza restaurant is innovative in and of itself. The restaurant contains three different dining rooms: a dining area with muted colors and a quiet atmosphere; a vividly decorated cartoon room where a large overhead TV continually broadcasts an array of cartoon; and a sports room, with an athletic decor and another big screen TV for the enjoyment of sporting events.
The all-you-can-eat buffet includes a soup and salad bar, a large selection of pizzas and a wide variety of pasta and sauces, plus a full line of desserts.
Once a customer enters, it becomes apparent that the outside is not the only unusual aspect of this extraordinary restaurant. The first thing a customer comes upon when entering John's Incredible Pizza is a kiosk from Radiant Hospitality Systems (formerly Rapidfire). This is the key to the frequent customer program. The customer swipes his card at the kiosk earning the right to take a Las Vegas style spin for prizes. Prizes range form free buffets, coffee drinks (such as lattes or mochas) to game tickets and bumper car rides. They also have the possibility to win prizes from nearby businesses such as free video rentals and tanning, or discounts on haircuts and dry cleaning. A monthly grand prize, a mountain bike, is also given away on a busy night in the store.
Frequent Diner Club members are allowed a daily free spin every time they come in. The kiosk will indicate what prize has been won and dispense a receipt for the customer to redeem at the counter or enter into a drawing. Cards are also swiped at the register for Pizza Bucks. "Pizza Bucks" points are automatically awarded at 5% of the value of the meal purchase. To redeem points, club members can withdraw Pizza Bucks from their accounts at the kiosk and bring the printed receipts to the counter when they order food or game tokens. As a special offer, those who dine at John's at least twice a month for the first six months will be eligible to win the grand prize, a cruise trip for two.
John Parlet, the owner, says, "All I'm doing is selling cards, not any other type of marketing . . . we have about 6,000 members in our Frequent Diner Program." The cards sell for $2.00 each. Parlet, who trains his employees to sell the cards, says, "We sell 75 to 100 cards a day." "The other merchants have also seen a wonder-response to their kiosk promotions," he says, in reference to the prizes, coupons and discounts offered there from nearby businesses.
In the other portion of the complex, families can enjoy arcade games, redemption games like skee ball, and bumper cars in the huge adjacent Incredible Fun World. Private parties can be enjoyed by groups of 16 to 125 in the party rooms that are part of the complex.
John's Incredible Pizza Company has a family-oriented philosophy and has worked to develop strong local community ties. One of their features that really works here is the car wash area. It's made of non-slip poured cement with built-in drainage. This area is made available to any local non-profit group on a first come basis to use for fund-raisers. The car wash is just one of the ways local groups are supported, and are encouraged to call when planning their fund-raisers.
John Parlet, the brain behind John's Incredible Pizza, started John's Pizza and Pasta in Ridgecrest 25 years ago, and has since opened three more in Trona, Mammoth Lakes, and the one you see featured here in Victorville.
In his spare time, John has also done some other incredible things . . . like being the original founder of Rapidfire Solutions, Parlet Data.