The PMQ team continues to reach out to industry operators and consultants to get moneymaking and cost-saving ideas that will help pizza restaurateurs survive the coronavirus crisis. Read our previous story on this topic here and check out eight more ideas below:
1. Create pizza meal kits. Located in Fort Lupton, Colorado, Wholly Stromboli has been advertising pizza kits that let customers prepare meals at home. One kit includes dough balls, sauce, cheese and toppings for two 10-inch, one-topping pies and sell for $24. Each kit comes with instructions for baking the pizza. Wholly Stromboli’s Facebook post about the pizza meal kits garnered 172 reactions, 103 comments and 277 shares! Other meal-kit possibilities include pastas, salads or sandwiches.
2. Sell household items. Many of your customers are struggling to find everyday household items in the grocery stores, but you might have better luck sourcing them from your distributors. Check around your community and find out what people are looking for, then order them from your distributors and sell them at a reasonable markup.
3. Negotiate with your vendors. Talk to your vendors and try to negotiate delayed payments or revised payment plans to protect your cash flow. Foodservice vendors are concerned about their clients’ long-term viability during this crisis and might be willing to work with you to help you get over this hump. Also consult with your landlord about suspended or delayed rent payments.
4. Check into small business loans. The Federal Reserve announced on Tuesday that it will establish a Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), a Fed-backed source of funding for small businesses that need short-term loans to cover their operating expenses. According to USA Today, the commercial paper market consists of loans that can be used to make payroll, buy inventory and keep the business running day to day. “An improved commercial paper market will enhance the ability of businesses to maintain employment and investment as the nation deals with the coronavirus outbreak,” the Fed said in a press release.
5. Reduce your utility costs. Work with your managers and staff to find ways to cut back on electricity usage and any other utility expenses that can be controlled. But keep paying your utility bills, or you might face more costs and problems down the road.
6. Think about slimming down your menu. Focus on the in-demand and high-margin items that you know you can sell. Also, work closely with your staff to reduce food waste, ensure proper portioning, and maximize the use of ingredients that you’ve already got.
7. Talk to your insurance broker or agent. If you’ve got insurance, such as Business Interruption Insurance, that covers loss of business, contact your insurance company and find out exactly what kind of coverage you’ve got and any exclusions that might apply.
8. Call your government representatives. At all levels of government, officials are looking into measures to help small businesses keep their doors open. Let them know what you need. This is an especially good time to reach out to your senators and House members as the federal government works to develop emergency relief bills. Many state legislatures and governors are also considering their options and will respond to pressure from their small-business constituents.