PMQ's idea forum

Strategy #140
Cutting Edge Marketing Tool
Advertising is the lifeblood of any company. Without a steady supply of new customers and repeat orders from existing customers it's hard to stay in business. The toughest questions to answer in marketing your restaurant to the world is "Where is my advertising dollar working hardest for me?" Newspaper ads are a good place to start, but generally they cover areas outside your delivery range. Direct mailing fliers are another effective strategy, but many times your money just gets tossed out with other advertisements as "junk". Both avenues have the same problem; you are stuck with what you decide to print for an extended period of time with no inexpensive way to change your message.

Many restaurants focus more of their attention on finding new customers rather than exploiting their most receptive and valuable asset, existing customers. On average, it typically costs 6 times as much to find a new customer than costs to influence an existing customer to increase their order frequency. In a tough economy, this fact could be the difference between turning a healthy profit and going out of business. A balanced effort of finding new customers and increasing sales to existing customers is the knockout punch that will have your competition down the street pulling their hair out.

How do you influence existing customers to order more often? You give them an incentive that makes your restaurant more attractive than others in your area. PizzaTrio was invented to fill that need. PizzaTrio is a simple advertising tool that cost effectively gives storeowners the ability to dynamically address customer needs. PizzaTrio innovatively combines a lid support, a basic cutting utensil, and high profile advertising space in one product. Customers love the convenience of not having to pull out their own cutter, storeowners love it because this lid support helps generate revenue not eat at their bottom line.

Lets us custom tailor an advertising campaign just for you. Ask about our first-time-customer free trial offer. No minimum orders. Flexible invoicing. Credit cards accepted. More information on PizzaTrio can be found at www.PizzaTrio.com or by calling Jim at Express (847) 680-1133.

Strategy #141
Multi Stores…One Phone Number
The challenges of marketing one, two or three stores can sometimes seem overwhelming. For those marketing 10 or more restaurants…it is a whole different world of stressful demands.

In the late 1980s several software and marketing companies felt the solution for multi-store operators was to centralize the order taking by using one telephone number for all stores. In theory, this was a stroke of genius. In reality, the concept was cumbersome and full of pitfalls. The reasons were many and there really isnt time to explore the previous problems in detail but included technology issues, connectivity issues and operational issues.

The good news is that, today, a company called oneSystem has developed a program and system that allows ten or more stores to centralize their call-ins with a system they call the oneNumber Call Center.

The key to oneNumber Call Center revolves around an integrated central order processing software package that is fully integrated with their store side POS system. The order is taken by operators working in or connected to the Call Center including both Pick-up and Delivery orders. The oneNumber Call Center then routes the call-in order directly to the individual stores oneSystem POS located at the store. The POS system receives the order and either prints the order on kitchen printers or displays the order on a makeline monitor at the make-table. The order is then processed and delivered or made ready for pickup as though it were a normal order that originated at the store.

The advantages of getting the phones out of a store are many. When phones are removed from the store, team members can concentrate on the production and delivery of pizza; as well calls are coming to a central location which allows for better supervision and training, which, in turn, allows for better up-selling and a positive customer experience.

The bottom line is that everyone is concentrating on either "order taking and customer service" or "production and delivery" dependant on their location. This leads to efficiencies that directly affect your world…bottom line profits!

In marketing efforts, the one phone number aspect means you can really promote a simple easy to remember Phone Number and provide real ease of ordering for both new and repeat customers alike. It is really easy for consumers to remember a single phone number versus twelve different numbers for twelve different locations or for that matter 100 locations with 100 telephone numbers. Never forget the Full Page ad in the Yellow Pages and the massive exasperation of a customer trying to figure out what store to call.

According to Stan McCabe, CEO of oneSystem, "many operators base their entire advertising message around the one phone number concept. The phone number becomes your identification and can even become a part of the store logo. Does it work, the answer, a resounding YES!! We have seen year over year gross sales increases as high as 20% year after year. Most clients experience a 15% or more gain with the simple implementation of the Call Center, even before they actually market the oneNumber telephone number."

If you are managing a multi-store operation, it may pay for you to look into the new technology that OneSystem has developed for its One Number Call Center system. To find out more, give them a call Toll Free in the US 1-888-311-1110 or Worldwide 00-1-805-965-7007 (They have systems installed in 11 countries over the last 17 years!) or check out their web site at www.onesystem.com.

Strategy #142
Peel-A-Deal Provides Prepaid Profits
How many times a year are you hit up by a school, church, youth sports association or other fundraising group wanting money for this or that? Community involvement is a necessary part of running a successful business, but is there a way you can do it that is both hassle-free and profitable? Yes, there is!

The answer is Peel-A-Deal, a unique fundraiser, peel off coupon card. The cards give pizzerias an opportunity to partner with local schools and non-profit organizations while at the same time increasing pizza sales and customer loyalty. The idea behind these cards is simple. The pizzeria purchases the cards from Peel-a-Deal (Vision Marketing, Inc.) and either sells or gives them to schools, churches, soccer teams, etc. Then students, parents or volunteers sell them for a fee, say $10.

The card is used by the customer as a savings card. The savings coupons are on the back and customers peel them off and turn them in with their purchase. The coupons have an adhesive back and can stick right on a cash register receipt. Thus, providing easy coupon redemption and tracking for the pizzeria. Peel-A-Deal cards are typically sold to schools and groups on a consignment basis. If a school gets 500 cards and each child at the school sells five cards for $10, the profit is $5,000. If the pizzeria charges four dollars a card and gives the school the other six, the profit for the school is $3,000, and the pizzeria gets $2,000. Schools love this program because they can raise a lot of money in a short amount of time with no risk, as they return any unsold cards to the pizzeria.

Customers love these cards because after one or two uses, the cards pay for themselves. Many Pizza Hut restaurants have significantly increased their sales while supporting their local communities by offering their own Pizza Hut fundraising program. They advertise this program on their box toppers, table toppers, at the register, and in local advertisements. Schools contact them and sign up for the program. This program has been very successful, increasing sales of these restaurants and raising funds for the organizations that sell them. One Pizza Hut franchise sold 50,000 cards in less than four months, earning them a "prepaid" income of $200,000 (at a profit of four dollars each). That's prepaid income, meaning the profit was realized before any of these customers ever stepped foot in the restaurant!

This is also a good idea for smaller pizzeria owners who are hit up for donations and ad sales in local sports program books, calendars and yearbooks. The requests for donations of products and money to these groups can be numerous over the course of a year. By implementing a Peel-A-Deal fundraising card program, these requests can be met and it can be a win-win for everyone. You can obtain new customers from word of mouth advertising, gain consumer respect in the community, as well as profit from the sale of the cards and the increased customer traffic. One pizza franchise allows their managers to use the money they make from the sale of the cards as extra advertising dollars for their local market.

The company offering Peel-A-Deal, Vision Marketing, Inc., can supply you with all the tools to start and run a successful fundraising program. They will work with you on designing a customized card for your pizzeria and consult with you on how you can market it to nonprofit groups in your area. For more information on Peel-A-Deal, please visit www.peeladeal.com or contact Vision Marketing, Inc. at 877-563-5654 or email info@peeladeal.com.

Strategy #143
Simple Sandwich Solutions
Sandwiches are a natural addition for a pizzeria and can be quite easy and beneficial in bringing in customers, especially during lunch. "About 15 to 20 percent of my total sales are subs," says Rick Bowman, owner of PJ's Pizza and Subs in Mt. Pleasant, Pa. "Most of those sales come at lunch." Offering more than pizza gives customers another reason to eat at your restaurant more than once a week. Sandwiches are also fast, a staple for lunchtime crowds and one of the best performing categories in the QSR segment. Now, adding sandwiches is as easy as calling the guys at Sandwich Solutions 2004.

Sandwich Solutions 2004 formed when seven manufacturers combined their efforts to bring you a simple one-stop solution. Sandwiches include Costanzo's breads, pre-packaged and portioned meats, a special patented bag for microwave heated sandwiches and oils and dressings. An example is the Club Sandwich, which comes with the ham, turkey and bacon, all pre-packaged much like the way you see meats at Subway. Here's the great part: these sandwiches retail for about $3.95 to $4.95 and have a 60 percent profit margin. Sandwich Solutions 2004 offers six different meats, several breads, such as panini, sub rolls, and lahvash rolls.

The advantage to adding subs is that your can more effectively cater to and market to lunchtime crowds. Not everyone can wait to have a pizza made. Many have only 30 minutes to eat and get back to work or have other errands to attend to during lunch, so they are looking for something quick to go. This is it. It is quick for you to make, has great profit potential, is convenient to customers and is made to go or for dine-in without the hassle of slicing meat or the worry of cross contamination because everything is neatly pre-packaged. You can order just the meats, cheeses or any bread combinations.

In the 2003 Technomic Top 100, an analysis of the 100 largest U.S. chain restaurant companies, the sandwich category shows tremendous growth and potential. In the category listing the top growth companies ranked by percentage increase in sales, the number one and number two spots went to sandwich companies and sandwich restaurants also topped the list in unit increases. The numbers speak for themselves; customers are going for sandwiches. Sandwich Solutions 2004 just received a contract with a 140-unit chain and just weeks after offering them to customers they were selling 10,000 sandwiches a week!

If you have been thinking of adding subs, sandwiches, paninis or wraps to the menu, but didn't want the hassle of buying bread from one person, meat from another and coming up with combinations on your own, give the guys at Sandwich Solutions 2004 a call. They can offer assistance in determining what may work best for you, provide videos for ideas and offer you a Sandwich Solution. Call them at 716-656-9093 ext. 113. You can also visit them at www.costanzosbakery.com or email at bakingthebest@hotmail.com.