PMQ's idea forum

Strategy #137
Ventless Deep-Frying Made Affordable
Appetizers are a great way to boost average ticket sales, but many of the items customers want are fried. Not a problem if you already have fryers, but if you don't, the cost to install them usually kills that idea before it really gets started. Not only do fryers require hoods and vents and increase the chance of an employee getting burned, and they nearly always do, it can also add to your insurance costs. So how can you expand your menu to include fried items without going broke? Maybe it's time to look into a ventless and fully-enclosed fryer.

The Autofry eliminates the need for costly hoods and vents while preventing employee contact with the hot oil. It even has its own built-in Ansul fire suppression system. Simply load the food product into the entry chute; select the fry time on the keypad and the Autofry will do the rest. Furthermore, the elimination of hoods, vents and fire suppression equipment saves thousands in renovation costs.

Cheese sticks, wings, fries, Poppers, chicken cutlets, veal, eggplant, calamari, fish filets and fried ravioli can all be prepared to perfection with just the push of a button. Let's face it… a wing, cheese stick or chicken finger just doesn't taste quite the same when baked in an oven. The Autofry allows you to serve restaurant-quality finger foods and appetizers without using up valuable pizza oven space or compromising flavor. Furthermore, deep-frying reduces preparation time by at least 50 percent. Gary K. Santos – VP Sales / Marketing for Autofry points out, "A wing baked in a deck or conveyor oven usually runs between 8 to 10 minutes to prepare. The same product in the Autofry can be prepared in three minutes."

But wait…there's more. As part of Autofry's co-marketing programs with six leading food manufacturers, pizza operators will receive over $3,000 in cash back rebates to help offset their Autofry investment. Here's how it works… with each Autofry purchase, customers receive cash-back rebates from Advance Food Company (country fried steak, breaded veal and pork cutlets), McCain USA (fries, cheese sticks, Poppers, onion rings, vegetables), Brakebush Brothers (chicken wings, tenders, nuggets, pieces), Icelandic USA (fish filets, shrimp, crab cakes), Sea Watch International (clams, calamari) and Ventura Foods (two free cases of Mel-Fry liquid fry shortening). The combined value of these rebates will provide over $3,000 in cash-back rebates. Simply purchase the above-mentioned brands from the distributor of your choice – submit your invoices and receive your rebate checks. The retail value of the free food will return over $9,000 in sales. Considering that the Autofry starts at only $5,995, you need only use a portion of these rebates to offset the entire cost of the equipment. Additionally, Autofry also offers a lease-to-own program for as little as $8 per day. According to Santos, "three orders of mozzarella sticks a day will generate enough profit to pay for your lease – that's without even factoring in the cash back rebates."

Nearly 10,000 Autofrys have been sold worldwide over the past decade. Many of these customers consist of pizza restaurants serving up a wide variety of deep fried favorites. The Autofry is available in three models (small – medium – large) designed to meet the demand of every operator regardless of volume requirements. If you have ever considered expanding your menu with deep-fried finger foods, entrees and appetizers, you owe it to yourself to look into the safe, simple and affordable alternative offered by Autofry. Upon request, Autofry will provide you with a complete information package along with a free promotional video. Contact Autofry at 800-348-2976 ext 102, email gsantos@autofry.com or visit www.autofry.com.

Strategy #138
Create Your Very Own Customized Pizza Box For a Fraction of the Cost!
Do you ever wish you could change your pizza boxes from time to time or add your logo to the box so that your name is out there even more with every order? Have you looked into it and seen the high costs associated with printing including setup fees, plate fees and outrageous minimum quantities ordered? Well, the people at Inland Paperboard and Packaging want to grant your wish with the new Package Genie pizza box line.

The Package Genie is a new product that offers pizzeria operators a way to design pizza boxes and order them all from the comfort of your computer. There's no need to hire an ad agency or to go to a printer to get the work done. PackageGenie.com offers you a place to design, proof and order as many or as few boxes as you need. The boxes are priced per box and come in a variety of sizes.

Many independent pizzerias sponsor local churches, schools, sports teams and fire departments. You can use the Package Genie to show your support for your school, team or organization. These boxes could be used for fund-raiser promotions.

Another idea for using this box is to add coupons or advertising from other companies. This could help in promoting your pizzas by having someone else pay for the promotion. Maybe you are looking for a way to promote your upcoming anniversary or new store opening. You can put exactly what you want on the boxes because you design it without the hidden cost of plate setup fees.

Do you offer a coupon with money saving deals to your customers with every pizza you sell? Why not print the coupon right on the box? You can offer package deals, single pizzas, anything you'd like and you are not restricted to a small piece of paper. You also have more chances that they will keep your coupons because the coupons are not paper that can easily become detached and lost.

Do you have news about a new product you are wanting to offer? Put it on the box. Customers are sure to see the information about your new toppings or your new salads. Use the box as a marketing tool. Make it a personal reflection of your business and your product.

For more information on stock and custom sizes, graphics and other useful marketing ideas, contact Mary Schilling at 888-439-5144 or visit the Inland website at www.packagegenie.com.