PMQ's idea forum

Strategy #118
Remodel Your Restaurant in about a Day

If you read the article "The Art of Selling Pizza" in the last issue of PMQ, you already realize that the design of the interior of your restaurant is an important aspect of business. Your decor can either excite customers and set a mood or bore them to tears. Customers especially enjoy a design that incorporates a taste of their local area. It's all part of the dining experience. The problem is that redesigning your restaurant's interior requires you to shut down in most cases or have customers deal with a construction site. Now there's a quick, simple and very affordable solution that can give your restaurant a facelift overnight.

Pro-Screen has come up with their Re-Image Program that allows you to completely change the walls of your restaurant in about a day. You can give your restaurant a personal touch and a high-class look. Here's how it works: You can select any image you want, either from 1000's of stock images they have, artwork you've had a local artist do, or from photos you have collected. Pro-Screen then takes the images, imprints them on wallpaper and voila; your walls are no longer bare and boring they are works of art. You can go from floor to ceiling or just do sections of your walls. Customers will think you have hired a professional artist to come in and paint the walls.

There are so many advantages here. Among them, your walls can be completely covered in a day or less, there are no smelly paint fumes for customers to deal with and you won't turn your restaurant into a construction site. You can adorn your wall with images of Italy, pizza, local landmarks, outdoor scenes, your family and friends, or even have your logo splashed across the wall. John Ferdinandi, president of Me-and-Eds Pizza, said they have images that they built a frame around and customers think it's a giant portrait. You can even have them create a wall design that gives the impression of a textured wallpaper or plaster. John said he used a textured design in one of his restaurants and you really have to get up on it and almost touch it to realize the difference. Your imagination is your only limit.

Custom-designed walls can give customers that sense of "WOW!" You can use wall images to create the illusion of architectural changes or simply liven up the room. All you have to do is give Pro-Screen a call at 559-255-8079, give them the dimensions of your rooms, talk briefly with their design team and have it installed by a local wallpaper hanger. Within hours of the product arriving, you can have a new restaurant.

As part of the packaged deal, you not only get the wall covering, Pro-Screen also provides custom-made menu boards. This can be a great way to give your restaurant that expensive chain restaurant look with an independent feel. Give Tim Leary a call and see what they can do for you or email him at tim@pro-screen.com.

Their website is www.pro-screen.com.

Strategy #119

Scratch and Buon Apetito!

Need a new idea to capture your customers' loyalty and to insure their returns? And, are you tired of spending thousands of your hard earned money on printing and distributing flyers and menus, but yet, not seeing the revenue you want? Here is an answer for you: Buon Appetito Pizzeria Scratch Cards, designed by East Jade, Inc. Many restaurant owners swear by the success the scratch-off card game brings them. Take Eugene Gencarelli, owner of Gencarelli's Pizzeria and Restaurant for example. His marketing efforts went beyond simply handling out the game cards with each food order. He also works with local bar owners and has the game cards handed out at their bars as a treat to their customers. Now that's a win-win situation. "I have been gaining a lot more new and return customers from this promotion than ever before, and the business has been great for Gencarelli's," says Eugene.

Buon Appetito Scratch Card games not only market your business to new customers and bring them back creating repeat business, but it will also entice your current loyal customers and keep them wanting more. Recent statistics and research show that customers prefer winning a prize more than getting a discounted coupon. Look at the multi-billion dollar franchise chains, such as McDonald's and Taco Bell. They have been employing this tool for years. Do you think they would use this idea over and over again to advertise their businesses if it did not work? Here's an opportunity for you to do the same, but cost-effectively and without the headaches of designing a promotion yourself.

This pocket-sized Buon Appetito Scratch Card is inexpensive and currently has only one high quality graphic design. East Jade, Inc. has up to 20 different offers in prizes, which are pre-determined and selected by you. Prizes include free sodas, appetizers, pizza topping(s), soup, salad, bread sticks, etc. There are flexibilities in adding rules and regulations to your game card, for example requiring that an additional, minimal or regular priced menu item be purchased to redeem a prize. Buon Appetito Scratch Cards are also great for introducing a new menu item or can be used as a customer loyalty program if customers have the option to redeem winning or non-winning cards for a higher price ticket item. On the back of each scratch card, there is a blank area for imprinting your business logo, contact info, and other helpful information. Mama's Pizzeria owner designed this space like a business card while Bruno's Ristorante sold this same space on the back of its scratch cards as ad space to other businesses.

Ideas and business opportunities are endless. East Jade also supplies point-of-purchase materials to assist in the promotion of the game and its creative marketing teams are always ready to provide you with ideas of their own, ideas of successful campaigns and testimonies as a way of helping you make your business successful and profitable. For more details, contact Joe Mui today at 212-966-6244, email at email@yummymenu.com or visit www.yummymenu.com.

Strategy #120
"Happy Meal" Idea Applied to Pizzerias

What may be one of the greatest fast-food marketing strategies of all time is the Happy Meal. Why? Because it directly markets to kids with something that appeals to them more than a regular hamburger and fries toys. McDonald's isn't the only one to successfully employ this idea. Cracker Jacks sold tons of caramel-covered popcorn with the toy idea as well as nearly all of the sweetened cereals. Kids don't think about the food, they go for the toys. Multipax has a tool you can use to put kids on your side when it comes time to decide where the family eats.

The product is basically a "toy container" that is placed on the top of the pizza. Pre-packed inside each container is a small toy, similar to the ones found in coin-operated vending machines like you see in grocery stores or the malls. Not only can you use them as a tool to win kids over, they can also serve as a lid support for delivery boxes because they have small legs that make the toy containers "stand" above the pizza.

Here are a couple of ways to use this product. First, you can use them with a slice box for kid's meals. Create a menu item like the Happy Meal where you offer a slice, with the toy inside the box, and a soda. The advantages here are twofold. First, you have something that will attract kids because of the toy collectibles. Second, you can generate additional revenues because kids will want your kid's meal rather than just eating a slice of mom and dad's pizza.

Another way to use the Multipax is to just place the toy/gift container on the top of any size pizza. This container can also be used as a spice holder or with any kind of promotion (coupons, magnets, gifts, hard candies, etc.). Use a signature blend of spices your customers can sprinkle over the pie and make your pizzas unique. Papa John's has had great success with an idea like this by including the cups of garlic butter with each order.

There are six different colors of containers from which you can choose. If you buy a big quantity (over 1000), you can choose the color and have them match your restaurant's logo colors. There are many different licensed toys in stock including: Rug Rats, Arnold, SpongeBob SquarePants, WWF, necklaces, and others. Multipax can even provide, if you want, the boxes for your kids meal. Multipax can also provide point-of-purchase materials, such as posters to increase awareness and promote a kid's meal. Special logos and designs will be accepted depending on quantities ordered.

To read more about the Multipax products and view some of the toys you can get, go to www.multipax.biz/main.html or email them at multipax_inc@hotmail.com. To speak with a representative about products and ideas, call 718-818-0462.

Strategy #121
The Koolest Kup You've Ever Seen

Packaging is a big part of marketing any product. From your restaurant right down to the product you sell, presentation goes a long way in just how much you sell. Innovative packaging not only creates interest and desire, but it can help brand your restaurant. As mentioned in the article "I'll Drink to That" in this issue, you can package beverages in a way that can create demand. Well, here's a product to seriously consider adding to your restaurant Kool Kups. The name could not better describe it.

We ran across this product at the Mid-America Pizza Show back in February and it was such a neat product that nearly everyone in our group had to get a few samples to take home and show people. We weren't the only ones, nearly everyone wanted samples to take home. The cups are almost like a magic trick. OK, so you want to know what is so special about a cup, right? Listen to this: At first glance, the cup looks like a regular paper cup; white with a light border color. The magic happens once you pour any liquid, hot or cold, in it. As liquid is poured in, images "magically" appear on the side.

True Story: A teacher was having a pizza party for her class and came in to a pizzeria to pick up four pizzas. As she was about to get her order she asked for 30 of the Kool Kups. The owner said he was out, but had some in storage at another location. Would you believe she waited there for 30 minutes while he went and picked up more cups. Talk about demand for a product. Pizzeria owners who use the cups have even reported about customers who called to see if they could come by and get a couple of cups to take home because their kids had reused and worn out the last one they got and wanted another.

Not only is it a cool idea, it can be an opportunity for additional revenues if you sell the "magic image" as ad space to another business. Let their logo and other information appear when the cup is filled. You can have just about any image you want appear on the cup: high school mascots, your logo, American flags or a pizza. You can also get cups that completely change color as the beverage level falls showing how much is left in the cup.

Why should you pay for cups that have Coca-Cola's, or some other company's logo on the side? That just promotes their company. Why not promote something that benefits you? Give the guys at Kool Kups a call at 866-539-4600 and see what ideas they have for you. You can email Paul Wakefield at paul@kool-koncepts.com. Their website is www.kool-koncepts.com.

Strategy #122
A Sign of the Times

All signs are not created equally. Some stand out in the crowd, which is exactly what you want them to do. How? They take on a different form or are placed in an unexpected spot. What if I said you can get a backlit sign that would mount practically anywhere, was flexible, durable, could have almost any image illuminated and could have that image replaced? It would be great if it were affordable too, right? Well we found one.

The LectroLite technology is the science of printing multiple layers of special chemical inks that glow like neon when an electrical charge is applied. But get this, it can run for up to 12 hours on eight AA batteries which makes its portability a key asset. Now, instead of having a sign on top of delivery cars, you can place a lighted sign right on the door or even on the back where it can get more exposure. Not only can it light up, it can be set to flash too. That's sure to draw some attention.

The way it works is you slide a transparent film with any image you want into a sleeve that holds it in place and once it is turned on, special chemicals brightly illuminate the sign from the back. Here's another advantage, you can purchase extra film at your local office supply store and print new signs on your own printer. With the flexible film middle, it stands up to abuse and the elements. The signs have magnets on the back for affixing them to metal surfaces, but also have mounts to make hanging them easy. You can place them in your store's window, on sidewalk stands, cars or hang them in your booth or tent or just about anywhere you can think of; how about using them as an emergency light in case of an accident or breakdown? They come in two sizes: 12" x 12" or 16" x 12".

There are several advantages to LectroLite. First, it is a lighted sign that is portable and can run exclusively on batteries or you can use an AC adapter or a car cigarette lighter socket as the power source to preserve the battery life. A rechargeable version is also available. This versatile sign allows you to change your message or artwork in a couple of seconds and you can produce your own signs at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new sign. The LectroLite is an attention-grabber because you can place a flashing or constantly lit sign in unexpected places or just about anywhere. Did I mention it's only a fraction of the cost of neon? You can also use washable markers and write special messages directly on the film.

Do you have an idea or need an idea for a lightweight lighted sign? Give NSU Lexington, LLC a call at 866-226-4747 and see what they can do. They can even custom build a LectroLite and produce infinite patterns with up to 12 sequences of flashing graphics. For more information go to www.globalnsu.com, and click "LectroLite" or you can email them at sales@globalnsu.com.