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Strategy #149
Why You Should Own an ATM

ATMs are a familiar sight in many of today’s retail establishments. In pizza parlors and convenience stores, supermarkets and sports bars, customers have become accustomed to accessing ready cash. In fact, your customers want convenience and reliability and you want increased traffic and revenue. When your location offers them a reliable ATM, you'll draw in that traffic and increase your revenue from the in-store expenditures. Studies show that as much as 50 percent of the cash withdrawn from a retail-location ATM is used right there on the premises.

With your establishment being a restaurant, ATM patrons are even more likely to spend their cash on your product. Many people like to pay in cash so they get change for tips or just to have a little in their pocket. By adding an ATM to your location, you make life just a little more convenient for them. Customers appreciate convenience in the fast-paced society we live in.

Now, there are even more reasons why storeowners might want to have their own ATMs at their locations. First, while using debit and credit cards is convenient for the customer, it’s expensive for the storeowner. Debit card transactions can cost the merchant up to 57¢ per transaction and credit card transactions can cost 2-3 percent of the transaction plus a 25¢ transaction fee. However, with an ATM machine, the storeowner makes money. For example, Retail Cash Systems, LLC a distributor for the nation’s second largest ATM provider, currently pays $1.50 per transaction to the merchant based on a $1.50 surcharge. Says Jacque Heinz of McDuffy’s Sports bar in Tempe, Arizona, “Our ATM is like a gold mine. It’s really used a lot. It saves us from processing so many credit card transactions and our customers don’t have to leave to go to the bank.”

Credit card processing equipment typically runs between $1,300 and $2,000. A good-quality, reliable ATM can be purchased for as little as $4,000; a sound investment in revenue generating. And working with a national industry-innovator like Retail Cash Systems, LLC can help you increase revenues for your location even more. Your ATM can be programmed for in-store advertising and redeemable coupons. Suggestively sell appetizers or a carryout special on a second pizza for $5 on the screen. Your store can choose to participate in regional and nationwide advertising and promotional programs.

Having an ATM on the premises can eliminate the need to take checks from your customers and thereby completely eliminate the problem of bad checks. With an ATM, customers can always pay in cash.

ATMs are now available that have a very small footprint. This means it only takes a minimal amount of floor space to set up a new profit center that will generate income for your store.

Choosing your ATM from a company like Retail Cash Systems, LLC that has built a solid reputation for reliability, accurate transaction processing and prompt payment of revenue checks can give you more time to do what you do best: take care of your customers and manage your business.

For more information about the benefits of having an ATM in your location, please contact Chris McDonald, Retail Cash Systems, LLC at 508-400-4179.

Strategy # 150
Paging a More Profitable Waitstaff

With those busy nights at the restaurant, you know that a few of your valuable customers occasionally fall through the cracks, through no fault of your waiters and waitresses. Of course, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem if you used a wireless paging system set up specifically for your pizzeria.

A paging system lets your wait staff know immediately when a particular table needs their attention. A button is mounted on every table that feeds back into a single LED monitor that is hung in a prominent place in the kitchen. When the button is pushed, the display lights up with the table number so that the staff can quickly solve whatever the problem is. The display unit is in a place a server will be, such as the food pick-up station or prep station. Since it only works for the customer once within a three-minute period, pushing it multiple times right in a row will only let it light up the sign once, keeping it from overloading the system and drowning out the possibility of another table’s signaling.

This type of system cuts down on the confusion for everyone involved. Your waitstaff knows exactly when and where they need to be. Your customers can call someone instead of waiting for what may seem like ‘forever’ for food and/or a ticket and they know that they have taken a positive step towards hurrying their own meal up.

With ATEA’s Bell Boy wireless paging system, you have all that plus a new feature for host table management that increases the operational efficiency of your restaurant. Say that your restaurant is full and you have people waiting in line to get in. With the secondary paging system, your host knows when and what tables are ready for new guests. When the table is cleaned, the busboy pushes another hidden button that lights up a different LED sign mounted at the hosting station so the host knows when they can seat the next group without waiting for personal notification from the busboy. Unlike the button for the customer paging system, the host notification has to be manually cleared by the host once someone is seated at the table. Since the systems run on different frequencies, you can run both systems in the same location.

The reasons for owning and using a paging system are simple. Pizzeria owners like it because you can achieve a higher turnover rate for you tables, higher customer satisfaction and customer retention for a very affordable price. The servers like it because not only are their customers happier, there is no guessing as to whether customer need their assistance or not. They don’t have to worry about going back too many times to refill a drink or come up with a new way to say, “Can I get you anything else?” If the customer is ready to pay, the server knows so. He or she doesn’t have to worry about offending the customer by coming to the table too early or late. Maybe there’s been a spill. The server can get to it faster with a page from the customer. We have also seen that happier customers leave better tips. For the customers, the biggest positive is better service.

For more information, contact ATEA, Inc. at 949-457-7555 or check out their web site at www.bellboysystem.com.

Strategy # 151
Don’t Get Left Behind: Let Customers Order Online

With 143 million Americans on the Web and $15.5 billion in online sales in the first quarter of 2004 alone, online ordering has become a normal routine for most people. And because of that, online ordering for the restaurant industry is growing faster than ever before.

So to grab a share of online sales, more restaurants are offering online ordering to their customers. The way online ordering works is customers visit your menu online, select the items they want and add them to their cart. When they check out, the order is faxed or emailed to your restaurant and an automated phone call or page is made to notify your staff of the order. Customers pick up their orders, just like phone-in orders, or have it delivered if available.

By offering online ordering, your restaurant also gets its own ordering Web site (e.g., www.your-pizzeria.com) to promote to customers. You can then link it from your existing Web site or use it as your main Web site if you don’t already have one. You can even have your online ordering Web site custom designed so it matches your restaurant’s look and feel.

Through a Web-based online manager, you also have complete control of your Web site and menu. Which makes it easy to add items, track orders and sales or send out emails to your customers at your own convenience.

When a customer calls in an order or walks into your restaurant, you rarely know anything about them. When a customer places an online order, you not only know who they are, but also how much and how often they have ordered and how to contact them. You can even have the online service send a coupon on their birthday – a great way to build loyalty and keep customers ringing up more sales.

On average, restaurants taking online orders also benefit from larger tickets when compared with phone orders. Using up-selling features, customers can easily add more to their order with a click of the mouse. What might have been just a pepperoni pizza turns into a pizza with breadsticks and a two-liter bottle of soda.

In addition to increasing sales, you enjoy other benefits; time spent on the phone is reduced, order accuracy is improved, reaching your customer is easier than ever and your restaurant has a presence that is promoting your brand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Customers find online ordering a fast, easy and convenient way to place an order. It even makes a great solution for large office orders or group events. According to the online ordering success at Papa John’s, approximately 75 percent of online orders are from repeat customers. In addition, research has shown that customers prefer ordering via the web because they like 1) seeing the entire menu; 2) being able to progress at their own pace and 3) being in control of their ordering process.

Online ordering makes a profitable addition to your restaurant’s marketing and sales strategy. And you can try online ordering free at your restaurant from a service called eHungry.com. By using eHungry.com, your restaurant can be set up and ready to go in just a few days – all at no cost or obligation for the first 30 days. So you can find out whether online ordering is right for your restaurant.

For more information on online ordering, visit www.eHungry.com, email info@ehungry.com or call 1-888-486-4794.

*Sources: Nielsen/NetRatings, May, 2004; U.S. Census Bureau, May, 2004; Business Wire, January, 2002

Strategy # 152
Advertising Wisely: The Pizza Slice Doorhanger

Advertising is the only way to let people know that you are in business and that you seek them as customers, however, in order for advertising to be effective, it must be done consistently, be eye-catching, plus the offers must reflect your customers’ tastes and pocket books.

At times some storeowners either do no advertising at all or use the cheapest advertising possible, citing “no money” as a reason. That is a totally non-productive way to look at your success. People who purchase your product associate the quality of your restaurant with the quality of the advertising piece. Everything that you do in your business, food, customer contact, phone manners, delivery service and advertising, all reflect your store. So if you want repeat business, and want to be assured of increasing the sales in your business, you need to utilize quality advertising, serve quality food, and have quality service.

Door hanging is a great way to jump-start your business through advertising. With door hangers, you reach every potential customer within a set area with a flyer that advertises your food and business. From there, once inside the house, hit them again with a professionally designed direct mail piece. With The Pizza Slice door hanger from Concept Printing you have a new, effective way to get your name out in the market place. With the appearance of a slice of pizza, you tempt your potential customer—from the very beginning—to give your pizza a try. This unique concept grabs the attention of anyone who sees it, making your door hanger that much more effective.

Direct mailing is another way to really bring your customers into your store through advertising. There are two types of direct mailing—saturation and database mailing. Saturation mailing is when you select zip codes within your delivery and divide it the area in to sections and mail to them incrementally. The mailing is usually spread over a six to 12 month period. This way you mail to everyone once or twice a year. The idea here is that you want to make the offer so aggressive; people will want to try you instead of your competition. This is a good way to bring in new customers. You’ll also want to practice database marketing to keep your current and new customers coming back.

Most people spend their advertising money on attracting new customers and having them taste or buy their products instead of focusing on the returning customer. It’s a must to focus marketing on your returnees. POS systems are a great way to create a database of the people in your delivery area that like pizza and more importantly, people who have tried your product. Once you’ve got your database built, you then focus on the residents in your delivery area that are most likely to purchase from you, making your advertising dollar more effectively spent.

Once a person is added to your database, they get acknowledged and thanked through the database mailing and offers. This creates loyal customers. Database mailing allows you to maximize you marketing dollars by targeting people who like your product. People today are very conscious of choices. They appreciate being taken care of, acknowledged or thanked. Database marketing opens up a whole avenue of being able to talk with your customers and give them what they want. By using both types of mailing your sales come in at an even pace.

The Pizza Slice door hangers, coupled with the two types of mailing, are a dynamic way to create customer loyalty and increase your sales. So, give Concept Printing a call at 1-800-841-3404 and ask for Judy. You can also visit them on the web at www.conceptprinting.net.

Strategy #153
Pizza Boxes That Will Knock You Out!

Everyone knows that when a customer has a pizza delivered, odds are they don’t finish the pizza, but have enough left over for another meal. They then have to store the little bit of remaining pizza in the large box it originally came in or hunt up another storage option. What if you took the initiative and provided a container that served not only as transportation for the whole pizza but also breaks down as a storage container for ‘left-overs.’

That’s what inventor Mike Manninen thought about when he came up with the Knock Out Pizza Box. His product, while still a ‘normal’ pizza box, breaks away from the standard pizza carry-out and allows for a second use of the box. There is a perforated slice-shaped lunch box integrated into the box top. Punched out, it folds together slightly taller than the original and holds two to three slices of pizza, stacked one on top of the other, saving not only time and effort, but also the ever-precious refrigerator space.

Now, your customers can save time storing leftover pizza. They don't have to move everything in the refrigerator around to fit the whole box in and the pizza stays fresher. One of the best things about offering customers this is the easy portability of the smaller box. With it being only a small portion of the size of a regular one, your customers are more likely to keep the slice-sized box around for storage so they can finish the pizza the next day at lunch.

With your name printed on top of the smaller box, many more people see both your pizza and your logo. Adults taking it to work are great but think of the enormous pluses that go along with a child taking the box to school. A child not only gets their hands-down favorite food for lunch (pizza of course!), but their friends see a buddy eating their favorite foods in a container that’s just the right size for lunch. Your great pizza coupled with these exciting new boxes may transform your image into a trendy restaurant.

You can use the box in all of your marketing schemes: who doesn’t want a pizza box that takes up less room in the ‘fridge? Since you can order it in the sizes you need for your pizzas, you could also market it as a pull for the younger kids—a kind of “Happy Meal,” if you will—especially if you include some kind of toy with the pizza.

Few people understand the importance of packaging and the role it plays in promoting your business. With the right packaging, your pizzeria can take a new, highly visible role around town with the buzz created by a unique box for leftovers.

For more information on Knockout Pizza Box email Mike at knockoutpizzabox@aol.com. For ordering and price info, give the distributors a call. For the west coast, call Don Cook at Temple-Inland at 1-800-229-5463 or give him an email at doncook@templeinland.com. For the northeast United States, give Mark Suntulli of Freeport Paper Industries a call at 631-851-1555. For the southeast United States, give Bob Humberstone at Star Pizza Box a call at 1-800-973-1932 #00 or an email at starpizza1@aol.com. You can also check out the company Web site at www.knockoutpizzabox.com.