Step aside, Pizza Hut and Domino's. According to a Restaurant.com survey, 81% of American diners prefer independently owned pizzerias to the chains. It may be part of the ongoing "better pizza" movement, as various studies have shown that consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for a higher quality pie. In fact, a survey by research firm Technomic last year found that 34 percent of diners surveyed were willing to pay more for a pizza made with gourmet ingredients, compared with 26 percent in 2010. Also, 27 percent said they'd shell out bigger bucks for pies made with natural or organic ingredients, compared to 21 percent in 2010.
If your customers hear that you've received anything below an "A" rating from the health department, or worse, if they learn that you've been shut down temporarily, it could take a long time to earn their trust again. So how do you pass with flying colors every time? Start by having everyone on staff follow daily and weekly cleaning procedures and explore the online tests and courses offered by your state health department.
Pizza Without Borders:
Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
While some restaurant marketing strategies fail because they're bad ideas, others fail due to poor execution, notes Spanish marketing expert Erika Silva, director and founder of Gastronomico.com. In fact, many operators make one mistake after another simply because they don't have a good grasp of basic marketing techniques. What's the No. 1 marketing mistake? Trying to be all things to all people, Silva says. "A lot of store owners … want to have a menu so comprehensive that it's not very profitable. Segmenting your clientele is the first step to a successful restaurant marketing strategy. It's better to be the first option for 10 percent of the population than to be just one of the 10 best options for everyone."
A pizzeria in Huntington, West Virginia, made headlines this week with a promotion that raised money for breast cancer research while undoubtedly getting attention due to its unusual name: "Tips for Tatas." Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar teamed up with local radio station The New Hits 97.9 for the one-night event, in which Backyard donated 20% of its food sales and 50% of its servers' tips to the American Cancer Society. Radio station personalities turned out to help, serving food and bussing tables throughout the evening. A live band performed, and pink-themed drink specials were created specifically for the promotion. Read more at PMQ.com.