Canadian Pizza Magazine

Making dough with Diane: 6 tips for your pizzeria marketing and business plan

Diane Chiasson   

Features Business and Operations Marketing diane chiasson pizzeria pizzeria business plan pizzeria operation pizzeria operations

Are you opening a new pizzeria? Do you want to refresh your current pizzeria’s marketing plan to ensure it is fully aligned with your customer base? Developing or revising your business plan is an important step.

Competition among pizzerias is fierce, and as part of your business plan, you‘ll need to create an effective marketing strategy to handle this competition. Here are six tips that should be integrated into that strategy.

1. Do research on your competitors: Every restaurant and pizzeria has competitors. Understanding what is unique about your pizzeria will help you put together an effective business and marketing plan. You can do a small analysis of your competition by doing some research on the community in your immediate area. Visit a few local restaurants and pizzerias, examine their services and products, take notes and collect photos of what’s working and what isn’t. You can develop a competition profile with the names, addresses, hours of operation, menus, prices, themes, décor, website, social media sites, if they are selling any retail products or merchandise – and which items exactly – to build up a picture of what your competitors are doing.

2. Find your target market: The most successful pizzerias know their exact target market and it is important to know this before opening your new pizzeria. If you are an existing pizzeria but have lost sight of your market, then it is important to refocus on this for your marketing. You should be able to identify where your business will come from and the types of customers who may visit and buy from you. Are they families with children, school and college students, the lunchtime crowd, singles, children or seniors? You can find this out by studying the structure of the community and the demographics of the people living in your area. When you have key demographic information, start researching trends in those consumer groups. Has there been an influx of single, young professionals in the neighbourhood? How do they decide where to eat?


3. What is your edge? Try to determine what will make you stand out from your competition: your edge. For instance, will your pizzeria open at different hours to your competition? Will you have the best signature item that will make you stand out, the best location possible, the best atmosphere, the best pricing or unique offerings? As you check your competitors, pay close attention to whether there is a particular group or need the competitors aren’t catering to. Look for products and services they may not provide, and consider offering these to attract potential customers.

4. Identify your unique selling point: A unique selling point, or USP, is what will make your pizzeria different from others in your area. To stand out in today’s crowded marketplace, you need a strong USP for your products and services. What sets you apart from your competitors – something you offer and do that nobody else does? What do you think makes your pizzeria unique? Will your offerings help your customers live better, healthier lives? Will you, for example, offer gluten-free pizza or non-GMO sauce? What would make your customers choose your pizzeria in the first place, and why would they choose you over the competition? Will you offer better service, prices or products? Will they get something they can’t get anywhere else such as extraordinary customer service?

5. Let them know your USP: Once you have identified your unique selling point, determine what your message should be and how to communicate it to your target audience. It’s time to tell your potential customers precisely why they should choose your business over your competitor’s. Make sure you tell your customers exactly what it is about your pizzeria that is so special, emphasizing how this sets you apart. Make sure you highlight this unique selling point in your advertising copy, in your brochure, on your website and in the content of your social media platforms.

6. Create a monthly calendar: Now it’s time to implement everything you have researched and determined for your marketing plan. One great way to do that is to have a monthly marketing calendar. Plan to have all of your yearly marketing activities identified ahead of time. Monthly calendars are a great way to drive consistency and to ensure you stay focused on your marketing goals. Choose one marketing theme per month and feature it on your website, in social media activities and in your monthly marketing efforts.

If you’ve done the research and implement your plan consistently, you can’t help but improve sales. •

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping food service, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing food service and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing campaigns, and more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or, or visit

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