Canadian Pizza Magazine

Making Dough with Diane: July/August 2013

Diane Chiasson   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

Six ways to reel in new customers

Increase your revenue by thinking outside the box

Increase your revenue by thinking outside the box

As a pizzeria, your most effective marketing tool is your product. The smell of a freshly baked pizza is already a great temptation to get customers to walk into your store and make a purchase. Your operation should be using scent marketing to attract customers walking by, and your storefront window should be properly merchandised, and filled with props and products to display your delicious pizzas.

Here are six more fun marketing ideas to help your business grow.


1. Host an open house
Use social media and/or distribute flyers around your neighbourhood to invite people to your pizzeria for an open house. At the event, offer free samples of your products, wine and beer, and stack piles of your menu, business card, recipe cards and brochures for guests to take home. Give each attendee a $5 gift certificate to use on their return visit.

2. Send a free pizza to local offices
Most businesses hold weekly or monthly lunch meetings with their staff or clients. Consider delivering a free pizza to the office buildings and businesses in your area with a copy of your menu, brochure and business card suggesting that they call you the next time they have a meeting. If possible, include a magnetic business card so your business’ name and number is always displayed in a visible place.

3. Work in conjunction with local schools
Many schools run a monthly pizza lunch program, or hold annual fundraisers. Consider offering schools a deal to purchase pizza from your operation for their pizza lunches. For fundraisers, consider donating pizza to the food tables, or offer to sponsor an event. Make sure that your brand, address, website and phone number are displayed prominently. Schools are usually very open to hanging up your banner or displaying information about your business in return for your generous donation. This is a great way to get exposure to families in your neighbourhood.

4. Hold a pizza-eating contest
Contests are a great way to bring the community together with a fun event. Work with your local business association to hold a pizza-eating contest on a date where there are other events to bring the community together such as a local fair, or a sidewalk sale. Either host the contest at your pizza operation, or supply the pizza and hold the contest in your town square or wherever you will get the most exposure. Invite the mayor or other local celebrities to participate in the contest, and be sure to host a separate contest for kids.

5. Sell at your local farmers market
Your local farmers market is a great place to get exposure for your business, as it gives you the opportunity to engage face to face with the people in your community. Bring your top-selling pizzas, and be sure to offer lots of free samples. Ensure that your packaging includes your brand, website, address and phone number so customers know where to find your pizza operation during the week. 

6. Self-publish a recipe book with great photos
Take tantalizing photos of your top products and create a recipe book using online book publishing software such as or Sell the book at your restaurant, as well as distribute copies of your book to businesses around your area such as doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, and hair and nail salons, among others. This will help give your pizzeria exposure to new customers. It’s also likely that most home cooks do not have the time or the talent to recreate your pizzas, salads and other products at home, but they will see the photos of your products and think to visit your operation.

With the right marketing ideas, you’ll be reeling customers in before you know it.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or, or visit .

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