Business and Operations
Pizza on Fire: November 2014
By Tom Stankiewicz
Community involvement: A recipe for success
By Tom Stankiewicz
Fall is always an exciting time. The kids head back to school,
after-school activities resume, and parents get back into their regular
Fall is always an exciting time. The kids head back to school, after-school activities resume, and parents get back into their regular routines. This is also the time when most pizzerias start getting busier, particularly with kids looking for quick lunches and parents seeking easy solutions for dinners.
|It makes good business sense to put more emphasis on school lunch promotions.|
It’s the perfect time to look for ways to get your pizzeria involved in your community – and make it more visible.
One of the classic ways is to put more emphasis on school lunch promotions. This could involve school kids, in addition to businesses, that are near your pizzeria. With the recent emphasis on healthy eating habits, many pizza stores promote lunch choices where pizza comes with a better-for-you side dish.
If you are located near schools, it would be worthwhile to introduce student discount cards. The most popular discount cards are the ones that allow them to get a free pizza after a certain number of regular purchases.
Another idea is to advertise a student discount (say, 10 per cent) on any purchase during lunch hour. The discount, offered during one hour per day, will give you additional exposure. You might choose to offer lunch specials only one day a week. It’s best to pick a day that is not busy and use the lunch special to invite more people into your store.
The fastest and easiest way to advertise your lunch specials is to use social media like Twitter and Facebook. This is especially true if you’re trying to reach the younger generation. Although it’s your choice how often you provide updates for your specials, keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm your account with the same information. If the special changes every day, it makes sense to send out daily updates. If the lunch special is the same throughout the week, two updates per week should be enough.
Some businesses choose to reach out to schools and sport clubs in their communities. This gives you a different avenue to promote your business among groups that might not have otherwise heard of your pizzeria. At those sport events you could distribute coupons containing your pizzeria’s website.
Some business owners who use these events to promote their various pizza contests. For instance, customers are asked to sign up by providing their email accounts to become eligible to win a pizza dinner for their whole family.
Another way to support your community support is to participate in a school’s fundraising program. Many schools have established annual fundraising events where they collect money for their various needs. You can offer support by doing things like providing pizza coupons that will see half of the proceeds donated to the school. This shows that you care about your community and allows you to use those opportunities as valuable advertising tools.
Being involved in the community offers many rewards. You might not see them right away, but over time your business will benefit. People will not only recognize your business name, but will also associate it with the many good things that are provided to the community.
If you’re a beginner, there is no better time to start getting involved than during the back-to-school season. Naturally, this will give your business valuable advertising through word of mouth. New customers are more likely to try your pizza if it was recommended by someone they know.
The more you remind people that your business is an important part of their community, the more ways they will find to support you in return.
Tom Stankiewicz has been in the pizza business for more than 15 years. He has been the proprietor of Bondi’s Pizza in London, Ont., since 2000 and is president of the Canadian Pizza Team.