advise on "happy hour"

i am 50%delivery-50pickup. i was thinking of having happy hour. probably smth like 2-4pm all takeout pizzas half price. to me it looks like great idea. can anyone think of downsize before i get going? my other idea for monday-wednesday to have small cheese take out only (not delivery) for 2.99, which would put me at around 65% food cost, but i would hope and count ppl who not only got sm cheese but added a salad, another pizza or whatever. Please comment… any thoughts or experiences. Thank you. ps my pizza food cost 30%

I don’t like the idea of a discount like this. In my mind it says you are charging twice what the pizza is worth during other times. I would rather see a free item during “Happy Hour”. Something like bread sticks, salad or soda.

i actually agree that discounting price is worst way of advertizing. my thoughts are - 1. i will become a place to go for many new customers, i will be known for this as no one does it, and my thinking process is that first to have ppl think of me when they need pizza 2-4pm but with time they ll be coming here as a habit on regular hours, 2. to answer to your concern, maybe i should do it for appetizers ?? in hope that with app they ll order a pizza or smth else, but i m not sure on this one…i m not house of chicken fingers, right? 3. how sure are we really of ppl thinking that if i do half price pizzas on happy hour, that it maybe means i overcharge on regular hours? think of an axample… ever customer said smth like this? i mean my girlfriend runs to victoria secret to get 99c panties everytime she gets coupon for it, but she rearely limits herself to 99cents lol so does it make her or me think that victoria secrets panties are overpriced? maybe very few customers, but majority shouldnt (or i hope will not) think this way. if we go to bar for halfpriced wings, do we think they have overpriced wings? i dont. Ok, maybe the key word here is not half off but “happy hour”, so how about 40% off any pizza on happy hour?

Something else that may cause you grief is timing. Lets say I don’t get off work until 4:30. I call for a pickup order at 3:45 to get the Happy Hour price but don’t want my food until I get off work. Now what do you as a shop owner do? Where do you draw the line on timing?

Here is an example of somewhere that people typically consider the “regular price” too high. In Canada there is a hardware store called Canadian Tire. They are known for the tool sets they sell at as much as 75% off with a lifetime guarantee. The tools are good tools but in every flyer there is at least one set that is discounted. I don’t know anyone who will go to Canadian Tire to buy tools at full price. I have never in my life paid full price for a tool from there. (Maybe I am just a cheapskate)

People aren’t dumb, they understand supply and demand, slow times and busy times. People are smart enough to see this as an attempt to drum up business during the slow times, which is exactly what it is.

I am glad you have faith in humanity, I have lost most of mine dealing with people who ask questions like “How much is a pizza?” and getting upset when you ask for clarification. Or can I get the Happy Hour price now because my phone was dead and I had to charge it first?

I would rather avoid that kind of issues and look at other means of attracting attention. Charity nights are a good tool for publicity and doing something for the community at the same time.

I was hesitant to do this at first as we never discount aside from loyalty system. 5-6pm we used to sell 1-2 pizzas an hour. Now we do over $1500 across the 5 hours we do it.

All orders have to be in by 6, p/up only and if you request to p/up after the quoted time it’s full price.

Just offer it on traditional pizzas or orders though nothing gourmet or expensive to you if possible.

These things are easy to start but hard to get out of. In September if you decide to get rid of that special, your going to have quite a few angry customers. I suggest you do a monthly “happy hour” special. So for May it could be the 50% off all pizzas, then June do the free appetizer with a pizza, Then July you may decide just to do 50% off medium pizzas.
This way if costs go up (which they will) your not stuck on just one thing, you can change it for what’s best for you and still give the customer a deal and incentive to come in from 2 to 4.

But why not do both? Customers also understand limits. Some will ask, never know what you might get if you don’t ask, but you tell them no. Tell them the system doesn’t allow you to do that. Tell them you’ve got a partner who will chew your butt if you do that. Tell them you’ll be fired if you do that. Laugh and ask them if they can do the same thing at Best Buy on Black Friday. Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and the entire thing is built around limited time specials. People obviously understand that.

Instead of marrying yourself to a set amount, sell them for “market price.” Determine what you want your markup to be and add that to your “actual” cost every day. Post the prices and change them like a gas station would!

For example: you check out and see that cheese went up (or down), raise (or lower) your prices accordingly such that your $3.24 cheese pizza from Monday now is priced at $3.35 on Tuesday.

If nothing else, it will give you post fodder for Facebook and Twitter most days of the week! Maybe have some giant electrostatic window decals made that allow you change the price in your front window?

what about free small 1 topping pizza with any purchase of over 15 dollars between 2-4pm? its almost like 3$ off 15$order, but looks like a 9$ item free to customer with 15 spend which looks like mmmm…40% off entire order…win-win?

Your “loyal” customers are always willing to spend more money than your infrequent customers. Some statistics to help explain:

“A loyal / repeat customer spends 67% more than a new one” ~ BIA/Kelsey

“Up to 15% of a business’s most loyal customers account for 55-70% of the company’s total sales.” ~ Center for Retail Management, Northwestern University

“80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.” ~ Gartner Group

“It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.” ~ White House Office of Consumer Affairs

“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, while selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.” ~ Marketing Metrics

“A 5% reduction in customer loss can result in a 25% to 125% increase in profits.” ~ Bain & Co.

Start by focusing on getting your loyal customers to sign up to a Loyalty Rewards program. If cost is a real issue, print some “punch cards” (a measure of last resort) and include “tear off” sheet on each where you request an email address and/or cell phone number from each customer that receives one. Even if you only get 20% that agree to give, that’s 20% you didn’t have before. With that you can start a Loyal Customer mailing list to notify them of new events at the store, specials designed only for the most loyal customers and incentives to have them recommend friends and family to your store.

Discounts drive sales, but not profits, and price-based shoppers often are loyal to the best price, not necessarily the business that provides them.

Hope that helps!