Aggressive Early Week Specials

Hey everyone,

I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing aggressive early week carry out specials (i.e, 50% off Monday, BOGO Tuesday, etc). Here is a little bit about my shop and my market:

Within a 5 mile radius we have the following pizza shops:

Little Caesars
Hungry Howies x2
Pizza Hut x2
Domino’s x3
Papa John’s
+7 Independnts

Price is the big determining factor in our area, with lots of chains forcing the smaller guys to adapt to their pricing. Other independents have adapted an aggressive early week plan where they offer large discounts on certain days (Mon-Thu) in an effort to build a customer base that also orders on the heavier weekend days, at regular price.

I am curious as to if anyone currently does something like this, and if so what do you like / dislike about it, and what results did you see? For those of you who do not implement something like this, what are your oppositions.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

I make a lot of decisions based upon how I would react/feel/respond. If you told me that a large pepperoni, mushroom and sausage was $9.00 on Wednesday, and $14.00 on Thursday I would feel that I was paying $14.00 for a $9.00 pizza.

We run some specials in ads that only run on certain days… but we do not limit the validity to those days. We do tend to see more of the orders using them on those days though.

More important: If your marketing migrates to playing the price game in response to the kind of competition you have you end up giving validity to the argument that price is the reason to buy and limiting your appeal to the customers that shop that way with the added danger that, as an indy shop, you do not have the leverage to play that game.

As an indy shop in a market with the national completion you describe, I think you should be making sure your product is different and better and creating a marketing approach that communicates that difference. Then offering an incentive to bump the numbers on slow days does not limit your identity and the offer does not have to meet or beat anyone… you are simply giving the customer already interested in your message a reason to do business early in the week when they otherwise might not.

I understand and, for the most part, agree that discounting your product is cheapening it. But I think Bod is correct when you limit it to a day of the week. We do “Takeout Tuesday” and it has always been successful. It boosts our sales on Tuesday, brings in people that are value shopping but ALSO brings our regulars in for an extra day. People know that Tuesday is slow and so they understand why we have a deal on that day.

Contrast this with one of my indy competitors that just blanketed the entire neighborhood with a 20% off any pizza coupon.

Stick to your daily special for a sizeable amount of time, however.