Anyone Do Lunches for Local Businesses?

Good afternoon TT,

I’m curious to know if any of you are experiencing success in attracting local business workers in for lunch? What types of coupons and specials are you offering to attract the business crowd during the day? One of my friends (pizza owner) needs some fresh ideas. Any advice I could share with him? Thanks all!

Once I get the new version of my menu finished, (and after I have you print them :lol: ) I’ll be stopping at larger businesses, at least 20 or so employees, and dropping off a “business discount program”, as long as there is a food order from the business for at least 20 people, they will get a % off the total sale. I’m still working on how much though, i was thinking in the 10% range so it entices them more.

Bring a small half cheese/half pepperoni pizza for free…

Only catch is they take a manilla folder (goes in file cabinet instead of trash) that has your magnet, menu, fax order sheet and a simple printed sheet with your specials that would feed a couple people or the whole office.

We even print labels with our logo and web site that we put on the folders so they see our logo ever time they open the file cabinet!

We have a fishbowl for customers to drop business cards in. Each week we send out about lunch special winners (to different businesses) for a free individual pizza. We have increased our regular lunch crowd by doing this. Not only do they bring someone in (because they are for dine in only) it has helped the waitress identify who they are. She has created her rush by developing relationships with these folks. When she doesn’t see them for a week or two sure enough they are winners in the next coming weeks. We date the back of the cards of when they won. We do it each and every week and pull anywhere from 10-20 cards. (There are hundreds in there) The post cards are bright YOU ARE A WINNER card which I believe causes a bit of conversation that they have won something when they get it.
(There are so many details and pros to this program but too much to get into…one thing is for sure it has worked at both stores)

We just recently started doing the same thing with our delivery. We pick delivery lunch special winners. Our day driver agreed to take the delivery for free in exchange. We drop off these cards personally…with a menu and a magnet. The expiration on these is 10 days. We have gotten almost all of them redeemed so far in addition to co workers ordering too.

And finally the best thing which has raised our lunch business is to be on time every time. We start taking orders in the morning for lunch. If they need it at noon they get it AT noon. If they need it at 10:55 we get it there at 10:55. If they need to call the order in at 8:30 we take the order at 8:30 and will delivery when they need it. When I worked full time in store and was going to the bank in the morning (around 10:00) I would laugh as I drove by the franchise pizza place who was dark and empty cuz we would literally have 5-10 orders already placed for lunch…they weren’t even there to answer the phone much less have an order there by 11:00 cuz they don’t open until 11 and no one gets there until 10:45.

The key is to be consistant in this business. When I get lazy my sales get lazy.


I couldn’t agree more with Kris’ comment. We do the same thing by being there to answer the phones by 9. I may have several orders scheduled by the time we open @ 10:30. We also are very punctual. If there’s a possibility I can’t meet their delivery time, I give them the option of a earlier or later time. Most of the time they’re fine with this. I run 2-3 drivers during some lunches and still have to hustle to meet my times. IF a driver gets held up and may be a few minutes late, I’m on the phone with the customer letting them know what’s going on. They trust me because I always do what I say I will.

This past Wednesday, we had our largest order ever in 13 years. 300 pizzas, 4000 wings and 2 liters divided between 4 deliveries feeding 700 people. This was a repeat order from last July. Went off smooth and on time due to planning.

Have to work on this. I just hesitate on the dine-in only thing as we have had some pretty nasty situations happen in the past whenever we try to do dine-in only promotions. This seems to work better with table service rather than quick service. Will probably try the pick-up only.

Great insight - thanks for the ideas and sharing your experiences!

Just curios, what kind of situations arose? As i’m more of a quick service as well, i’m interested in testing this out.


I would like to “third” this point. And remember to have yourself/your employees in “order-taking mode” right when they get into the store. Don’t say “Pizza Place, we open at 11:00” in an annoyed tone - answer the phone “Thank you for calling Pizza Place, this is Happy McGolucky speaking. How may I help you!”

Lunch business isn’t so much about specials and deals, it’s more about reliability and trust. The Gravy Train (large orders) will simply not start rolling until you get every little order right every time. No one will place a 20-pie order with you if you can’t get their sandwich to them on time and made correctly with at least some regularity.

That being said, I often lose business to some person looking for the best deal. Though, I take some small consolation in the knowledge that the other people in that office/factory hate that person. :smiley: