B2B Lunch Deliveries

Anybody have success stories for business lunch deliveries? This is an area that I am doing an incredibly poor job servicing, and one that can seemingly make or break a business. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Here’s what to do!!!

I’ve been meaning to post my experience the last 2 weeks, thanks for asking the question.

Like so many others out there, I have always griped about my lunch sales. I think I always had the “if we’re open, they will come” philosophy, but that sure as hell wasn’t working. Ask yourself what you’ve done to increase sales. My answer was put specials on the sign and cross your fingers.

So when my new menus came 2 weeks ago, I decided to do something other than put them in the storage room. I took one of my employees out 2 days last week and 1 day this week. Within a month, we should hit EVERY office/business in the area. There are a lot more than I thought there were. We’re giving a few menus & doorhangers and a sign-up sheet for our “Lunch Bunch.” Also telling everyone that we deliver, and telling the dr offices to let their drug reps know that we accept amex.

Signing up for the lunch bunch gets them weekly specials and enters the business into our weekly drawing for a free catered lunch valued at up to $100. They fax the invite back to us and choose how they want their weekly specials delivered-via fax, mail, or email.

I couldn’t be happier with the response I’ve gotten. We’re hitting 30 businesses every day we go out (90 so far.) My lunch sales have more than doubled and I’ve had 25 people sign up for the lunch bunch. All it has cost me was 4 1/2 labor hours so far.

I’m building my fax list, and hopefully my catering will increase as well.

In short, your lunch business isn’t going to get better unless you go out and make the phone ring.

Also thinking about getting the post-its to stick on car windows. We have a few factories near us, and I think this is the best way to hit them.

Lunch sales for us are hit or miss. We usually get killed 3 days a week and suffer boredom the other 2 (not counting weekends which are almost always slow). There are a couple of problems with this. First, we never know which days we’re going to get crushed. There is no pattern to it. Second, everyone orders between 11:45 and 12:30. So I need 3 or 4 people on for about an hour and then just a manager and a driver until dinner. On the “on” days we run 15% labor which hits about 25% by dinner time. On the “off” days we run 35% which edges up to 55% before we get busy again. It can be frustrating. I’m a little afraid to go out and look for more lunch business just because it is so compressed in time.

What I’ve decided to do is use my excess lunch labor to door-hang in the attempt to bring in more dinner business. This keeps me from losing those hard-to-find lunch employees because I can’t offer them enough hours. Nobody wants to come in and work for 2 hours then get cut. And there is only so much prep to do in the off hours.

Does anyone have a strategy for generating business in the 1:30-5:00 PM range? I’ve heard of beat-the-clock specials but I don’t like to discount my product. Not to mention my POS isn’t smart enough to handle that.

Re: Here’s what to do!!!

Thanks for the idea! I have been going out to 5 per day and just handing out free large pepperoni pizzas along with menus, and we have not a very great response (quite a few offices even refuse the free pizza even though we are hitting them by 10:45 am). I am going to try something like your lunch bunch where they have to opt-in in order to get the specials.

Re: Here’s what to do!!!

What has worked for us is sending out 2 guys everyday at 10:45 AM with a bunch of stuff e.g. Medium 1-topping pizza ($5.99), lasagna plate with breadstix ($4.99), Large salad ($3.99) & drinks.

We have divided all the industry and businesses around us in to streets, so each week our guys visit a different street (sometimes they travel up to 10 miles). Our guys show up at the businesses with the items during lunch times (you can find out when workers go off on break by asking the security personel) and the workers buy, nobody can resist hot food delivered just on time.

We hit them again at 3-5 PM, during the 2nd shift people’s lunch break.

We do 60 pizzas, 2-4 pans of lasagna, salads & drinks.

We easily make about $400-$500 from these runs.

Our policy is why wait for the phone to ring when you can make those sales on your own? We also visit schools, colleges, shopping plazas, etc. You gotta find a couple of hustlers who know how to sell.

Re: Here’s what to do!!!

We had the same problem - many days hitting $40-$60 by 5pm and we thought the POS wasn’t working when our labor was over 100%.

“Open and they will come” doesn’t work. We started what we call “lunch lady” - 14" pizzas for $5 and 20 oz sodas for $1 - we target construction sites and 1-man offices like smal used car dealerships, tatoo parlors etc. We were thrilled when the driver came back with $30 after 20 minutes.

We gave out menus and flyers, added a 25 ft blow-up and joined every car show, race day and grand opening we could find (typical donation is 5 16" pizzas) - our lunches are now $200-$300 and we get calls complaining that lunch lady doesn’t come anymore. We had to add another day person to make sure lunch lady gets out. We use the 2nd person for doorhanging and more flyers every day during the 2-4 slow time.

You just can’t ever think you’re “there”. Every day has to be another idea, another way to get to those customers.

My goal is to run Dominos out of our side of town!