I like the way you put that, choosing not to participate in the recession. We are taking a similar track in that we are focusing on recruiting new customers to the herd to stabilize and grow our sales. Sure, we will do some special sorts of things for existing customers to boost repeat sales, but we have to replace the turnover and grow bigger. Lots of people are “sliding” down the market positions to find more affordable dining out options and better value. Dining out is sometimes the only luxury a family can afford in a month, and may not be able to afford a steak house or mid scale Italian restaurant this month . . . I want them to hear my message and try me out.
I think anyone who does not have a loyalty program of some sort in place needs to do it NOW. We don’t have one, and we are going to do it first of next month, I believe. Ours may be a sort of discount/value added when they order as well as a final goal at like 8 pizzas . . . a discount or a free something. Enticing repeat business should be doable.
Market now while all the fools are saving money by cutting their marketing budgets. Whatever you do, get your name and message into the marketplace. Get it there as often as you can afford, and treat the customers like royalty whenever possible.
We have aloyaty program where customers get a stamp foir every $20 spent. The card has 10 pizza bases to be stamped. When it is filled they get a large Special or equivalent price pizza free ($15.50). A great cost to sale of $15.50 value (about $3 cost of goods) for $200 spent.
I often wonder why they would want to go after that portion of the market. The guy that is going to buy the cheapest pizza in town will buy it at $7.00 if that is the lowest price to be found. I wouldn’t think you have to fight to get to the bottom. Why artificially deflate the price? They need to take a lesson from the oil companies.
The same with the big three, sometimes it looks like they are in a suicide pact with the deals they offer. I assume they know a whole lot more than I do since they have been at it a lot longer and have franchises all over the world. You have to respect that, but sometimes I sit in the office and wonder why they want to sell 4 or 5 dollar pizzas when that is not what they made their empire on.