Big Franchise moving next door to me...

We are a small independent store established 8 years and are selling our 12 INCH pizzas for $16 ,15 INCH pizzas for $20 and there is a 165 store franchise moving in just 9 feet away from us . What can I do to keep on top of the competition. We also sell pastas ribs and mexican food.

Any help would be great///

You are allready doing something right, or the big guys wouldn’t be moveing in next to you. Don’t change anything, keep it the same…but maybe you might think of hireing another driver or two. The big guys tend to OVER advertise. They have to. They piss off so many people they have to constantly advertise. WHEN one of your customers tries one of theirs they HAVE to realize one thing…Yours TASTE better or YOURS got there alot faster. When “the new guys” SECOND set of coupons go out, you BETTER be ready.

Russ

You know, this is the time you really want to build loyalty with your customers. If you se some of your guys going to them, you may have to do some thngs to bring them back or remind them of why they came to you in the first place. Naturally some people are going to try the new place in town…it is expected. Try promoting a free order of breadsticks or a free soda (and list your menu price for the breadsticks or soda on the promotion to give it a value) with each order when they bring you a reciept from the new competition because many will try them and those are the ones you want to bring back to your place. Do yo have a better pizza? Maybe set up a table outside and put a big sign challenging them to take the Pepsi Challenge…samples of your pizza Vs theirs. If you pizza is not superior that could be risky though. If you don’t want to do that, maybe at least have an employee standing outside with bite-size samples of yoru best selling pizza and offer samples to those who may be walking towards the new place. I think the main thing you watn to avoid it getting in a price war. I would not try to undercut them on price because this will de-value your pizza and once both of you drop teh price it will be very difficult to bring it back up. Look for quality and value advantages you have. If your large pizza is 16 inches and theirs is 14 inches, push that fact. If you cut fresh veggies and they buy precut, push the fresh factor. These are jsut some suggestions. I am sure others here have some tips too. Just remember that people will be trying to new kid on teh block, to start thinking abotu how you are better and push those points. Good luck

Time to dig into the trenches and turn on the marketing machine. The big boys have a much bigger marketing budget than you, but you need to do it smarter. Indy’s do beat the big boys sometimes. I would inquire on what ever I could learn from the marketing professionals for our field. Maybe Kamron Karrington or Joel Cohen.

http://www.profitwithpizza.com//

Good luck…

If you have a good product, your store is clean, just really focus on the “Customer Service”. Go the extra step to learn customer names, train your staff to say hello to EVERY person that comes in your store. Make your customers feel that every member of your staff cares about them. As Tom says, you really have to build your loyal customer base now! You can do marketing all day long, however if the service is not great, you are waisting your time and Money. Just my opinion.

Is there a grocery store in your neighbourhood that is well known for meat, baked goods and fresh produce? If so start buying some of your fresh ingredients locally…Put a poster up in your shop promoting the grocery store…Have the grocery store put your menus in bags they are packing…Quite often the local grocer is able to compete with food service vendors on case lots of veggies, etc…So doing this does not always mean increased cost, however, even it it does attribute some of those cost to marketing and it should work out okay…RCS…

What you are talking about happened to me about 5 years ago. I was doing very well and then a franchise moved in. I dont know what kind of market you are in but I live in a Town of about 10k people. I didnt think people in our small town would really suport a franchise but I was wrong! I did alot of what these people are suggesting for you to do, and I still got my butt kicked. Part of the problem was this was the first franchise pizza shop in town and every body wanted to try it. They stole enough business to close the other 2 indys within 6 months and almost broke me (thats another story!) Here is what I did, First customer loyalty is very important if you can keep most of your customers you will be able to get through the stormy times. The biggest thing that worked for me though was I got involved in the community I was at every gathering, sponsored every event I could, went to school functions, town meetings, church functions etc. If it happened in town I was there. I became President of the Chamber of commerce and joind a number of other boards. Every where I went I gave out my card and made personal connections with people. Next was my marketing insted of cutting back hours i kept them the same and gave great service we were fast and everything was done to perfection. I also stood outside their door and handed out coupons for my store (untill the kicked me off the property) so then I followed their drivers around and went to the door right behind them and gave their customers Gift certificates. Within a year sales were back to where we were making money again and 2 years later we moved to a larger location. I will warn you dont take it for granted that your customers will stay cause they wont. They all like to try other things so just make sure they will come back cause they will if you are better! Good luck

Give your customer another easy way to order from you look into www.ZenosPizza.com They might be able to help with thier online ordering system.