Building Lunch Sales

We have great evening business but lunch is slow. To increase sales i’m thinking of starting delivery during lunch. We currently open from 11am to 11pm but deliver from 4pm to 11pm.

A strategy thats been suggested to me is:

  1. Mail menus with letter to businesses saying you are starting lunch delivery soon.
  2. A week later, mail menu again with letter offering a free dine-in lunch for 4 people from the company or deliver a free lunch for four.
  3. And after 2 weeks, mail menu and letter again saying you have started lunch delivery with some special offers.

What do you guys think? Could this work?

Not knowing anything about your demographics, it’s hard to make a recommendation. However, let’s say you’ve got office buildings or something to deliver to. Print up some flyers, make sure “LUNCH DELIVERY AVAILABLE” is very prominant. Drop them off at the front desk. Maybe even put a coupon on them – something to give the flyer some “value”. Vary the amount according to the size of the building. If there’s 10 employees, there’s no need for 500 flyers there.

The absolute most important thing you can do is give those who order GREAT service. This means starting slowly. 100 lunch deliveries when you’ve got one lunch driver just means about 95 royally ticked off customers.

So, my suggestion is that you get a prep person to do the store opening. YOU go out starting about 8:30am and personally drop flyers off at the businesses. Introduce yourself to the person at the front desk and explain that you’re now offering lunch delivery and wanted to drop off some coupons for their employees/tenants.

Another suggestion is around 2pm, start making up pizzas. Send a driver out with 3 or 4 at a time. Take ONE pizza to a particular business (cut in extra pieces – everyone just had lunch). You want a place with at least 10 people in it – and coupons so they know who to call to order. Explain that you’ve started doing lunch deliveries and wanted to give them a chance to try your pizza. (You’re not trying to throw an office pizza party, you’re trying to give samples.) The driver should hit 3 or 4 businesses and come back for some fresh pizzas. Don’t forget about your retail stores like OfficeMax, etc where they have at least 5 people in the store at any given time. Just ask the manager if he’d let you drop off a pizza for their employees.

With any luck, you’ll get called back tomorrow for an order or two. Remember, above all else, don’t over-extend yourself. Make sure you can get the order there on-time. This may mean turning away business, but most blue-collar shops get a scheduled break and if the food isn’t there, they don’t eat.

My favorite way to build lunch customers is to call a business at 9:30 AM and ask if you can treat their employees to Free Lunch, NO STRINGS ATTACHED! Find out how many employees the have and send out pizza, salad, breadstix and soda, enough to feed them all. Do this for one business, every morning monday thru thursday. By my experience, 30-40% will become very regular customers. The larger the business, the more food you give away, but the more potential business they will bring you.

The other source for many lunch orders for me is a large hospital. I have a deal set up with the foodservice director, and regularly get orders ranging from 50-500 pizzas. This gets my product out to so many people and the 2-3 pizza orders follow starting the next day.

I absolutely agree. I did this in my pizzeria but a little differently. I felt that our pizza was unique and that the best way to get and keep customers was to have them try ours. I dressed in business-casual attire with our company logo shirt and visited 5 to 10 businesses in an hour or two in the morning. I got face-to-face time with potential customers and an opportunity to tell them in words and pictures (I had laminated photos of our pizza) what made our pizza amazing. Then we would deliver a large pizza any way they liked it for free and anything else on the menu for half price. In a few weeks we built our lunch business from nothing to the point where we started looking for another delivery driver.

This could have gone on and on because we had LOTS of businesses in our delivery area. The promotion was very successful, but I had an opportunity to start our POS software company, so I left the pizzeria. These new customers were still ordering regularly months after we delivered their free pizza.

We tried “Buy None, Get One Free” mailers, phone calls and even faxes but nothing compared to the in-person visits done this way for getting and keeping customers.

when we decided to open for lunch I asked around about lunch time faxing,
a place called rfg marketing, I got mixed reviews. most people said you can do it your self… for the most part you can.
But heres the deal they get permission and fax over 200 faxes a day for me. I didnt want to go out get the #s then permission then develope a fax sheet that changes every day…blah blah so for 25.00 a week or just 5.00 a day they way i veiw it…(actually billed 100.00 a month).
I bring in 5-8 new business a week. they single handley built my lunch program
its been the best call I have made for lunch
call andy ritterman and tell ron from red barn pizza sent ya
1- 877-444-2099
http://www.rfgmarketing.com/content/ind … q&Itemid=6

when we decided to open for lunch I asked around about lunch time faxing,
a place called rfg marketing, I got mixed reviews. most people said you can do it your self… for the most part you can.
But heres the deal they get permission and fax over 200 faxes a day for me. I didnt want to go out get the #s then permission then develope a fax sheet that changes every day…blah blah so for 25.00 a week or just 5.00 a day they way i veiw it…(actually billed 100.00 a month).
I bring in 5-8 new business a week. they single handley built my lunch program
its been the best call I have made for lunch
call andy ritterman and tell ron from red barn pizza sent ya
1- 877-444-2099
http://www.rfgmarketing.com/content/ind … q&Itemid=6

How many business are in your town? If you have a driver available, put them on the road. Have them go to every business in your area. Make up a business lunch flyer. Send your driver out around 10:00 am with the flyers and menus. Make sure he or she has a cell phone though. Nothing worse than having a delivery and no one to take it. Works for us.

Russ

Saw this post from 2006, has anyone used this company? looks interesting.