closing on sundays for the summer?

This is very similar to us ( delete “delivery quickly every day” and “20+”) as we open every day and Sunday is our 3rd biggest day.

Summer time Sundays always seems slower on hot days as people go the beach, park or whatever and sometimes just don’t feel like eating anyway. Or they come in later when it starts cooling down.

During te past summer (our first with daylight saving) some of our competitor indies closed on Sunday or Monday because they weren’t getting the trafffic flow up to their normal trading levels. We were open and stayed open a little longer due to the daylight saving and people started to flock in as they wanted izzas and their local was closed. Consequently we ended up open more hours than we anticipated but sales were unbelievable.

Now we have captured a lot of thes customers as they KNOW we are open and they now know we have a better product. Some drive right past their local one and take 15 minutes to get to us.

I used to once believe the theory of supply and demand - there is only so much business to go around for the number of businesses. This goes out the window when customers want something and their local is closed. Most these days will seek out a place open. I know that after we close on Midnight our phones will start ringing about 1/2 an hour later as people start ringing around to find who is open. 99% would be people who don’t buy from us normally otherwise they would know our trading hours.

Mondays are probably our quitest nights and at times when we were only doing $350 takings I used to question the viability of staying open, then this year we shot up to an average of $500 with many peole saying they were glad we were open because others were closed.

I guess horses for courses ad no two models are the same, but from my experience the supply/demand model has been turned on it’s head. If your open you get the sales and if your closed they go elsewhere. Not many people will go without these days because our lifestyles have changed all so much to be a time poor, consumer driven society.

Dave

Thanks for the sensible exchange thing . . . I do want to say that I buy into the Harvard philosophy, and the NRA estimates of 17.45 per household per month. If they are gonna buy pizza here, they’re gonna buy it from me . . . or the Hunt Bros hot case up the street (they really don’t ghave the same clientelle we do). Only so many dollars gonna be spent, and there will always be a diminishing returns in the marketplace . . . at some point. For our shop, it is likely 5 days a week.

And that is the reason we close at 9pm Mon - Wed, 9.30 on Thurs and Sun, Midnight on Friday and 10pm Sat.

Some customers tell us we should open until midnight on Saturday but when after 9pm the phones stop ringing for 40 minutes and non-one comes in then you know “only so many dollars” have now been spent.

It would be untold joy to close one day or even better two per week but our sales and client base are there to keep us going 7 days a week.

Nick, I would love to have those 2 days off. You know what I would do with them?

I’d open a butcher shop in my spare space - but only if I had the knowledge of meat that you and ADpizaguy have :lol:

Dave

I’d like to post a comment on this subject:

First, I’ll admit I’ve never been to business school and I know nothing of this Harvard Philosophy. With that being said, I’ve always had the mindset that your average family will order pizza… whenever they’re hungry for pizza. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday, Sunday, or Friday. Most will order closer to the weekend, not because it’s tradition, but because they have more disposable income as Friday is normally payday for most families.

We can argue this point until we’re blue in the face. Everyone of course, will have a different opinion on the subject. You can rest assured however, that pizza sales exist every day of the week. I did more in sales this Sunday than I did on Saturday. I did more sales tonight than I did on Sunday. So please don’t say Sunday and Monday sales are minimal because that statement is simply not true.

The only exception to the rule would be smaller, more rural towns that still honor the “Blue Laws” that generally don’t exist anymore in the larger markets. Nick, that’s probably you brotha, until you coaxe another 10,000 people to move into your town. Then… sorry, ya gotta open up on Sundays.

-J_r0kk

You definitely got me on that one.

I’ll have a parade and clowns for the grand opening of our Sunday hours!! By then we may have enough sales to pay me some wages :cry: I do realize me sort of situation is an anomoly to most pizza markets of any moderate size. In a town of 25,000+ people that is not a bedroom community, I would hop right on the wagon and try Sunday/Monday sales. Heck, if we just had a bank and/or a Grocery store to keep people in town more, I’d consider Mondays.

We’ll catch up to the 20th century soon, though.

Hey Nick, you are not alone! I am opening up my place knowing that I will be lucky to have a customer base somewhere around ummm maybe 400. Not saying that is your numbers but saying that I too live in a very rural small town. I need all of these potential customers to order at least once a month for me to make it. (I think)

My upside of things is that I actually bought the building (real good deal) and it has an appartment attached to the back (family member living there and paying hydro expense) BUT… rennovations are expensive!! I watched your video Nick and was amazed at how big your store is. Mine is tiny compared to yours and I know how much time, effort and money is going into mine, I can only imagine yours. The workers, the drywall, the floor, it is all exactly what I am going through (on a smaller scale lol) And you too j_r0kk, I watched your rennovations too. I love your counter. I wish I could do the drop counter too but I don’t really have the room. Your kids are awesome for helping out. My kids were right into it too, ripping up the flooring, tearing down walls, hauling garbage out, cleaning, etc… I am anxious to see the floor logo when you get it. Please keep us posted.

Sorry, I’m new - the reason I replied to this subject is that I am going to try being open for basically just the weekends.
Thurs 4-9, Fri 4-12, Sat 4-12, Sun 4-9. I currently have a video store that I can not staff on Mon, Tues and Weds. Therefor I don’t really have a choice. Small towns are really tough. If I knew the pizza would sell like crazy on Mon, Tues and Weds I could staff that and still work the video store but… sorry, I have to agree on the whole “People have only so much money to spend on entertainment” theory cause it sure is true for the movie renting business. (Hence the fact that I am going to try for the Pizza business market) Gotta make a living somehow.

Debbie there are good opportunitys in a small towns…Just not get rich quick schemes…I see you have a bank and a credit union so your trading area should have enough population to support your pizza place…The thing in a small market is not mess up…Bad news travels quick but so does good news…I looked on the Canada Post site and it says there are 1125 post office boxes at your post office so I suspect if you market consistently you can do okay…For $125.00 a month plus printing you can put your menu in each mailbox every month using unadressed admail…Or better still find a community group that needs cash and have them hang each door each month…Good luck…RCS…

Have you ever heard of ValPak? If so, what is your opinion?

Personally, I say STAY FAR AWAY. They are scammers, at best.

As with any form of marketing you have to test test test to see what works best…I have a number of clients that have had very good success with ValPak and others that have told me ValPak was a waste of money…Every market is different and marketing has to be adjusted accordingly…RCS…

don’t like the summer part…your customers will never remember when you decide to reopen on Sundays…we began to close EVERY Sunday about 7 years ago. We first decided that Mondays were slower and started closing on Mondays for about 5 months then decided Sundays work better for family events, etc and the extra cash was not worth it…I still get calls saying "oh i thought you were closed mondays :evil:

Sure we get some complaints, but I think our customers appreciate that it is more important to have the owners on hand open to close 6 days a week than to open 7 days a week and not be around. Funny thing is that our Saturdays and Mondays have increased enough to more than make up for Sundays off

Hi Royce, Thats great!! My video store is RIGHT BESIDE the post office and I did not know how many mail boxes were there! Thanks!

I guess what I am doing is “low balling” my prospective customers so that I can go into this without huge expectations. I have a customer base of around 850 at the video store but only around 400 active renters. I am assuming that the pizza place will have pretty much the same clientel. We have alot of seniors in our town and surrounding area and (please no offense meant to any age group) but I find that they do not part with retirement money very easily. (Understandable, so please again, no offense) People were just raised differently in that generation. You entertain yourselves (for free) and you cook for yourself (inexpensively) So… there goes 3/4 of my potential customers.

As far as marketing/advertising yes, the mailers would work well. $125.00 a month you said? That would be possible. Do you think it would be kinda cheesy (no pun) if I made my own mailers using Microsoft Publisher? I am not terribly familiar with it but I can get by. Also, I was reading in the archives that someone suggested getting some local kids to distribute doorhangers and whatnot in exchange for a free pizza party. GREAT idea I think. I may consider that one too.

Thanks again for the stats. I’ve been so busy with rennovations and the menu and a hundred other things and to be honest I kinda “lack” in the business focus area. I tend to concentrate on the customer service side of things cause I do not have business school backing of any type. Trust me my brain was tested learning how to do PST, GST, Payroll etc… There is WAY more to owning a business than having a friendly smile!

Your input is greatly appreciated

Hmmm…“Pizza & A Movie”…On slow nights in the pizza and video store perhaps you can throw in a free movie…This would be a “gallery movie” as opposed to a “new release”…While they are waiitng for their pizza they can stroll next door and pick out a movie…Also, you can mail 50 grams (about 2 oz. for our US friends) for 10.8 cents so you can put in 2 or 3 flyers without increasing the postage cost…Perhaps another business in town can share your mailing and then you can increase the frequency…

As far as doing your own flyer…It is very possible to do your own flyer in Publisher and make it look good…But the key is it has to look good…Also a 2 colour flyer costs only a tiny bit more than b&w and has a far better response…In a smaller market without a lot of competition a less colourfull flyer will work…

I have a number of clients and one of these days might get out your way…You are less than an hour north of Winnipeg?..

…RCS…

Yes, thats right, I am about 30-40 minutes North of Winnipeg. Absolutely stop in if you are out here.

I have big competition in this small town namely Chicken Chef. I think they make awesome pizza but they are pricey so I am going to market the angle of “Because there is no dine in or delivery I can give you a quality pizza at an affordable price” Or something to that effect. In a small town you really don’t want to step on any toes BUT there has to be a reason why they want to buy pizza from me. Also, there is another business who does the whole chicken thing and has approached me about doing a Pizza/Chicken coupon together. Now I am kinda leary about this as it would be a direct HIT on Chicken Chef. I’m worried about my reputation. Again, small town, your reputation is everything and that would be choosing sides.

I should probably clarify that there was a take out pizza business in the building I bought but they closed down and thats when I approached the previous owner to see if there would be any chance of them re-opening cause I was interested in doing it. They said NO WAY (divorce and each went separate ways) in the mean time Chicken Chef underwent new owners and found out that the pizza place down the street would be opening again. So… they are prepaired for me to open with pizza but NOT with chicken (Hope this make sense)

I know that I can really use my Videos as a draw too. It would be great for BOTH businesses. (I wish my buildings were big enough to run both businesses out of but neither are and my Video store has a coin-operated Laundromat attached.) Crazy, again, another small business but it pays the Mortgage and not really too much more.

So another question, should I think of the pizza/chicken coupon OR stick to pizza/video coupon OR both???

Debbie

Why send people away from your own money making ventures.

Go with video / pizza. If you are in a small town/population you need to bring the most available dollars to you not share it with others.

Sorry but in the cruel hard business world it’s dog eat dog and every man and woman (see I’m politically correct :smiley: ) for themselves. No-one remembers the person who went broke for very long … they just move along to the next business.

I can see great joint marketing opportunities for you.

  • Joint pizza store / video store loyalty card where they get the card stamped for every certain dollar value purchase. When full the get a free pizza, drink and video rental. Give it a catchy promotion title.
  • Box toppers / flyers inside the Video cover for your pizzas.
  • Free video with $$ pizza purchase.
  • Posters in the laundry and video store for your pizzas (spend a few $ and get some done up showing a picture of one of your pizzas. Should cost less than $100 for a 3’ x 4’ full colour).

The opportunitites are endless with cross marketing, especially as you own them all so you dictate the terms and conditions and if you don’t like them you argue with yourself :wink:

I would stay away from the chicken place as Chicken Chef could get double aggressive and drive you and the other chicken place to oblivion plus why highlight a potential food competitor if there is only so much money available.

Dave

Yes, too true! dog eat dog, that’s the hardest part of business for me. You should hear me apologising to people when they have late fees!! LOL!!

The person who wants to do the coupon with me is constantly giving me inside tips of where to get what and how to save money etc… so I’m feeling a little obligation. Geeze. Maybe if I get my coupons together quickly he will see that.

My funds are so limitied right now because of rennovations I may have to just get opened up, make some money and then go crazy with the advertising. Kinda backwards but I do need to get open.

Your ideas are great thanks so much!!!