Daily Specials...which way is the best!!

I am sitting here in the office coming up with daily specials and I am not sure which way to go. Should I come up with, lets say 5 specials and have one for Sunday thu Thur. or should I just have all 5 everyday but you can only get one of the specials at a time?

I don’t want to keep someone from coming in if the special of the day does not fit they familys needs.

What do you guys think?

To give more direct suggestion, I think I would want to know the goals you have set out for your “specials”. The statement above that I quoted makes me think you are using them as a primary engine to drive business each day. Whatever the vision, I suggest that each offer needs to have specific purpose(s) . . . enticing new customers . . . increasing ticket average/gross sales . . . encouraging frequency among current customers . . . sloughing off low cost inventory quickly . . . introducing new product lines . . . attract group/family orders . . . the list goes on. Perhaps you could develop a stable of rotating offers that meet a couple or more of the goals and target group needs: A large meal/combination offer, a pizza only offer, a kids meal added offer, and a 2-person offer, for example.

The people we bought our business from had a different special every night of the week, and they all cost a LOT in profitability and labor. We phased them out and avoid ongoing, every day “specials”. Our offers, when we make them, are added value things like getting something free when you buy X, or bundling a meal together for a slight discount. We don’t ever want to get to the point where customers are coming only or mainly because of the offers, because we may one day need to change or eliminate an offer and alienate a block of customers. That is just our philosophy here. You mileage will almost certainly vary.

I agree with NicksPizza all the way. You have to do what you have to do in order to get people in the door, or to phone in an order, but other than that I am going to try and hit them up for the add ons. This way everyone wins, they get a good deal on the add on, and you add an extra bit to your bottom line that you may not have gotten otherwise. The other way I do specials is to actually create a new item that is not on my menu and I offer that as a special, but it is priced normally because it is “special” because it is new and interesting.

We’ve always done specials (or the things written on the chalkboard) as a way to try things out for the menu. Sometimes they last a month, sometimes just for an event. Sometimes they last until the chalk is smeared… (which means I need to either get it onto the real menu or re-do the special board).

I’ve been mulling over an idea for when I get my POS system (as an added incentive for me to jump and spend money in these troubled times). I’m thinking of having a contest for customers to design specialty pizzas and the voting will be by how many of those pizzas get sold over a period of time and the winner(s) receive the honor of their pizza with their name on the menu, some free stuff (like pizzas), and maybe other free stuff (like shirts). I’m thinking this will encourage people to convince their friends and family to come buy their challenge pizza, which will increase word of mouth and customer visits. I haven’t nailed down how it would exactly work, but it seems like a good idea.

I really like your idea marbles2! I think I might just do some kind of spin off in this same vein, kind of like a local Iron Chef Pizza! Thanks Marbles2, man I love the Think Tank! Good luck with your idea Marbles2, and I know you will be oh so happy with your decision to go with a POS system!

Chalkboard!..Hmmm…Replace that chalkboard with a lcd monitor and use it to display dynamic versus static content…Yes there will be a learning curve, however, if you only have so many folks walking by each day, you want to engage as many as you can…If you only gain 1 extra customer a day it will pay you back very quickly…

I agree with Nick. Additionally, being SPECIAL alone creates the “GO TO” location. Dare to be different while observing cost. Put out product nobody else bothers to put out and the curiousity factor will rise resuliting in increased ticket averages.