Delivery Help....and take out

We do dine-in, take out, and delivery. Been open a litte over 2.5 years. We just went with a POS in March and our delivery is pretty weak. The following is the ratio breakdown…dine-in 65%, take out 28%, delivery 7%. I like to think we do a pretty good pie. Menu price 14" for $11.25, 16" for 12.95, Not much advertising (I know I should do much, much more) done a little door/mailbox hanging (portches dont seem too friendly) we do a few delivery specials 2 14" for $20 special, free 1/2dz knots with orders, etc…) Our pie is NY style all trumps, grande (block/shredded) stanislaus, etc…

We have each of the big 3 in town and a small indy doing entry level stuff. I know the PJ’s is in the upper 20k per week, and I would like to get in the “game”

What do you guys recommend to get us off the ground on delivery and grow the take out, we are inconsistent with delivery orders getting anywhere from 5-12 per day. average delivery ticket is $24, take out is $13 per ticket.

thanks in advance

Not much advertising (I know I should do much, much more) done a little door/mailbox hanging (portches dont seem too friendly) we do a few delivery specials 2 14" for $20 special, free 1/2dz knots with orders, etc…)

Seems you answered your own question.

we do a few delivery specials 2 14" for $20 special, free 1/2dz knots with orders, etc…)
If you aren’t advertising how in the world would your customers know you have a delivery special? Oh when they COME IN to eat you let them know…hmmmm doesn’t make much sense does it?

If I were to tell you to complete the following:

Get the door it’s _____________ or who says You got 30 minutes would you know who it was?

I never ever eat there but I can answer that wonder how…they advertise!

You have to make an investment and advertise you deliver!


On a side note when people call and order carry-out follow up with Did you want it delivered? or are you gonna come pick it up? I bet 25% will say Ohhhh I didn’t know you deliver.


Thaks for the feedback Kris…

Like I said, and you confirmed, I havn’t done much advertising, mainly due to a very limited budget. With that being said, I was looking for some suggestions on how to jump start this segment and how to best use a limited budget most effectively. We all know there are many, many avenues, I just was looking for 2 or 3 ideas from those who used marketing campaigns/promotions successfully in the past to ramp up delivery (hopefully to eliminate some “fools tax”).

The lesson I have learned over and over and over again is to just keep doing something. For us, over the last 15 years we go in spurts…we door hang, direct mail, box top, table tents, magnets etc. and it works and then we get lax and then we start all over again. The last couple of years we have tried to stay consistent. That is the key.

My belief is most advertising is useful but the key is to do it.

The cheapest things I can think of right now for you to do is make up a flyer on your computer (landscape so you get 2 to a page) you want them to be nice if you aren’t computer savy see if one of your employees is. Make a black and white flyer and go get 100 (you’ll get 200) on yellow colored paper and have them cut them. It might cost 6 bucks. If you can’t afford it see if they will trade you for a pizza.

Start box topping every single order promoting you deliver.

I would make some table tents (pepsi/coke will give you the acrylic for free) insert a table tent that you deliver.

Of course direct mail and door hanging. But I think you will see a result just by the first one. You may also want to make a couple hundred extra for your dine in customers. When they pay or are given the check give them a flyer with your delivery special.

Your front of the house staff can wear pins that you deliver. You need to get it in everyone’s face that you deliver. Magnets to say you deliver. Make sure to be ready for the deliveries. When things are getting started you might have 5 or 20. You need to make sure your service is great regardless. One thing you can do is schedule 2 drivers and send them out door hanging and call when you get a delviery. You can use your cooks and phone people also for back up. You just need to make sure to be great when they finally call.

Sure everything takes money but if you don’t invest now you are wasting time.

Any and all promotional material needs to say you deliver.


Kris had some great, inexpensive ideas. One more to add to the list:

Write a press release promoting a delivery launch event, and send it to all the local papers, radio/TV stations, etc. (Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been offering delivery; call it a “new” service, and it’s news.) You could do some kind of giveaway, but even better would be a charity promotion, since the cost to you is based on actual sales.

Something like:

pizzahead Pizza Delivers for Hungry Kids

YOURTOWN, WA – June 10, 2009 – To promote their new delivery service, pizzahead Pizza will donate $1 from every delivery order they receive on [insert date(s)] to [insert charity: school breakfast program, food bank, …]

Add a quote from you about launching your delivery service, and using the opportunity to lend a hand in the community, and a short description of who you are and where you’re located. Don’t forget to include your phone number and web address if you have online ordering.

Include a link to a logo graphic and a photograph with the press release. Consider delivering the press release to local radio and TV stations with a free pizza to improve your chances of getting some air time.

I’m not sure you are looking at this the right way as I would never be trying to influence people to take delivery over pick-up. You make less money and its more headaches.

Rather, imo, you should just advertise the heck out of the fact that you deliver period for the sake of those that would not order otherwise. Most people just are not that perceptive of their surroundings or what is being promoted. We are different in that we are in business and are constantly observing things for ideas. We advertise that we deliver on anything we do. We have delivery cars parked out front of the store and people still come in and ask if we deliver. The first thing we do on the phone is ask if they would like pick-up or delivery and they still ask if we deliver. The point is, what is obvious to us is not obvious to the casual observer.

I have to agree with Pizza Pirate here.


I also agree with what Pirate says.

I think just answering the phone “Thank you for calling XYZ, will this be dine-in, delivery or carry out?” is a good way to start. But, I would do carry out specials, not delivery specials. After you figure in labor, deliveries aren’t that great.

I’ll be the third to agree with pizzapirate - I’d never go out of my way to change a pick-up customer into a delivery customer. I’m trying to go the other way!

i have “WE DELIVER” on all sides of my custom boxes and wrap your delivery vehicles

I find it more difficult to increase profitability with my deliveries: ticket averages, order frequency and costs are all less advantageous for me with deliveries. I would also be pleased to replace my delivery sales volume with carry out or dine-in. But we deliver to hit that segment of the market that expects pizza to be delivered.

That said, if you have hit a plateau with dine-in and carry-out where you are stuck with stagnant growth . . . then delivery is your huckleberry. Volume will be the key to making the (much higher) expenses more sensible. All that requres an active marketing campaign. I’ll be that the other service modes go up with marketing as well. I cannot recommend enough doing SOMETHING every week to put your name and brand identity in front some segment of the market. It is a progressive, cumulative concept of creeping into and staying in the perception and active memory of as many potential customers as possible. Be creative and find lots of different things to do so people will be pleasantly surprised . . . sponsor little, league, active in chamber of commerce, donate to charitable auctions, partner with a school to help raise funds, vending booth local festivals, flyers and discounts to local firefighters/police/public safety people, fridge magnets, gift certificates to local elementary school to use for rewards, get involved with public library summer reading program . . . some of these yuo can actually MAKE MONEY while marketing and being visible to the potentail marketplace.

Hey Piper don’t do it. We stopped asking people calling if they wanted delivery, took it off our flyers, and stopped all together on the slow nights. Results were the slow nights got slower, we lost a ton of business on the busy nights, all trying to go the other way. We are now going back to promoting delivery on orders over $15.00. Necessary evil. That being said. Absolutely consistent marketing is the way to bring up the business.

And let me say to all of you thanks for some great ideas

I’m a little baffled by the above posts. Sure delivery costs a bit more than a carry out…but isn’t that a cost of doing business? We charge for delivery…some goes to driver and the rest to cover the added insurance cost. Other than that am I missing something? Our drivers do dishes, help cook and really are an asset not a cost. So I don’t really understand the “added labor” statement. They are all crossed trained to work while at work.

To me some of these topics are as baffling as saying…we encourage dine in customers only because carry out is more expensive…we have to have a phone, a person to answer the phone, a cashier and then there is all the paper cost. Just doesn’t make sense to me. We are in a small town of about 8,000 and to me that is about 1600 people ordering DELIVERY once a week regardless if I deliver or not so I may as well deliver…worth every morsel of cost to capture that business. Not to mention if I don’t offer it they will go to someone who does…and then since they are regulars there… probably dine in there to. All because I wanted to save a few bucks on insurance?

Sorry to sound a bit harsh but as I am reading these posts I am just amazed that we would try and DISCOURAGE business because of a cost necessary to do business.

pizza head I hope you continue to try and increase business…dine in, carry out and delivery and since right now seems to be the area you could have the most growth just by educating customers I would focus on that. 20% of the residents in your town order delivery…go get em…


Don’t worry CaptSammy, I’m not considering stopping delivery. I never would until every other indie in my town did too… and that’s not going to happen. All of my advertising sports the “We Deliver” message.

Perhaps, becuase my business may not be like most on here. I’m primarily dine-in (about 70% at dinner.) It isn’t the COST associated with delivery that makes me want to change them over, it’s because dine-in tickets are MUCH larger than delivery. Most buy drinks, and upselling appetizers is a breeze for dine-in. I should have been a little more clearer with why I feel the way I do. I’m not complaing about the cost - customers just make me much more money when they walk in the door.

Sorry to sound a bit harsh but as I am reading these posts I am just amazed that we would try and DISCOURAGE business because of a cost necessary to do business.

We don’t discourage deliveries, but I don’t ENCOURAGE them either. The OP was considering doing a delivery special to increase delivery business, and that’s what my post was aimed at. I’m more apt to do a special that would bring people to the store.

thanks everyone…

great to see several responses and some ideas. the main thing I have gathered is to DO SOMTHING, and do something consistently. Honestly, I have done a very poor job advertising, and it has not been consistent. A little radio, a couple days of some biz visits, a few publications. we put a menu on each box, but no speacial/reason to motivate consumer.

I’m getting box toppers printed as we speak. got some car toppers ordered and magnets coming soon.

I appreciate the “wake up call” as I have been just riding on the quality of the product and word of mouth…lack of adertising and promoting has caused sales to slip.


I think you just missed our point Kris. No one is “discouraging business”. We are just saying we would not “push” sales towards delivery rather than pick-up or dine-in. We will take it any way we can get it but to purposely try to push your sales towards the least profitable medium does not make sense.

We advertise delivery in everything we do so people are aware of the convenience.

Just “push” sales period and take them as you get them.

Like many other things we encounter, if we are going to do something we need to go all out. If you half heartily push delivery, you will achieve the same results. I am totally baffled that the opinions on this topic are suggesting no delivery. Everyone’s market is different. You have different types of people who order pizza. Some want delivery for convenience others want to sit down away from home for togetherness.
Understand that you are marketing to folks with different needs. You already are doing well with those who want to sit down. Now go after–aggressively–those who would like to have “quick and convenient delivery”. You offer different types of pizza, now offer different ways to sell it–pick up, delivery or dine in.

I put my name, phone no., logo and we deliver on every piece that goes out. You can encourage delivery with specials designed for that one purpose.


Every business works a little differently…I have some clients that do huge volumes at low margins…I also have some clients that do a lower volume at higher margins…And each has to take a different path to get there…If you need volume, you need to get it however you can and you better have delivery and market it hard…But at the end of the day, the number that means the most, it the number at the bottom line…

Who suggested no delivery???