<Warning . . . long winded exposition of thoughts on our month . . . >
So, last night marked the last day of pizza baking in our first month being re-opened. It has been quite a whirlwind of experiences to say the least (like we definitely need another 5 to 10 tons of AC when we get our dining room opened). Our sales have been envigorating to stupendous this month. Staff has gotten back into a rhythm and are finding the space we built to be actually very functional and efficient for the most part. Some modifications are still needed, but they have gotten used to working in closer quarters and less walking around.
Sales: We exceeded my desires quite nicely. Had second highest Saturday yesterday. We had our 2nd highest sales month ever. Even better is that we had our highest daily average by a good margin. If we had 2 more days this month, we would easily have made the top month. Previous top month had 23 sale days compared to 20 for me this month.
Staff: All staff returned to me and have been striding right along. They grow impatient a little now when the surges go down. We spike a couple of hours and swoon an hour or two this month. They are getting into the habot (with my help) of finding things that need doing. They will next month have opportunities to get hands into some finishing work in the dining room and storage room. So, idel hands will not be so bad. I will also do some recipe development with two of them who want to do that sort of thing.
Customers: We have lost some of our friends/customers to attrition and moving away. Several have had babies, gotten married, gotten divorced and gotten new jobs. It has been fun, as well as exceedingly good customer relations, to reminisce about the past 7 months away and what has changed. New babies are fawned over, kids getting bigger and congratulated, and so on. So many customers are actually conected to us personally, that it has been emotionally satisfying to see them all again and get their smiles and well-wishes.New customers have been big this month as well. We have to build the customer base back up to fill in the gaps of the down trends that will come.
Postcard: The direct mail postcard we sent at end of first full week is responsible for about 15 to 20 new customers alone. They all had heard about us for weeks/months from their neighbors, but the card got them in the shop. Mailed 1800 @ total cost of $350 . … got 15 new customers . . . paid for the project right there just in their 1st purchases, because at least two made $50 orders!! We had 24 fill out the card and return it . . . and countless mention they got it and came in when they found out we were open again. So, 1.333% return rate and closer to 5% ‘response’ rate to the mailed post card.
Food: The quality and appearance of our food has been top rate. Employees are determined to show the town we are back and better than ever. We relay every phone call or comment customers make, and they stand a little taller when a brand new customer ordered $55 in food 1st time out and at their second call, three days later, said, “We wanted to call you right back after our food was delivered (panic on my wife’s face) . . . to tell you it was the best looking and best tasting pizza we’ve ever had!”. The guys gushed from that one. I’ve had a couple goofs with ordering, actually not ordering when we were low on something. We still need to get our menu back to full operation. We are still missing our salads and gyros. Next week should get those back in the fold, and add a new challenge to the staff functioning. We bought a used piece of equipment (cooler worktable) that should work very nicely for this specific need.
We made a great showing for our 1st month back, and have to keep our eye on the prize . . . the completed facility. Next week I go back into construction mode to finish trimming out dining room, and finishing floors so we can have our grand opening celebration July 28th. We won’t have the 2nd dining room ready by then, but we’ll get the final pieces of the pizzeria side done. Still trying to find the $6K for another 5-ton AC unit installation.
We also have been fighting the little demon in our heads that tells us to gloat over getting back in business when previous landlord and a couple others tried to put us out of business and keep us out. I can’t go that road, because it is far more satisfying and soul-warming to see those kids smile and shout when they see that the face on their pizza box is really a guy making the pizza Families loving the chice for a quick, time saving meal again; employees paying their electric bills and buying groceries again; town having a business that networks with the rest of the county and building the reputation. Still, that little demon comes whispering . . . . We just listen to our song, get goosebumps, and smile a satisfied smile.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/191182/i_ … cked_down/