My pizzeria will be on the front cover of Clipper Magainze for September’s issue. This is certainly our most aggressive marketing to date (been in business since April). Last month we had a full page ad with moderate success.
I’ll scan in our last ad tomorrow so you all can see what we did for July’s issue. Our best coupons were:
“Free order of garlic knots with any purchase”
“$2 off any order of $10 or more”
“$5 off any order of $25 or more”
I feel like we should promote some sort of event because of the exposure the front cover should bring us. Does this make sense, or should it just be a regular ad with coupons? If an event sounds like a good idea, what type of event would you suggest.
I’ve had one idea recently. How about:
“Free Pizza a Week For Life!” Bring in this ticket along with your $5 off $25 or more coupon and be entered into this giveaway. All orders between date x and date y are eligible. We will announce the winner on date z.
Basically, all people spending $25 or more between the allotted time period (haven’t thought about double entries if a person spends $25 or more twice) will be entered into the giveaway. We can then set the date to announce the winner. Customer gets to use a $5 off $25 coupon and join a contest. The winner will receive a free large pizza a week for life.
Also, I’m a big “no” on the $X off $Y promotions. If you’re willing to take that money off a pizza, why not find an app/side item that costs you the same amount and offer it for free or make a combo for a dollar or two more?
We’ve run with an assortment of different coupon types, and from the response we’ve gotten, the $X off $Y promotion has been the most successful. We’ve done things like 2 Large 1 topping for $X, Pizza and Wings for $X, but people seem to prefer to use something that gives them more flexibility with their purchase.
I’m more interested in what people think about the Free Pizza for Life, and how you’d go about it.
We’d also go about getting all the information from the customers to add to our database.
Just give them one pizza a week based on their age and average life span… Bake them all… box them up… and make it a carry out only! Let them figure how to handle their few thousand pizzas. Say a 25 year old wins… lives till at least 75… once a week pizza… that’s 2600 pizzas at what? $15 or $20 each. You just gave away over $50,000 in a raffle. What happens if you go out of business or sell out? Make sure there is a clause to cover that one. Would hate too have Bubba showing up at your house every week for his free pizza 20 years after you close or sell out? How about free pizzas for a year. A lot easier to control your costs on and pick a new winner each year. Also lets you stop the whole thing if you wanted too at the beginning of a new year. Just seems a lot less risky.
Instead of pizza for life, consider having a gift card or any card with the value of 1 pizza. Then give the winner one for each week of your contest. If you do pizza for a year, then he gets 52 cards. Let him use them as he wants.
I know a lot of folks like to have promotions that give a pizza or other food to a winner for an extended period of time. However, I would think that it would be a sure way of burning someone out on your food.
Ok…lets hit on a couple of issues. I agree with the burning someone out on a pizza a week. I disagree with giving them 52 gift cards at once. It is easy to absorb 1 free pizza a week…but what if he decides to just have a party and get all 52 at once? You could always limit it too once a week on the cards. How about making it more inviting… say free dinner for 4 once a month for a year? A couple of pizzas and a side or two. Throw in some pop and beer… still costs you about the same and looks like more of a packaged deal.
I’m not worried about burning people out. Here’s the thing. First off, just because you CAN get a free pizza each week doesn’t mean you will. Second, the 80/20 rule saying 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customer seems to hold true for us. A good portion of our business comes from weekly repeat customers.
The goal is just to draw excitement.
What other ideas do you guys have to excite people and get them to come in? I have a front cover of a magazine getting mailed to over 20,000 homes. I want to do it right.
I’m about to whiz all over your fire. When you require a customer to purchase something to be entered to win, it’s a lottery – which means gambling. While the government has no issue with selling lottery tickets, don’t try it at home. You probably wouldn’t get much grief, but you COULD. To keep from being gambling, you have to remove either a) the prize, b) the buy-in, or c) any “chance”. Bowling is considered a game of skill while poker is not (though there’s no doubt that skill is required in poker, but the best player does NOT always win). Without a prize, no one cares. Without chance, it’s not a drawing. So, the one variable you can remove is the buy-in. This means an alternate form of FREE entry, and above all else, remember the phrase “void where prohibited”.
FYI, the two states that I have checked deeply into this are TX and TN. However, state laws vary, so check with your state. In THEORY, McDonald’s Monopoly game is open for legal interpretation in certain states as to whether it is “gambling” or not, but no state has the pockets to try to take on McD’s lawyers for a tiny payoff if the state actually prevails. However, a mom and pop shop is a MUCH easier target, especially if you have an enemy out there with a friend in the gubbermint. 900 pound gorillas don’t like to wrestle with each other, just with 20 pound babies.
None of the above should be considered legal advice, your state laws may vary, and I have no legal expertise. I have done research for my particular purposes and the above is simply information I’ve gathered and regurgitated poorly.
Snowman beat me to what I was going to post! You should look into the sweepstakes laws of Florida, but based on what you’ve posted this is probably illegal.
I think you’re over thinking this. Make sure you have a beautiful, professional looking ad with compelling offers - That’s all you need. Get a nice external shot of your restaurant, or get your staff posed behind some tables - something like that.
Maybe I’m the oddball, but free food for a year from any restaurant would not interest me in the slightest. I can’t even fathom eating once-per-week at the same place. I don’t even eat my own pizza that often!
I have to reiterate what indie said about $X off coupons as well. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say those were their most successful offers. How are you analyzing that? Based strictly on redemption? I have years of data that indicate $X off coupons result in more redemption but carefully crafted packaged offers make me much more money. I’m sure you can guess which one I care more about!
I’m waiting to get our proof back before reevaluating what to do for the cover.
As for the $x off coupons v. package coupons, my sample size is far too small to make a judgment based exclusively off my past results. However, while redemption can’t be the only variable, it must be factored. If my $5 off $25 or more beats out my $19.99 for dozen wings, soda and XL pie 8:1, it’s hard for me to deviate from this even if the package is more profitable per coupon. It might not create a better margin, but the volume seems to counter that.
Obviously this is all from my very limited experience…
Why not promote an giveaway event that might generate some publicity?
Our main competitor does a free breadstick giveaway every year when the student return (as their store is right on campus). They create a long line and generate a buzz - there is always a pic like this in the student newspaper…
Jimmy John’s does this with $1 sandwiches as does Chipotle with free burritos. It gets people to sample their product and always manages to turn heads. Might be something to consider if it’s not too late to plan it out properly.