game plan for a new pizza chain moving in town

need advice on dealing with a new pizza chain(national)moving in on my turf?

Expect a dip in sales as people try out the new place. Differentiate yourself rather than competing on price. Let roaches loose inside their store. Wait. Not that last one.

We just recently went through this but it was a regional chain.

We made sure our place was as clean as possible as well as keep our quality and consistency high. We also tried to get as many front pages of the local coupon books (super saver, savey shopper, etc) as possible so they could not and kept the ads, flyers and doorhanging going.

You are going to get a period where people want to try them out and sales will dip a bit but keep doing everything the same…

thanks for the input…i’ll give em a week or so and than bombard with fliers

I know this goes without saying, but now is the time to have a team meeting and stress the importance of product quality and customer service. I would also take the opportunity to produce an in store poster or two (if you don’t already have them) which emphasize your strengths (market differentiation such as quality ingredients, “old world” style, etc.) as well as your connection with the community. This doesn’t have to be sappy but you need to help reinforce the notion that you’re “their local pizza shop”.

Yes, you’ll see a dip in sales. And you’ll probably lose some sales permanently. But your commitment and quality will keep you in the game and ultimately, make you a better pizza maker!

But while you may not be able to put them out of business, your running a strong race and keeping your market share may keep them from being as profitable as they’d like to be.

Don’t get in a price cutting war as you will probably be the loser and your loyal customers will leave you after your quality and service drops.

Good luck!

You may also want to look at your menu and see what you serve and they don’t. Chains don’t have the luxery of fiddling with their menu so if you can provide a unique item or service they don’t you will gain an edge.

For us, our local chains will not deliver a salad without a pizza order. We have created a nice salad menu, all which can be delivered. We invested in some nice containers. We have done this with some other menu items as well.

Years ago, before we opened, I tried ordering cheese breadsticks from a chain here in town. I loved their CBS. I called from time to time trying to get some delivered. They always said you have to order a pizza too. I said how bout two orders of CBS they said no. I tried adding soda etc. I can’t stand their pizza and wasn’t interested in a pizza. They wouldn’t and still don’t. You can be assured we deliver just CBS.

Kris

Watch what you do and make sure you’re consistently good. Pay attention to what customers are saying about
the new place and use it to your advantage. It’s hard to hear people knock a competitor when “customers” are telling them what they like about a place.

We had a place go in that was direct competition (New York Pizza) and they were busy for awhile, but everyone’s coming back because their service is awful. We made sure we checked online and with customers, and we upped our service level as much as we could afford.