Grad student seeking info from pizzeria operators

Hi everybody,

I am a university graduate student doing research on how pizzeria operators approach local marketing and promotion. While I have found a lot of information online from various sources, I would like to hear from pizzeria operators directly.

If you can answer a few questions as to how your store approaches marketing and promotion, please drop me a private message, or email me to I can forward specific questions if you are able to help.

Thank you!


If you are willing to take the time to read the FAQ section here on the Think Tank you will find a wealth of information. Here is the link You will need to scroll down to find the General Marketing section. If after you have read all that is there you still have questions, post those specific questions and I am sure that someone here will take the time to answer.

Thank you for the link. I found some very helpful information. I am still looking for some primary research sources and responses to a controlled set of questions. Academics like it that way so the responses can be compared and statistically analyzed.

If you can spare a minute, I would appreciate anyone who can complete my 10 question survey. I will share the responses with anybody who would like to see. … SWqw_3d_3d

rhuff I filled out the survey and would appreciate a copy of the results. If you would like more info, contact me through email or PM through PMQ.

Me too!

I filled it out as well.

One point you might want to think about is question 4. I rarely use coupons to generate new customers, but I do use them extensively in my customer retention program. 30-60-90 day no orders get a graduated discount, ie 30-59 day no orders get a $3 discount, the customers that didn’t use that get a second coupon, and the ones with no orders in 90-120 days, who would have already gotten 2 coupons in the mail get an even bigger discount.

Good point. Thanks!

Me too. Also, maybe you could contact PMQ about an article based on your research. They seem to be having trouble with story ideas.

I guess I am the only one suspicious of someone wanting information without credentials. And as a someone with a graduate degree, I find the survey suspicious. There is just no way this sort of sampling has any meaning and the questions themselves are not very thoughtful.

Yeah, I am a party pooper.

Sorry to have raised suspicion. This isn’t meant to be a scientific survey. I will use the information to help support (or question) my secondary research and info gathered from direct interviews of pizzeria operators in my local area. Even so, the survey is pretty benign and anonymous.

For what its worth, you can reach me at rhuff “at” for my school email if that helps you at all. I typically use my hotmail for posting to public sites in order to help keep spam levels low with my school email.

Thanks to everybody who has completed the survey out so far. I am aiming for 10-15 more to help smooth out any outliers.

Hi everybody,

I have 8 surveys so far, and I’d like to get at least 15 to make the results meaningful. Please complete the survey if you have a few minutes. Its 10 easy questions regarding advertising and coupon use. This is for a school project. … SWqw_3d_3d



n=15 is a pretty small sampling, but whatever. I am curious . . .

What is the ultimate purpose of the research? What sort of class is this for?
What led you to focus so heavily on couponing versus (almost to the excusion of) the myriad other effective marketing tools?
What is the “secondary research” that this very informal survey is going to support?
Is there any corporate or other business interest involved in this project either now or in the future?

You certainly don’t have to answer my questions, but I am interested to figure out how grad students stumble here to ask for surveys and industry information. Not at all opposed, just curious where our information would be going. Inormed consent and all.

I would love 1,000 responses, but based on the results so far, that’s not likely. 15 seems like a reasonable goal right now, and would at least give me a rough idea. If you can help get 25, you would be my new favorite person. The survey results will be combined with what I am learning from local operators through direct interviews.

Its for a class project related to how technology is impacting traditional marketing approaches in the pizza business. The survey is limited to traditional marketing, and especially coupons, but the overall project is more broad. Understanding the current practices and cost structure of traditional advertising will help me understand why things might change, and how operators of independent stores, and small chains, might be impacted as large chains leverage new technology to reach customers.

I hate long surveys, and my free surveymonkey account only allows for 10 questions. I had to focus my survey on one aspect, so I chose coupons. I would love to learn more about what other advertising techniques you have found to work. Also, coupons seems relevant to my technology angle, given what the large chains have done recently.

All I can say is that I have never worked in the pizza business, have no known connection to any entities that work in the industry, and that this information is being used for a class project. I can’t predict the future though. At some point, I hope to leverage my education, and who knows what opportunities might be available, especially in this economy. Maybe my research will reveal a way to help smaller pizza operators more effectively compete with the large chains. That would be a good thing, as my favorite pizza stores are independent shops.

Anyway, I have been contacting pizzeria operators individually, but I was worried that my findings would be skewed to what happens near where I live in southern California. My guess is that what operators spend on advertising in southern California might be different than what operators spend in the midwest, and elsewhere. This website seemed like a good opportunity to expand my limited view, and I have been using some of the info provided for my secondary research. I just recently found the forums.

I expected some suspicion. Considering that I am a student with no background in the industry, trying to learn what actually happens at the store level in places like Grantville, Georgia, what would you do? Most of what I have found through secondary research (newspapers, magazines, research reports) is skewed towards the top 3 chains, and rarely touches on what goes on with smaller operations. I think you would agree that limiting my research to what the large chains are doing would be a poor representation of how advertising works in the pizza business.

If anybody has read all of this, I hope you understand my intentions a bit more, and feel more comfortable with helping. I understand if you still are not.

Just filled it out would be interested in the results also!

I also took the survey…good luck with your project!!

Thanks everybody! I will post the results once the flow of new surveys stops. I have 18 right now.

Hi everybody. Thanks again for participating in the survey. Here are the results:

  1. What kind of pizzeria do you operate?
    Indepdendent Store 14
    Franchise location of large chain 0
    Franchise location of smaller chain 4
    Owner of chain 2

  2. Approximately what percentage of your business comes from phone orders?
    Average: 81%
    Std Dev: 14.7%
    1st Quart: 75%
    2nd Quart: 85%
    3rd Quart: 90%
    20 answered

  3. On average, what percentage of revenue do you directly spend on local advertising?
    Average: 6%
    Std Dev: 4.24%
    1st Quart: 3.75%
    2nd Quart: 5%
    3rd Quart: 6.25%
    20 answered

  • One answer of 20% skewed results. Without the 20%, the results were:
    Average: 5%
    Std Dev: 2.68%
    1st Quart: 3.5%
    2nd Quart: 5%
    3rd Quart: 5.5%
  1. How important are coupons to the success of your store(s)?
    Very important 5
    Somewhat important 10
    Minimally important 3
    Not at all, or we don’t use coupons 2
    I do not work in a store 0

  2. Approximately how much do you spend on coupon advertising/distribution per store in a month?
    Average: $864
    Std Dev: $1,150
    1st Quart: $45
    2nd Quart: $400
    3rd Quart: $1,000
    20 answered

  3. Approximately how many coupons are redeemed per month for each of your stores?
    Average: 654
    Std Dev: 1041
    1st Quart: 21
    2nd Quart: 125
    3rd Quart: 1025
    18 answered

  4. If the cost is competitive with traditional coupon distribution methods, does a performance-based coupon system sound appealing? (Performance-based coupon is where a store pays the distributor only for the coupons redeemed by customers)
    Very appealing 6
    Somewhat appealing 8
    Not very appealing 1
    Not interested at all 5
    Other 0

  5. What are the most significant issues with the use of coupons?
    High cost to distribute 7
    Unreliable response rates 4
    Attracts customers who only come for discounted price 16
    Low effectiveness in attracting new customers 1
    Dillutes the brand 3
    Customers get addicted to coupons 1

  6. What are the most valuable uses of coupons?
    Attract new customers 11
    Make more sales to new and/or existing customers 10
    Increase exposure to different/new menu item 7
    Move out inventory 0
    Get people to buy more than originally planned 1

  7. What type of store is your biggest competitor?
    Large pizza chain store 12
    Independent pizza store 6
    Non-pizza quick service restaurant store 0
    None 2
    Other 0

Most of your standard deviations are insane looking?? Your SD is larger than your average in three questions??? Something is amiss, or the small sampling is really goobering your numbers.

It was a meaningless survey with the sample size and methodology. That is what I was questioning in the first place. I just expected more from a graduate project. I could see this as an attempt by an undergrad, but at the graduate level it is astonishing, especially if he really does go to that institution.

I saw that too. The numbers were all over the place, so the standard deviation doesn’t have much value. Its interesting that there is so much variety in how pizzeria operators use coupons. Here is the detail for the coupon answer: