graduation street closure

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know what’s happening this year in regards to the 2 local high school graduations in June! They usually have them at the local stadium but it is under construction until September. Soooo… They are having the graduation cermonies at the School District building… which happens to be across the street from our shop!!! They are closing the street from 12-8:30 and they are letting the businesses that are affected by it sell their wares out on the street to the 10,000+ people! I can’t wait but I’m a little nervous! I’m gearing up to sell slices and LOTS of water! A little nervous about telling our regualrs that this is happening, but if I do it right, it’ll all work out. I’m thinking I shouldn’t really worry about the regulars because I’ll be making so much “dough” from the graduation participants! Any thoughts to make it easier on us? Again, I can’t wait! Yippeeee…

The event sounds great, but NEVER forget about the regulars. I’m sure they will catch on, and know this was way beyond your control…BUT what if for the 2 weeks before graduation, you handed out a flyer warning the customers about the access issue that day, and include a nomimal $3 off a large pizza, good for a couple days after graduation. Kind of a thank you for understanding, sorry for the inconvenience, and hopefully push that day’s normal volume into the next couple days. Or offer free delivery that day, assuming you have access to a back door.

Also, not sure how many messy slices of pizza you’ll sell to a crowd of dressed up folks sitting in heat for hours for a graduation. I think you’re right on, on the cold water and drinks though, maybe candy.

In fact, if it were me, I might even assume I wasn’t going to sell any pizza, and try to get samples and bounceback coupons out to the crowd. Maybe sell even more water after giving away pizza.

Are you going to allow access to your bathroom?

NEVER neglect your regulars. Even if you have a record day, what’s going to happen next week, when the regulars are upset at you?
I live in a college town where several places close just as soon as school is out for the summer. They never seem to make it more than a few years.

We’ve got a new place that does this now - they even closed up shop for spring break. Seems to be putting the cart before the horse to me. Gotta build your base with the townies to provide that steady revenue stream week-in and week-out first, then go after that student money.

Anyways (back on topic), I agree that you need to spend these next few weeks letting your regulars know about that night - at least something posted on your front door and reminder from the cashier/wait staff. They’ll appreciate you warning them not to get trapped in what sounds like a big traffic nightmare.

Think about how to market to new folks who may not have tried you before.
Go to Costco or Sam’s club and buy cases of water for cheap.

Then ask your drink vendor, Coke or Pepsi, to make a banner that says “FREE WATER WITH EACH PIZZA SLICE”

Have a few wet naps, the kind that you get at a BBQ restaurant after eating, and give everyone a water along with the slice, napkin and wet nap.

Be sure to offer your restaurant for a resting place or bathroom break. This gets them in the door and allows them to see your friendly staff and clean store.

And most importantly, make sure everyone gets a menu and a some type of coupon for a later date. It should be an aggressive offer with a short expiration date, maybe 2 weeks.

You have a rare occasion to “show off” for potentially new customers. The best part is, it is not costing you anything but a FREE water at your cost of maybe $.20.

Food for thought


I might consider taking that one step farther and just give away the water to the crowds.

I have no idea how much this cost but at a parade I was at a local restaraunt had employees handing out free water with the company’s location and a coupon for a couple bucks off.


I kind of agree with the idea of not really trying to go crazy at trying to feed the huge gathering of people. Yes you might have a great day but like you have heard… a lot of dressed up people… probably hot out… pizza is kind of a mess. Now don’t get me wrong… sell the slices… but take a look at how much you spend in a month on mailers or other advertising. Now lets talk free water or even pop for that matter. Print out some special “graduation gift promotion” of some sort just for this event. Just like the parade comment…give the water away. Yes it costs you maybe 15-25 cents per bottle but include that coupon for that special with each bottle and I bet more than a few of those people remember who helped them out with the free water and will come back for the pizza. Good luck.