How do I deal with an oversaturated market?

Okay…clarifying some things…

  1. Hotel location I was trying to open.
  2. Small pizza shop in podunk rurual area–decided to consult. Quit tonight. Told them what I thought, what they needed to do–I don’t see them lasting past this summer if that long. They could probably “survive” if they for whatever reason decide to actually listen to what I’ve told them. Don’t see that really happening though either. Oh well.
  3. As for my equipment–prolly will put in storage. I don’t owe anything on it, and that way I’ll have it to try, try again after recovering from this fiasco.
  4. Wouldn’t really call 20k a big pay day & my lawyer has all ready done quite a bit of work for me free. He is one of the good sharks.
    5)…i think Subway is hiring.

I’m not a marketing guy by any stretch of the imagination, but I do play one on television. With that said, I’ve worked with failing stores before, and the one approach that I take is to make the pizza different from everyone elses. That’s right, different. For example, when someone asks me to develop a pizza for them just like that of a major chain, I always ask them why? They say because it is the most popular pizza in town. The truth of the matter is that if your pizza tastes just like that of the major chain, or another, well established stores pizza, the local population will continue going to that store (call it comfort level), rather than buying yours, and price isn’t always that big of an issue, unless you’re WAY cheaper. Try breaking out of the traditional pizza mold, and do something a little different. The one thing that we have been doing for the past several years is to make pizzas without the traditional, dried basil and oregano. Instead, try using the fresh, green leaf form, much like they do in New York City. This changes the whole appearance and flavor profile, without losing the identity of the pizza. Then give it a different name, like old world pizza. Another approach is to look at your customer base, if they are young families, and make a decent living (I have to think that they are with that number of pizzerias in your area) try using General Mills organic flour, then go with fresh sliced tomatoes as a replacement for the sauce, use fresh basil and/or oregano (rather than the dried stuff) and top it off with a quality cheese product like a hand sliced/torn Mozzareaa cheese from balls (Grande Cheese) or blocks. Now, you can promote your pizzas as being hand crafted and made with “natural” ingredients. Remember, to succeed where the ordinary fails, you must stand out and be different.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor

Ayyyyyy… well I think you did the right thing by moving on. I suggest you get a job that pays (and don’t under estimate your skills) and start banking money. When you are financially ready to open you can make the decision of whether or not to actually open…of course stay clear of this area.

I consider the bank not loaning you money a blessing. For some reason when we borrow money we don’t see it as real money. If you have 100,000 in the bank (or whatever) then you can make a real decision of whether or not to open or move on.

Just my 2 cents paid for not borrowed! :wink:


Tom hit a good description of the USP - Unique Selling Point. aka “Why should I buy my pizza from you instead of the other 20 guys?” He was just showing off with the sliced tomato and hand torn basil leaves with fresh torn loaf mozzerella.

Don’t have an immediate, concise 30-second answer? Need to get one. It can close a sale FAST . . . and can lose a customer just as fast if you can’t tell them. The USP is one strong core of good marketing.

This is some of what I told them:

Start offering napkins & paperplates with every delivery. They’d be the only store in the area doing that.

Change up their dough. Every pizza place in the area either has a frozen dough shipped in or a par-bake. They have a frozen dough. They also have a walk-in cooler they are not utilizing

Remove the sugar from thier sauce recipe. Their sugar ratio is out of this world. Add basil, oregeno, & garlic.

They are on the lake. The lake is slowly dying. There is a local organization that is trying to save the lake, and they take donations. Offer one night out of the week where a percentage of the profits go to that organization. Also, change the store’s decor around. A local historian has a ton of original photos from the 1910 era when the amusement park was up and operating. I told them to get copies of those photos, blow them up to poster size, and hang them on the walls.

They offer a unique variety of carni food. No one in the area does that. They are from a carni background, so it was only natural for them to offer the fair food. Not a single person knows about their deep fried oreos though. Or their fresh fair cut fries, elephant ears, philly cheese steaks, etc. These are really high profit items too, but they are buried on the menu where no one can see them. Redesign the menu, and advertise the carni food separately.

Fire several people. The one guy was habitually late for work. I’m talking an hour or more. They kept him on though because they “liked him. He’s a good friend.” A few times, they drove to his house and dragged him out of bed. The kicker was he got paid for his missing hours. Other employee problems they had included employees hanging out in front of the store smoking, smoking inside the store, employees not wearing their uniforms or shaving.

Every single customer the third business owner ticked off, offer them free food–specifically, the deep fried oreos. If you’ve never had deep fried oreos, you are missing out on heaven.

Both schools in the area get thier pizzas from Domino’s. I told them to go after those contracts for school lunches.

Offer trades in advertising with the local video rental store.

They are less than two minutes away from a community college. I gave them the name of the student affairs officer, the dean (who I know personally) and several of the student organizations.

…I, of course, had more, but I’d figure I’d wait and see if they could handle the above first and go from there. They of course couldn’t even handle the paper plates and napkin thing let alone the rest of it. Their solution was to bring in beer, and cigarettes, and they are currently working on their liquor license.

…anyway, I walked.

I’ve been lurking around this forum for a long time. This has been my first time ever posting though. Mainly, I think, after re-reading through this thread, I think I was just so frustrated with the hotel situation and then these guys on top of it not listening to my advice, I really needed to vent. I appreciate everyone’s feedback. With out this opportunity to complain and have some good natured people who are familiar with the business to slap me up side the head a couple of times, I think my wife would have killed me!

You never said you had a WIFE too. Geez!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

A wife, a 9 year old daughter, an 18 month old son, a crazy mother-in-law we just put into the nursing home…ahh, the personal life is a whole other story man. :smiley: