increasing lunch sales

we are a new pizzeria/sandwich shop. We are doing very limited and sparatic lunch time sales. There are several other pizza places in the area, but we offer a much better product. I have gone around and gotten a fax list started to send coupons to, but i am having trouble gettin the fax option on my computer to work. Besides that, can anyone tell me a way to get my place to be the restaurant of choice?


I don’t mean to be a d*%k, but faxing isn’t that difficult. I also haven’t figured out how to fax from my computer, but don’t see the need for it. I own three $5 fax machines that I bought a different restaurant auctions. Not that I am looking to fax lunch menus to businesses, but I use them for work regularly. No modem needed, just a phone line. Just dial the # and send the fax. If this is not a possibilty, search the archives and you will find numerous companies that will fax lunch menus for you.

yea, i can find companies to fax, but it costs money and im trying to keep costs down. I dont want to spend any money that i dont have to. But if you guys have any other ideas, let me know.

run an ad in the paper, get out in the community. Go talk to businesses in the area. Develop some coupons and specials just for businesses

already doing that

Try a lunch Buffet AYCE (all you can eat).

Works for my customers here. I have 20 extra El Bees (LB’s) to attest that it works. LOL

Lunch buffet would be good if I had a dining room. I figured for lunches, it’s going to have to be all businesses. It’s just going to take time for us. Our lunches are sporatic, somedays theyre booming, other days it’s nothing. But I figured that would happen since the business before me did not do lunch at all.

Lunch just doesn’t fly in some areas. At some point you need to decide if it costs you more to be open than you make. Maybe you’d be better off closing for lunch.

I was in the same lunch pradicament, last year. The previouse owner was never open for lunch so when I opened we started recieving sporatic orders, some days were awsome and others were in the dumps. My first step was to create a lunch combo, every body at lunch wants a alot of food really fast.

My secound step was to take the lunch combo flyers, (very Cheap) 180 for 5k to all of the businesses and at the same time entered them on a fax list. This killed it and I now have 250 faxes. btw, each unsolicited fax you send out you can be fined for, keep that in mind.

I then purchased a brother fax machine and started compiling the fax numbers into the machine for faxing by day, these were broken down into 10 day intervels.

3rd which should have been fist was hire more drivers, lunch is the easiest and most cost effective area of your day to build your business but is also the most finikey (probably spelled wrong) they want there food hot fast and NOW. they will not wait and if you make them wait they will not order again. people at lunch have a very limited schedule for eating usually 20-30 mins. and it really peeves them off when every body else in the office has there food and they dont. My bigest killer has been poorer service than should have been provided.

I should be much higher if I had done 3 instead of 1

btw I did not mention having good food. Everybody feels that they have good food or great food. Every customer will have a different taste. I have beat my competetors in taste tests and you know what they still beat me on lunch sales. I attribute alot of lunch business to Speed, Price, Quality, and most likely in that order. as well.

I have a couple questions for those who fax “on your own” with a fax machine or computer…

Do you also grow your own tomatoes for your sauce?
Do you raise chickens, pigs and cows for your sandwiches?
Do you build your own ovens?

But seriously, there are many things you can do “on your own”, but more often than not, it just not smart. Others can do those things better and you can save your time for the truly important things. Yes, it costs money to have others do those things, but as an owner, you need to focus on your products and your customers. Do that and you’ll have enough money to pay for all the things your can otherwise do “on your own”. Those who focus on doing everything “on their own” are usually the same ones who don’t have good products and don’t have enough customers. Consequently, they are also the ones who are out of business in a year or two.

Tommy - great ideas. I have to agree that lunch is the best way to add more sales easily. And of course, the businesses are the best way to go. I started passing out moe flyers to businesses today, I’ll keep it going until I have enough sales during lunch, even though you can never have enough.

Mike, Good point.

I have good news though, I do not make very good pizzas, they are quite thin in the middle and thick on the crust. My pizza cooks do a much better job than me… LOL.

However I do market well… LOL

I learned from earlier posts that paying other companies to do your faxing can and in some cases do result in business ending fines. There was a gentlman on this board not to long ago, maybe last spring, who made your exact statement.

Three weeks or so later he reposted, he had been hit with 15,000 worth of fines do immediatly. I do not think he could pay them, for I have not seen him on the boards since. A law was resently passed that bans spam faxes and that is what they are if they are not approved and or wanted. My fax list is comprised of willing and waiting people and they are set up by area for deliveries. This is done to protect my coporation and to make easier deliveries for my drivers. It maximises labor.

It takes less time to hand my opening manager the new weekly or 10 day fax than it would to email it and explain to a fax company where to fax them and expect it to be done right.

So like a good POS a little time spent up front saves a whole lot of money and time in the end.

In my experience, everybodies is different I guesse.


First an foremost. You “the owner” are the most creative aspect of your business, and the most sought after! If you want to build sales, you need to free up your schedule so you can go out and make the face to face contacts in your community. Get to know the neighborhood well.
Hire a lunch time manager to run your store, so you can go out and meet and greet your customers. Here are two sure fire ways to increase your sales, create loyalty.

Start a Free Lunch Program.

I don’t know about your restaurant but my average check for two 16" pizza, a order of Breadsticks, and an order of wings is about $40 or about $12. food cost.

When I open a store, I commit myself to sitting down for lunch with 60 businesses in my area, Mon ~ Fri, I make my rounds, usually getting as far as the Receptionist. I ask if they would like a “Free Lunch!” I set up a date in the future no more than two weeks in advance, and I ask how many people are in the office. On the day of the free lunch, I load up “thank you” (T-shirt Bag) with coupons, magnets, a fax order form, some literature on little league fundraising, and school nights, and other marketing nick nacks, for each person in the office. I bring a good sample of products to the office, and I play host for 20 minutes answering any questions, and basically promoting my product. Each person in that office represents a Family, no matter how small or extended it maybe, if you create a good impression, and you provide great product. You will not only develop lunch sales, but your dinner sales should thrive too. Total cost of the event? $20. to $80. Taking into consideration, the increase labor incurred by your replacement, and the size of the company you are feeding. I try to keep it simple, and visit small companies of 12 or less this gives me time to meet everyone in the company and chit-chat a little. Ask questions, develop repoir. If you don’t already have a school night in the works too promote, ask if anyone has a kid, and what school they go to? People love to talk about there kids, and if they know you care, this will create a huge bond.

Good Businesses to connect with first are Dentist, Opticians, Doctors, Lawyers, Insurance Agents, Real Estate Agents, Banks, Mortgage Brokers, City Offices, Pharmacists, Pawn Shops, Gun Shops, and Mechanics. These are businesses that have time for you, and they make a lot of small talk in there day-to-day business, and if they like your food, I’ll guarantee ya that they talk about you allot to everyone they meet.

You cant compare those things to marketing well you can but thats like comparing apples to oranges.
But I do alot of my own marketing Like My daily lunch faxes to about 60 business as day. Why would I pay someone for a job that takes me about 10 seconds? I pick a Lunch special sheet (I have 30 different ones with 3 different combos on each) put it in the fax machine and press broadcast. Been doing it for 7 years each year I take about an hour and update it. Thats it, simple and easy.