Jrokk your 2 cents plz

We opened our 2nd restaurant 2 weeks ago. It was suppose to be a slow open since we were waiting on some last minute issues and not sure if we could open on time. We did NO advertising whatsoever and were killed. Almost double our sales at original location. Service was held to the standard we strive. It was rough but we made it. The compliments were out of this world. 85% of the sales dine in.

2nd week sales continued to grow (oddly enough the other store is getting busier too) We did an insert in the paper and got slammed the next 4 days. This really helped our delivery. We have done radio (I know not much of a return for the money but just wanted to get the name out)
So now what? Do we advertise like crazy? Should we expect a natural decline in business? Should we expect a continued increase?

What has been your experience? Thanks for your 2 cents.

AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Looks like you’re kickin’ a$$ and takin’ names. Good job!

We did NO advertising whatsoever and were killed. Almost double our sales at original location. Service was held to the standard we strive. It was rough but we made it. The compliments were out of this world. 85% of the sales dine in.

So now what? Do we advertise like crazy? Should we expect a natural decline in business? Should we expect a continued increase?

A lot of stores open the way yours just did. It’s crazy, isn’t it… LOL. But, yeah, that’s what you’re going to see the first 4-6 weeks. Dine in will remain huge for a while, then all of a sudden deliveries will start picking up once the word gets out that you’re bringing them to the houses, too. After those first 4-6 weeks, you’ll start to see the dine ins at a more manageable level as (hopefully) your delivery sales really start to pick up.

Now, as far as the advertising thing…

Get everything ready, but not just yet. Right now you’re on a ride with the big sales so enjoy it and get as much as you can. After that initial 4-6 week honeymoon period you’ll probably want to give the restaurant another shot in the arm as it starts to settle in. Probably mark it on the calendar (somewhere between Jan 23rd and Jan 31st) that you’d want to do an advertising blitz. If you’re selling everything at regular prices now with no discounting, I’d probably send out the first advertisement with 2-4 decent price point coupons (prices that will still net you around a 28% Food Cost). Make sure that first advertisement has a complete menu also. Actually, for the first 2 months at least, I’d make sure every box is boxtopped with a menu and every piece of print material has a menu section. You want your potential customers to know everything about you while their interest is peaked (which is right now in your introductory phase). God I love opening new stores. You have no idea what to expect and every now and then you land a monster! Makes everything feel kinda cool.

You play your cards right with these stores and stay on top of all the community events, you can ride this wave for a very long time. Keep us posted. -J_r0kk

i have zero experience right now, so i am not attempting to second guess jrokk b/c he knows what he is talking about and he’s really helpful. this is actually also a question from me i guess. wouldn’t you want the second advertising wave to come around super bowl weekend instead of jan 23-31? or is the super bowl itself enough of a reminder to order pizza and wings? now that i think of it- when is the super bowl this year?

I wouldn’t reccomend an adverising blitz around Superbowl, especially being a new place. In my two stores I don’t do any advertising for the Superbowl. We can barely handle all of the business that we get that day without any specials or advertising.

I opened my second location about a year ago and had a similar experience. We were absolutely swamped right when we opened. The store remained busy for the first couple of months. I then made the mistake of getting lazy. I didn’t do much advertising. I thought I was on easy street with all of the business and extra money that was coming in. Boy was I ever wrong. After the first couple of months sales started to level off. You have to remember, when you are the new guy in town everyone is curious and is going to try you out the first couple of months. You get everyone ordering at the same time. Most people only eat pizza about once or twice a month so it tends to be a while before most of them order again. Their eating patterns will then start to develop. So instead of all of them ordering at once (like they did when you first opened) it will start to spread out with some of them ordering the first week of the month, some the second, some the third, and so on. So when you to see your sales leveling off around the second month sometime, start advertising. Do a grand opening (see one of jrokk’s posts from a couple weeks ago - he had some good advice for grand openings). My advice is to not get lazy like I did. After a couple of months when all of your staff has gotten some experience under their belt, advertise, advertise, advertise! I hope some of my advice helps you out and that your shop is a huge success. GOOD LUCK! -Roger