just opened

we just opened and are doing about 300 a day in sales and are looking for new ways to get people in the door. Any ideas?

When you say just opened, how many weeks are you speaking of?


First, welcome to the Think Tank !

If you search the Think Tank Archives there’s about 24 pages filled with ways to increase your sales.

You should also search a Think Tank member named j_r00k. He is the best poster on here right now and has lots of good ideas. If you search his profile there is a section where you can view all of his posts.

Also, the more info you can give us the better we can assist you. Things like population, number of households, competition and average income help.

We opened in August of this year and are struggling as well.

currently less than 2 weeks. We are having trouble with the sign company getting out here to install. The only thing that seems to be drawing new customers in is a kid walking with a board sign, but as you would imagine, its not easy to find people to do that.

how do i go about looking up his old posts?

On the top of the think tank page is a link to the search feature, you can search by keyword or author. Good luck!


Obviously, one of the major problems you’re experiencing is the lack of signage outside your place. Hopefully, you’ve somewhat remedied that problem with a temporary banner with your logo until you can get your sign installed. If you haven’t gotten this banner, make it a priority to get this done next week.

As far as slow sales are concerned, you’re suffering from the effects of a soft opening, which is sometimes expected. All you need is a little push and you’ll be fine. If you need help, I’d be glad to give you a little advice, but I need some background information about your store:

  1. Which demographic are you trying to reach? In other words, are you high price, high quality… or are you more of a mainstream type pizzeria?

  2. What’s your experience?

  3. What are the demographics of your community? (i.e. # of households, household income, median age, major employers, colleges, military bases, traffic count in front of your store, what kind of building you’re in, etc.)

  4. What advertising have you done(if any) so far?

  5. Do you sell just pizza?

  6. What’s your pricing and size pizzas?

Get back with me and the group and I will be glad to help you out. -J_r0kk

I think Good Ol’ Networking is a great way to get your name out there.

Chamber of Commerce Meetings
Lions Club Meetings

Local High School Booster Clubs often sell pizza at BallGames (Basketball, Football, Baseball, etc. etc.) for $2 a slice (8 slice pie) and the local pizzaria sells to the Booster Clubs for $8/pie.

Anything you can do to get your pizza in the mouths of potential customers will get them coming to your door.

“Word of mouth” is the best advertising. That’s how my business survives, product and service!

we do have a banner sign. We are actually tryin to offer a high quality pizza for a rather cheap price. We are more focused on quantity. We also have sandwiches. The demographic for the area is mixed from lower middle class, to upper middle class. We have 12, 14, 16 and 18 inch pizzas.

Well, that’s some of the info I was looking for…

Have you done ANY advertising at all? What are your advertising mediums? What’s your population? What’s the traffic count out front?

It would be helpful to have this info so I don’t give you blind advice that would never work in a million years at your store. -J_r0kk

im going to recommned one thing … its a little pricey but i think i am going to buy one for my opening!.. its a huge 15 foot blow up pizza and you can have your logo attached to it on a banner… its 1600 dollars but i feel WELL worth it, you could get some banner made for cheap with so different specials you offer… check it out on ebay … its under Inflatable pizza… def a great ad tool

we have done minimal advertising. We have a kid stand out front with a board sign. I personally have gone out to businesses offering specials. We have a population of 40000 in the town we are in along with several other towns we are bordered by. as for car count, i would say about 15-20 per minute.

we have done minimal advertising. We have a kid stand out front with a board sign. I personally have gone out to businesses offering specials. We have a population of 40000 in the town we are in along with several other towns we are bordered by. as for car count, i would say about 15-20 per minute.

Where’d you get the blow up pizza? I’d like to take a look…

Okay, good start. I’ll give you some generic store opening ideas. Let’s just consider you’ve done a soft opening, as in you just turned on your open sign, opened the doors, and said “we’re open now”.

Unfortunately, though I wish that would work all the time, the plain and simple fact is… it doesn’t. Soooo, let’s get these people to order some pizzas from you, shall we?

First, PizzaManMike has a good idea with the big blow up pizza. However, what you put in the front of your store is of little consequence as long as you have something. I’ve always told people to get streamers because they’re flashy, they move with the wind, and most importantly, they’re cheap. Now if you want to pay the $1,600 on a big pizza, more power to you. Let me borrow it when you’re done 'cause I think they’re cool as Hell. Now… what this excercise will do is bring attention to the 21,600 - 28,800 cars a day that pass by your new place. (hint for the future - go to your state’s dept. of transportation website and they can give you accurate traffic counts).

The next place you’d want to attack would be the potential customers that do NOT pass by your place on a regular basis. These guys actually have no idea who, where, or what you are. Sooo… make them find out. Good avenues to choose would be bulk mail, direct mail, doorhanging, or newspapers. Each has the strong points and each has their weak points. For example:

Bulk Mail - This is usually a piece prepared by a professional printing company that distributes your coupon along with about 15 other companies. The price is good (usually around $400-$600) but return is rather crappy, netting you an average of about a .5% - 1% return. In your case with approx. 15,000 households, that’s between 75 and 150 orders.

Direct Mail - This generates a pretty good response depending on your artwork and specials, giving you an average of 1% - 3% (150 - 450 orders). However, it tends to get a little pricey at a range of 20 cents - 48 cents a piece.

Doorhanging - This is “old school” pizza shop kind of stuff. It’s not very efficient (the avg person puts out 100 pieces per hour) so if you want to make any kind of dent you need to dedicate a fairly large number of people a fairly large amount of time to see any kind of giant response. Doorhangers will net you 5% - 8% return.

Newspapers - These are relatively inexpensive, however you only attack a certain demographic with this venue, which is usually older residents in their 40’s or above, though you do get exposure to all age groups.

Another idea would be a tactic Garlic Jim’s pizza uses in the Northwest. They put up a table in front of their store with a sign that says “Free Pizza”. If I’m not mistaken it’s pizza-slices they hand out, completely free, with an advertisement, the entire week before they open. I’m not sure if you want to take the hit now… after you’ve opened, but it’s something to think about.

Either way you go with your advertising there’s always one constant: It needs to get done. The only way to get people to try your shop is to get the message out that you exist, and maybe give them some incentive to come in and get a pizza from you. Hopefully, this post will help a little with your quest to become that million dollar store like your boy Paul7979. -J_r0kk

Here’s something i plan on doing when i open. Bring some free samples to busy-bodies and talkers such as hair salons and real estate agents. Hair dressers are always looking for ice breakers to talk to their customers. if they like your pizza maybe they will start a conversation with, “hey, have you tried the new pizza place in town?” you can give some ads to real estate agents in your area and ask them to put one in each welcome package that they usually give people when they purchase a house. Real estate agents also like to have answers to questions like, “where’s the best place to eat” or “which pizza place should i order from?” if you can get your magnet on their frig as soon as they move in before your competition does, that should make them a loyal customer. who cooks on move-in day? nobody. Burgers? that means they have to drive. they are already tired. Pizza! delivered, doesn’t even really require plates and hey, there is a coupon in their welcome packet.
it may not give you a giant boost in sales but its pretty easy to do.