Lots of Changes = Name Change?

Hi Guys,
We are about to celebrate 8 years in business and I am considering a major change. When I opened in 2006, my menu had 10 Specialty Pizzas, 15 Toppings, Breadstick, cheesesticks and wings.Over the years when a new competitor came to town or sales were low, I added new menu items. I added salads, toasted subs, baked pastas, 10 more specialty pizzas, and 13 more toppings. With the cost of food and the extra labor needed for the more extensive menu, I want to go back to the basics. I would keep the same number of specialty pizzas and toppings, but eliminate subs, salads and pasta. These items equate to about 3.5% of my total revenue. We have also expanded our delivery area because we were slow and wanted orders. We have also never charged for delivery and we need to tighten this area up and start charging for all deliveries. So to get to my question… If you were to change all this stuff, would changing my name and starting with a new brand be the best way to do this. We are in a small town of about 7,000 people with just me and PH, so the name change would get alot of word of mouth.

would you care to post your website, so I can take a look at your menu?


You can change your brand without changing your name…

I agree with reducing the menu choices…Maybe consider taking 1/2 the extra stuff off…Your POS will tell you where to start…

I am a person that likes a “specialist” rather than a place that does everything…So if given the choice between a place with a “compact” menu or a large menu, I head for “compact”…

Good luck…

I don’t anything wrong with any of your menu or anything else for that matter. It all looks pro. If you were going to eliminate items subs and pastas for sure. I find salads super easy and profitable. We don’t do subs or pasta because I find these items just don’t deliver well.

I also forgot to mention another change would be the names of the sizes. Customers keep comparing our large (16") to PHs large(14"), my thought process on the name change is basically that with these changes, being something different would allow the limiting of the delivery area, reduced menu, increased prices?, size name change, and delivery fee without having to explain the changes to every customer. They would see the new name and menu and accept the changes as a new business. But because I will still be the face of the business some could see at as being deceptive.

Personally I would see an opportunity of doing a back to basics marketing campaign. Say we’re reducing the number of things on our menu to be able to put out a better product, focus more on what’s in our heart, pizza. You have to deliver but if you have goodwill people will get it. If people care they will respond well.

Make it a positive talking point, get excited about it and live it. People understand you’ve got to make money doing this so they will sympathize withthe ddelivery fee.

I would do like rgjujitsu suggests, Say your going back to the basics to focus on a producing a great product that everyone loves.

The delivery area and delivery fee can be instituded in steps, as well as the trimming of your items and specialities. I am also like royster13, i prefer smaller menu’s. Trying to be everything to everyone, you can never do everything right everytime. So better to focus on what you want to do, and do it well.

If i were you, i would start doing box toppers and flyers that explain what you will be changing over the next few months, but give everyone acouple weeks to a month before you make any changes. This will give your regulars time to adapt and know changes are coming, and any new customers you pick up will be made aware that changes are coming.

When i bought my store the delivery area had been expanded to the point where a single run during the day could take up to 45 minutes. With only 1 driver, you can see the problem here. So after a year, i started doing a box topper campaign and i trained all my staff to warn everyone who was going to be outside of the delivery area after X date. We managed to get over 90% of the customers before the cut off date. We just explained that it was just to far to deliver to them anymore.

I already had a delivery fee when i bought the store, so that is something i did not have to change. But i have been a manager when we changed to a delivery fee, my best advice here is just train your staff to tell everyone ordering delivery after X date, there will be a delivery charge. Just have your managers trained to let people slide for the first two weeks if they had not ordered in awhile. But stick firm to the fact that the next time they order there will be a delivery charge.

With menu changes and price changes i always tried to have a sign posted on the counter and i did box toppers for 2 weeks before any changes. This stopped most complaints before they started.

Why are you considering giving up 8 years of marketing work on your name to pull a few menu items off (at 3.5% of sales, nobody is going to care anyway) and add a delivery charge?

Is there more to this story?

It’s just that I have spent more than a quarter of a million dollars on advertising and 10 years building my reputation… I wouldn’t dream of starting all over again just to take a few low selling items off my menu.

I went through a “Re branding” a few years ago. I had been sucked into the buy one and get the second one for a discount mentality. Royster13 commented on that style of shop a couple times and it got me thinking. I decided to make the change and sent out a box topper explaining the changes. We went from free delivery to charging $3. We made it known that we wanted to make things fair for everyone. It is not fair to the people who pick up to subsidize those who want delivery. It was not fair to the person who only wanted one pizza to subsidize those who got a discount for buying two. There were a few customers who complained but there were more who said they liked the change.

I agree that you should not throw away your years of marketing to make the changes you are looking at. Stick with the name and just change things to be the way you want them. I recently read that PH is trying to re brand in order to lift themselves out of the “Junk Food” category. They are trying to show they are now a quality product but they are not changing their name.

what is vsdvsdvsdvsdvsd in your sides - chicken section? It sounds delicious!

Also, how well do you sell the “upgraded” cheese stix? We sell a similar product and do occasionally have requests to add pepperoni or bacon. I like the jalapeno idea a lot though!