Need your advice .....

Hello everyone,

I just came across this website a couple of days ago and was excited to know that perhaps I could get some advice from those of you who’ve been there and done that.

My story…I have just recently (march) purchased a small pizzeria near a small junior college. The place have exchange hands twice prior to me. There are a few nearby businesses as well as some residential area.

We currently do not deliver, neither did the last 2 owners from what I heard. The area dies down when the sun goes down and so we never keep our doors open past 7pm. We’re also closed on the weekends.

Sales has been between $300 - $500 per day since I took over in March, same for the seller according to them. I have one helper in the back and myself takes care of everything in the front of the house. We do have around 15 seats and it fills up during lunch hour. Our business is 90% by the slice.

Now that the jr college is out, our sales has dropped to $200 a day.

I always knew that I would start a delivery program in the summer when the students are out and this leads to my question…

  1. I’ve designed a door hanger to be printed to save cost of having someone else designing it. It looks great and professional according to my friends and regular customers. The size is 4x9. In the front, I list all my specialty pizzas and its price along with 4 act now coupons. On the back I list all my ingredients along with the rest of my menu, calzones, salads, and sandwiches with all its prices.

My questions…is this too much information??? Should I list all my prices?? I was hoping by listing all my prices (very reasonable), I can attract more in store business.

Also, what other marketing ideas can I look into to increase sales during this off season???

Thanks for your help…


Sounds like a lot of information for a door hanger…In the short term you might just want to door hang using your take out menu…Punch a hole in the corner and use a rubber band to attach it to the the door knows… has decent prices on 2 colour menus…In my mind not quite as good as full colour but if you do it right and are on a budget they will work…

Good luck to you…Royce…

WELCOME AND GOOD LUCK… :slight_smile:


Thank you for those who responded.

I AM looking to launch a delivery program with my door hangers…and so putting cost aside, would a take out menu get the same result as a colorful door hanger thats printed professionally??



The first thing the potential customer sees will determine whether it hits the trash or gets looked at further. Personally, I don’t want a menu on my door. If there’s no coupon, it’s just more trash. There are rare exceptions (like a reasonably priced Chinese buffet close by, which I’m actually LOOKING for), but depending on where you’re located, the town’s already getting plastered by the competition. Does your advertisement look remotely as good as theirs?

It really sounds like your target market is the college. If that’s the case, and they’re out of session, you have to expect your sales to drop through the floor.

Without knowing the demographics of your area, the plan of attack has to be to get the residential customers in. Closing at 7pm and on weekends is NOT an option for residential customers.

If it were me, and it’s not, you need to print up at least half a buttload of door hangers advertising your new hours. I’d say at least 9pm sun-thurs and 10pm on Fri-Sat. Put some coupons on there and maybe a mini-menu (list your pizza sizes and prices for cheese and a price for each additional topping, as well as a price for a “supreme”). If you have wings, salads, etc, make sure you mention those items as being available.

The first day you start doorhanging, you have to be open those hours. You want instant results, so you’ve gotta litter the neighborhood (even if you have to hire a company to do the doorhanging). Keep track of where you have done your doorhanging and hit the same ones again within 2 weeks. Repetition matters. The first few days may be very sparse in return, so expect the worst but be prepared for the best.

Make sure your store shines. Make sure your service shines and that you don’t have too little staff on hand.

I might even suggest a one-week blitz offering a “customer appreciation special” at a horribly obscene price (say $3.99 for a large one topping, for instance). Have your menus available so they know what your regular prices are when they walk in. The start and end dates must be firm. You cannot offer pizza for $3.99 and stay in business. You MIGHT break even, but that’s really not what this is about. It’s about getting people in your store and eating your food. The customer has to leave thinking they got a great deal. If they leave thinking your food was only worth $3.99, then they won’t be back at regular prices.

Your job is to get your food in their mouths and let the food speak for itself.

I’ll pay $5 for a Domino’s pizza – I won’t pay $10, as there’s no value at $10. Make sure you are creating value while the customer is in your store.

“You cannot offer pizza for $3.99 and stay in business”

Several stores by me offer $4.99 and $3.99 large 1 topping pizzas on a regular basis. I am in a town of 65,000 people and there are about 50 pizzerias in town and probabaly another 15 that are in the neighboring town and service my city. 1 pizza shop per 1,000 people! Quality is out the window and it is all about price! As my business teacher says, in a race to the bottom the only one only two people win, the consumer and the 1st one to the bottom.

Let me rephrase… you can’t good quality pizza for $3.99 and stay in business. Sure, you can cut down the amount of cheese considerably and make money doing it, but that’s CHEAP pizza, not GOOD pizza.

Granted, but that is what is working in the Detroit area right now. Price, Price, Price trumps everything else.

By the way where can I get fake cheese (I think it is called “Pizza Cheeze”), also what is the lowest price (I don’t care about quality) pepperoni or fake Pep that is out there that will let me sell large pies for $2.99?

Original Poster,

Congrats on finding this site. I hope you can pick up a few tricks of the trade to help you in your quest to become financially stable. Also, I think delivery service is a good idea as long as you’re focused on quoting accurate delivery times when the order is placed, make the pizzas quickly, and have efficiency in your delivery operation by hiring knowledgable drivers and have a map posted to guide drivers to the lesser known streets.

Before we start talking about advertising there are a few things I’d like to give an opinion on if you don’t mind:

The area dies down when the sun goes down and so we never keep our doors open past 7pm.

We’re also closed on the weekends.

I’ll start with #1 concern… Though you’ve noticed a dropoff in dine in business when the sun goes down, let me be the first to tell you delivery business actually INCREASES when darkness settles in. You truly need to adjust your hours of operation if you decide to go the delivery route. My suggestion: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM Fri,Sat 11AM-11PM

That suggestions leads into concern #2… There is NO WAY IN HELL YOU SHOULD BE CLOSED ON THE WEEKENDS! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should make up at least 60% of your weekly sales. I can understand philosophies about Sunday and why some operators choose to close on that day. Personally, I’m open 7 days/week, 363 days/year (closed Christmas and Thanksgiving). So take that advice for what it’s worth.

Now, for your sales building:

There are basic principals you MUST follow if you want to be successful in your delivery business…

  1. You must have lit cartop signs 100% of the time. If you don’t know what a cartop sign is, follow this link
  2. You must have a boxtopper on top of your boxes 100% of the time. If you don’t know what a boxtopper is, here’s a picture of my latest…
  3. Less is More: This philosophy will help you in your quest to capture new customers. You do NOT want to bog them down with too much information. You only have 3 seconds to get a perspective customer’s interest. Either they pitch it or they read it. You want to have something colorful, inviting, and something not too wordy if you want to lure them in. Here’s a copy of my latest doorhanger. Notice how it says just enough to get them to flip over to the other side? That’s how you want to market yourself. Too wordy is bad…

Hope this info helps. -J_r0kk

Thank you so much…everyone for your insights…I feel tremendous relief just to be heard by professionals in the field…getting valuable advice is icing on the cake…

j_orkk, how do I open the images that you have attached with the post ???


Sorry 'bout that. I don’t know what happened.

Here’s the boxtopper:

Here’s the Doorhanger:

your “fix” may need fixing…no pic from here…missing something in the hyperlink I reckon…

j_rokk, got the pix…thanks for the fix !!!