New Owner, Seeking Tips!

While browsing the pictures on the website a couple things caught my eye.

  • I didn’t know what the picture of the smore rolls was until I saw the picture advertising the new items that you have. When I saw the other picture I thought it was oysters or some other seafood
  • Please ditch the pictures that are showcasing things on top of a white cutting board that has black knife streaks everywhere. Not very appealing.
  • Try to work on the background for some of the pictures. I see what looks (to an untrained eye) like a cleaning bucket in the background of a picture.
  • Your Pizza Looks Delicious!


Thanks for the suggestions. I am actually dropping the newspaper ads right now and going with an online ad with them. I am getting a boom box ad, coupon, and an article on their site for a month. They are just starting this service and are discounting it right now. Only $120 for the month.
I appreciate the feedback on the website. It was something we threw together quick because we needed a web presence, especially before our seize the deal offer came out. It is a work in progress. I will definitely be taking new pictures and trying to organize things better.
So far mailshark seems to really be working for us. We just had another best week for us with a lot of customers bringing in the new menu coupons or mentioning they received a menu in the mail. Noone elses does this around me so I think it was a great idea. My next marketing investment is going to be magnets or a car topper sign. Any suggestions which I should do first?

I would definitely get a car topper, especially if you are doing deliveries. It’s essentially free advertising. What kind of labor/food cost are you running? You have a lot on your menu, In my opinion, too much. Even just keeping staff trained on how to prepare that many items to your standards may make it difficult. I know a lot of shops have large menus on here, but I would start taking a look at what people are ordering and maybe drop some items. People seem to like simple, and not having to think. Like some have said, if you can get to a point where you can do a POS, it will be a worthwhile investment. Sounds like you are motivated and excited and those are critical to make it work.

One thing I see that drives me somewhat bonkers (moreso than normal, even)…and this isn’t a huge thing, but it can and does cause confusion.

Cheese is a GIVEN on pizza, at least US-influenced pizza. Your Facebook special says “large Cheese and 1 topping pizza for” whatever price. That, to me, sounds like 2 pizzas, or at least a pizza with a side of cheese or something.

Maybe it’s just me. I just liked your facebook page, and I do like your website (yes, it could use some snazzing up, but it’s a great start.)

I can see what you mean about the cutting board. It doesn’t look so good. The “cleaning bucket” is actually where we keep our pizza stax but again shouldn’t be in the picture. Need to get some new pictures this week and have my wife update the site. I really want to do the car topper next but the wife thinks we should do magnets. Maybe we can swing both. I am having someone work on a logo for me in exchange for some free food. Need that finished before I order more promotional materials so we can get people to start recognizing our brand. Does anyone do email campaigns? We are using mailchimp for free having about 115 addresses so far. Have an open rate of 40% but havent really gotten a response from them in store. I have had 2 return emails. One complaining about service a few weeks back and the other suggesting we switch to cup and char pepperoni.(Currently using hormel) I apologized to the first and offered him some free food to try us again and offered a free dessert pizza to the other for their feedback. I am hearing in my area alot of people like the cup and char and was wondering if I should give people an option. Does anyone else do that?
My food cost runs extremely high right now at almost 40% but wings going down now will help that. Labor running around 28-30% but thats with me only working about 25 hours because I have a full time day job still. I did get a break on my rent for the first year or 2 though. 1500 first 6 months 1600 next 6 months 1700 next 12 months then up to where it was 1800 with 4% yearly increase if I extend. Hopefully by then I can find my own place to move.

Two things… and I admit I have not had commercial leases in many years… lucky enough to own… but I like the breaks for the first few years but will someone else…maybe Steve… voice in on the 4% annual after that. What if you like the space and sales are great… 20% increase every 5 years seems high? Educate me please! The other thing is what Eupher said about is a cheese plus 1 topping really 2 pies or two toppings. Even my regular places that know me will still ask when I order a “cheese & sausage” pizza… I get… “ok…so one large thin crust sausage with extra cheese!” Ummm…no! Blah blah blah… I get the point! :!:

I wanted to make a few observations on the website as well but not looking to throw stones …(our buddies here have thrown enough and if you threw one at my glass house it would collapse lol).
But really; you can do better with that; drop a couple hundred and get some quality images.
Also; as I mentioned previous; I really recommend group catering/discounts/lunches etc for your area.
I hope you are doing well and staying positive. Buffalo is one of the toughest markets in the country.

New update if anyone is interested. Our lunch business is really starting to come around. M-F lunches are averaging about 1200 now. Sales have been slowly climbing from mailshark mailings. (also doing their new mover mailer with about a 35% redemption rate on a free large cheese pizza) This past week set new Tuesday and Wednesday highs with every day being above a 10 week rolling average I’ve been keeping. My seize the deal offers expired on the 2nd and we closed the week at about $6500! Trying not to get too optimistic but if this keeps up hopefully I can quit my full time accounting position. Starting to feel the strain mentally and physically trying to keep up with both. My next hurdle is I may need to hire someone soon. So far my great staff has been with me since I took over in December. Any suggestions on finding my next star?

Also, a shout out to Royster who made me up some great looking magnets. All my customers love them.