Open For 2 Months & Need Help!

Hello everyone! My wife & I bought an indy pizza in December '06. The store that we bought is in Stone Mountain, GA and has a lot of potential. When I say potential I mean, the city of Stone Mountain has a population of around 30,000 people & surrounding cities of Clarkston, Tucker & Lithonia have an additional 25,000-55,000 residents.

There are dozens of businesses, hotels, schools, apartment complexes and residential homes all within a radius of 3 miles from our store. Stone Mountain Park is around the corner (a main visitor attraction during the winter season.)

We are in an urban area in a shopping plaza and our closest competition is PJ’s which is about 1.5 away, on the other side is Pizza Hut & Dominos (2 miles away). When we first bought the store, it was averaging around $3500/week, we knew it was too little, but bought it hoping we could boost sales by aggresively marketing our delivery & carry-outs.

We have started our marketing camaign with door hanging, we have a group of school kids who do around 2400 doorhangers a week. We are currently averaging around $3100/week, which is actually less than what the other guy used to average.

We do pizzas, subs, chicken wings, salads, desserts and lasagna. We have specials on our door hangers e.g. “Two 14” anyway you like it pizzas for $17.99."

The only marketing method we use is door hangers and we mainly door hang apartments. We know with such demographics, we should easily be averaging $7000-$10000 per week. We heard this place used to be Dominos back in the late 1980s and they used to average $25000/week.

I really need any ideas I can get as far as marketing our store, all ideas are welcome.

Thank you so much.

God bless.

Door hanging is a good start You can also do a un addresed admail of your menu say to 2000 people each week, and also do box toppers dont do $$$ off do FREE_______ with the purchase of 2 12" pizzas every Monday etc. Try to get the customer you already have to come more often. Do a Fundraiser for a school or a kids sports team bring free lunch to a different business every day you dont have to fedd everybody but give them a taste of what you have. Hope that helps get ya going


Thank you for your suggestions. After reading PMQ forumers on a daily basis, we are actually thinking of making changes to our current door hanger, whereby it will include 1 or 2 itmes with the words “FREE” in them.

The biggest problem that we faced is that we made a hefty investment and no start-up cash, so we were forced to pay for all expenses from our own pockets.

Check out your local book store for a book called Guerrilla Marketing. They have some good ideas that are inexpensive/free, for those running with a limited advertising budget.

Did you buy the old Mama Mia’s or are they your competition.

I’m about 75 to 80 miles southwest of your in Grantville, GA . . . 10 miles south of Newnan on Interstate 85. You have a huge opportunity to get involved in community stuff in Stone Mountain. Find out where to see the calendar of events online . . . or with the Dekalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Getting a menu, flyer, coupons or rack card out to them could be huge, and almost always welcome.

The community calendar will tell you what groups are planning events that you can get marketing materials out to. Even a little advertising $$ to get a small ad in will give touists an idea that you are there.

Schools in the area that you can get menues and coupons in front of include Dekalb Tech, Georgia Perimeter Colleg Central Campus (Clarkston), Georgia State Univiersity Recreation facility on Indian Creek Road, and Dekalb County High School does some athletics stuff at Memorial Stadium on Memorial Drive. Get a relationship with the Stone Maountain Park people and see if you can get your coupons and information in the park somewhere. Get it into the hands of the City of Stone Mountain if they have “newcomer’s packages”.

Also, there are HUGE mega-churches out in Dekalb County. The last option I offer is to connect somehow with the Public Service guys . . . .firemen, sherrif, and police. There are huge numbers of those guys in Dekalb, and stations/precints all over the place. See if you can get your flyers/coupons in front of them as well. Memorial Drive and other areas are rife with apartments and condos. Hanging there might do you well. Also take some samples to the agents and office staffs of the bigger places. Get them on your side, and they’ll tell everyone about you . . . and maybe put out flyers for you with their internal newsletter. Network a nd get to know those “gatekeepers”.

In Metro-Atlanta, a website is almost a requirement. Business cards should be given to anyone you talk to, make eye contact with or see across the 5 lane interstate i rush hour. Have your website, address and phone number on it. Network like Crazy. Talk is inexpensive, and having your 45 second intro to what makes your business exciting and superior to anything else, will move you along.

hope some of this helps. If we find out where you are, we can come visit and see your place sometime soon.

Nick, your suggestions hit the spot. We started giving our flyers to Stone Mountain Marriot Hotel & Ever Green Hotel (both inside the Stone Mountain Park) and we get good paying customer orders from them. The original owner used to have a relationship with them, so we pay them a visit every 2 weeks and give them our flyers to stock up.

As far as the schools go, we have established a relationship with Stone Mountain high school and we plan on connecting with all of the other ones.

We will definately contact the churches (so many churches around us) and they look like they have money too… :lol:

Thanks for all of your help.

I just have a question: we usually door hang apartment complexes and the response is very encouraging, for those that door hang, do you door hang apartments or houses?

We are thinking of door hanging houses, is the responses with door hanging houses good or should we use postcards instead?

Nick, No we didn’t buy the Mama Mia’s, we are located on Memorial Drive towards the 78.


One word of advice:

Make sure your coupons specials match the demographics of your audience.

For example:

Why put coupons stating (this is an example and no insult to you, so please don’t take it as one) 2 14" pizzas any way you want them for $17.99 to one bedroom and two bedroom apartments where mostly single people live? You want to match the promotions with the people you’re advertising to.

Suggestions for Apt. advertising:

1 Large 1 topping - $8.99

1 X-Large 1 topping - $10.99

2 medium 2 topings - $12.99

FREE breadsticks when you order a Large at regular price

Carryout Special: Large 1 topping $5.99

There’s a reason most people live in apartments. Usually the reason is they don’t make a lot of money or they live on a tight budget. Either way, you get to them by giving them good initial price point specials. Once you’ve got them on the phone you can try to upsell them from there. With that being said, goal yourself with ticket averages in the $13 range for these apartment dwellers. If you get more than that, awesome.

As far as doorhanging the homes is concerned, that’s where you’ll see your greatest impact. When I usually go through my long-winded rattling off of numbers, it’s directed at residential homes in an area. Remember when I told you to match your specials with your demographics. Most households have hubby, wife, and 1.7 kids. When designing coupons for this demographic, make sure you’ve got something the whole family can agree on. Suggestions:

Buy one Large pizza at Regular price, get another large pizza of equal or lesser value Half Price.

1 Large 3 topping and wings $15.99

1 Large “any way you want it” $10.99

Family Special - 1 Large with your choice of toppings and 1 medium 1 topping for the kids $17.99

Of course, the prices should change with the region you’re in. I’m not sure of the income in your area so you might need to adjust one way or the other to compensate for the wages earned.

Also, if you’re stuck down there in the $3,100/week range, look long and hard at the product you’re sending out. Maybe you like it but find out if it’s agreeable to everyone else. Remember, everyone has different taste. You might think something is fantastic, but 90% of the rest of the town doesn’t. I’m not telling you to comprimise what you’ve been doing this whole time, but I am telling you to research and see what other people think of your product. By researching, I don’t mean ask your customers. I mean, go to a local grocery store or gas station, wearing plain clothes (no uniform or logowear) and ask people what they think. You can also find out other valuable information about your operations. Here’s a sample questionaire:

  1. Who makes the best pizza in town?
  2. Rank these pizza places when it comes to service, product, and price (give them 5 to choose from and put yours in there)
  3. Who’s got the best service?
  4. Who’s got the worst service?
  5. Who’s got the best product?
  6. Who’s got the worst product?
  7. Who’s got the best price?
  8. Who’s the most expensive?
  9. What can any one of the other 4 pizza companies do to sway you from your favorite pizza place in town?
  10. Rank these in order. Waht are the most important things you look for in a pizza place? 1. Price 2. Product. 3. Service

Naturally, with you only doing $3,100/week you probably won’t be close to the top on a few things. Don’t worry about that, though. The last thing you should do is consider it a slap in the face. Use this information usefully and capitalize on the information you’re given. I do it all the time and trust me when I say, I’ve been at the bottom of a few perceptions a time or two. One thing it will do is give you an accurate view of how customers see your business. If you find one major thing to work on, life is easy. Just fix it and you’re gold. If there’s more than one, go at them each meticulously until they’re your strengths.

Good luck. -J_r0kk

  1. What’s the name of your place? I am willing to send a couple commrades as “secret shoppers” over soon and give a report on what they experience. I can give you their names after the fact if you wish to speak to them directly. These folks are not in the business, but they are quite educated about pizza. They’ve been to my place and been blunt with the feedback. Some was helpful, and some I did not use. These are friends of mine, and veterans of dining out and pizzerias. Heck, I could come over when my place is closed and see what we see. (It’s little bit of a commute, but it’s for a good cause).

  2. Wal-Mart and the like out there are good “people on the street” places to get opinions. Great time to give out coupns as well . . . after the feedback.

  3. You should have a radio station nearby, maybe even TV station in Dekalb. If you drop by with some food for the DJ’s (make it your best) and leave some propaganda . . . .you may get some surprise, free commentary. I know some guerrilla marketers that swear by the tactic.


Thanks for all of your advices! I never really thought of matching my coupon offers with my demographics that much, I’ll certainly make a couple of changes on my door hangers. I am thining maybe I should have 2 door hanger designs, one for apartments & one for houses, that way the coupons will yield more orders.


The name of our store is Davido’s on Memorial Drive. We haven’t been open that long, only 2 months. I appreciate all of your help, no need to send your friends as secret shoppers, I don’t think I could handle that kinda heat!