Parking Lot Problems

I own a pizzeria with a good sized parking lot. It’s U shaped around my building and is one row on either side and pretty open in the back. I just had it repaved and it cost me around 7500 for just one side (we are doing the other side next year). Next door to me is a used car lot and people are constantly parking in my lot and walking to the used car lot. They are parking in spaces so my paying customers have to walk further to enter my building. I have told them to move, put up signs and called the police to ticket but they still park there. And the kicker is when I ask them to move they get mad at me, one lady swore at me and called me fat. What can I do???

Short of putting up a fence that makes it difficult for them to get from you place to the car lot, not much. I know a guy that put up signs about having the cars towed and then offered one of the tow companies deep discounts so they would be seen at his shop frequently. With the tow trucks being on the lot people may think twice about ignoring the signs.

In my former life owning an auto parts store, we constantly had folks pull across our blacktopped parking lot ACROSS my grassed yard…to gain access to the used car lot next door. What? Anyway…I actually thought of everything including putting nails through some 2X6 boards to flatten a few tires, luckily a cooler head prevailed and I purchased some parking blocks from a local lumberyard instead. I slopped some good yellow pavement marking paint on them so they were nice and visible…and drove them into the blacktop with some rebar rods. Problem solved and they looked pretty nice too.

A hedge would look nice and not be nearly as “in your face” as a fence.

Since these are NOT probably the same people, over and over, then there is not much you can do - everyone thinks “I’m just going to be here for a minute, I’m not hurting anybody.” I suggest you try to take advantage of this stream of potential customers: Put up sign(s) saying something like, “You are Parking in Grassos Pizza’s Parking lot! Have you tried our (something enticing) yet?” This points out that they are in your lot, doesn’t piss people off, and encourages them to come on in!

I absolutely think this may be the best idea I have seen on The Think Tank.

Make up a gift certificate that looks like a parking ticket and place it under the wiper blade. Entice them into your business with something small but totally no-strings-attached free… maybe a small fountain soda with the message: “car shopping is hard work on a hot day like today, cool off for a minute in our air conditioning with a free drink!” Then perhaps next time they will park in your lot as a brand-new paying customer of yours.

Dang…you guys are good! I like those suggestions.