hey everyone, i was thinking, most of the newly opened pizza stores get elevateed attencion from locals when they open the doors, everyone somewhat interested in new joint and store gets more business for first few weeks or if not too busy - still, a lot of people walk in, who never been here before or you can bring people back who were upset at some point in a past by bad service or whatever. the store i own, was very busy when it was just opened, which didnt last too long, due to previous management mistakes… i took over the store and now wondering if that would be beneficial to change the name and get all the benefits of grand opening without really closing current operation. i have a customer database, whom i can send a letter saying that its just a name change for legal reasons, but all the product stays the same with just few extra items and say expanded hours of operation, but to everyone else in town - it will be a new pizza joint and new pizza joints get lots of interest and walkins. so i keep all of my current customers plus get more new customers and people who were upset by previous management in the past. i think its a great idea, but wondering if its such a great idea, how come i dont see pizza places change their name and outside looks every 2 years to benefit from new store excitement without loosing any of current customers but bringing in more new customers to their store with just simple paper work and some decor update on the outside, not even inside, as all your current customers will be happy that nothing really changed, and new walkins dont know that its pretty much same operation as a week ago, but they saw a new decor outside and think its brand new store that must be checked out, and thats all i really want. thoughts?
How long has it been since you took over?..
There’s no reason why you can’t change your name after any period of time.
We purchased our store in the December and commenced re-fitting in new coour scheme, counters, layout etc in the April and finished with new name and menu in the June. The only downside of doing it is the costs and that is why you don’t see it done every couple of years.
We wanted to get away from any association and stigma of the previous store ownership so we kept it going until we were comfortable in maintaining existing customers. The new naming and vast improvement to store appeal bought in new customers.
All this happened 4 years ago and we are now in the planning stages of revamping the store and changing our logo. We are keeping the same name but just modernising our concept. Colours will remain the same but the uniform will change design to be more sleek, modern and somewhat funky. The store colours remain the same as does the counter but we are replacing the floor tiles to a dark grey/black shale appearance with 2’ x 1’ tiles in the front and 15’ x 15’ in the kitchen (biggest size available with new health laws of non-slip surfaces).
So yes you can safely change the name and appearance whilst keeping your customers. The only thing if you change the name is to have in small print (previously xyz pizzeria) on your next menu so people associate the store with the location of the previous name.
Wow, those are long sentences . . .
If you feel you need to distance yourself from a bad business by all means do it. Just do it wisely by completely planning it out. We did it by a completely different logo, look, colors, presentation, etc. Sales have grown ever since.
I think that when you create something new, that is of your own design, you are naturally more passionate.
The pizza that goes on and on and on…
i took over the store half year ago. the sales are slowly growing, but many customers advised me on having a big sign outside saying “new ownership”, other people i randomly met commenting that they had very bad experience and they r not coming back, so i am thinking that it might be costing me in marketing costs to be triing to change the negative reputation store got, although they were only operating a little over the year. Also, how do i explain to customers the name change? for legal purposes - sounds like a short answer and i am hiding smth. admiting bad reputation - i dont really want to be saying to my good customers that they ve been buying from a place with poor reputation.
I think you need a new ad campaign that says the following…in mailers… a big banner out front… everywhere for a few months…
" UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP FOR A FEW MONTHS NOW WITH GREAT PIZZA AND FOOD…
UNDER A NEW NAME SOON WITH SPECIAL GRAND OPENING DEALs IN THE MONTHS TOO COME…
STOP IN AND GIVE US A TRY TOO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT ON!"
Something like that that basically says you have taken over a few months back and that you…the customer… have nothing but great food and some deals coming up under your NEW name. :?:
I would say make a clean break into a new concept. Keep the same phone number and believe it or not, most of your current customers will not even notice the name change – even though you answer the phones with a new name.
Whenever I see “under new management” I automatically think it was a poorly run business. Right away you associate the place with negativity. People will come in knowing that things were bad and will be “looking” for signs that they still are. That kind of sign says “we were really bad before but we are new management so things are better”. How is that a positive marketing message? How would that intrigue anyone into wanting to come in? Does “Under New Management” excite you?
Do you want to spend your marketing dollars and time on explaining to people that you have corrected mistakes or talk about what a great product you have? Its hard enough trying to get people to try you out – even harder to convince people to come back after bad experiences.
100% change the name. It is not embarrassing to tell people why you are doing it either. some people open places and fail. And some make it. Be on the winning side. Start fresh. Good luck
I struggled with this problem a couple years ago when I bought my place. My vote would be against advertising “new ownership”. I feel like customers prefer familiarity as opposed to even slight changes. The “new ownership” banner may scare away current customers who never knew things were being run poorly. Its much more important to keep those customers as opposed to trying to win back former customers who may have found a new place which they like better. If you change the name - what if you did something subtle to the name with a different logo? You could advertise “new name, same great taste” or something similar to that.
Here’s another quick idea…
Could you send out postcards advertising “under new ownership” to ONLY the customers who havent ordered since you took over? Give them one of the best specials you can give to win them back!
Change the name
Change the outside colors
Change the menu look
Have a grand opening special with balloons and signage
Have new shirts
Sometimes it better to give birth than to raise the dead!