Just to begin, I wanted to mention that we have been in business since 1972, so I’m no stranger to economies in their different stages and cycles.
I wanted to share with you guys some things I have done in the past, which ultimately helps us get through the harder times. These are permament things, which when used in good times only act as an extra cherry on top, but in bad times serve as business savers.
We all agree that sales are a cure to all problems in this business? Anyway that’s my belief and I run my business accordingly. I am going to mention 2 things which I have been doing for the past 7 years, two things that have made a huge difference in my bottom line.
Offer all front desk staff at all hotels in your delivery area 40% off. I used to offer 50%, but had to tighten it up because of the cheese situation recently. By doing this, you are basically getting employees go to bat for you. Eventually all food deliveries to hotels will be from your place. Of course you charge their customers full price. I actually had a Holiday Inn Express put all of our menus in each of their rooms! We now are doing several thousand dollars worth of deliveries to the hotels in our delivery range every month. What’s more, those who are staying in the hotels are normally in vacation mode, and tend to spend more. They will buy off the entire menu at times including desserts and drinks. All of this for the small food cost you’re extending to the front desk. At 40% or even 50% off, you are still being compensated for the food, in fact there is a little bit of a profit at that discount!
It’s importand that you don’t be shy here. If you are the shy type, have your manager get on this one. Contact all of the bosses of all the bars in your delivery range and offer them and all their clientele 40% off all pizzas ordered from your place. Ask them if it would be o.k. to post a banner or some type of sign in their bar notifying everyone of your bar program. You must also have your name on all of your pizza boxes or this won’t work. One of the bars in my area actually went as far as to put table tents out explaining the program. These bars will never ever see another pizza (besides yours) come through their doors from then on. Their customers on many occasions will be ordering from you for the first time, and will become loyal customers when they are at home and want pizza…that’s a promise provided you’re good!
These two things command loyalty and greatly increase your cash flow! Drunk people love to share, and your pizza will taste better than ever. On a busy bar night, all it takes is one order, then you’ll see orders flying in one after another. We have actually had just last week, 3 of our employees taking orders all at the same time for the same bar! Just knowing those orders are mine, and not my competitor’s is enough to make me smile!
I have other things which we have done that have made huge differences, but just wanted to mention the items above for now so you guys can digest them and give them some thought. The main thing here is to use your pizza as a weapon! You have no idea how much power you have until you try it.
Oh, one last little thing…I have always given the police 50% off. My drivers have never been pulled over. My staff and I laughed last Tuesday when a Dominos driver was pulled over right in front of our place! Need I say more!
The drive through would require you to team up with other businesses. These businesses could be gas stations, bars, etc. You go to them and make the same offer to their staff, and then have them mention when their receipt is brought to you, they get a free order of garlic bread or something like that of very low cost; with any minimum order of such and such $$. Because you don’t deliver, you have to bring them to you, which is definitely a more difficult task, but not an impossible one. If you offer slices you can do a 2 for 1 slice, when a coke is purchased? Just an example.
The point I am trying to make is that you need more employees whom you pay through your product. In the end, that’s really what they will be, and I promise you they will be the best kind of employee, an employee who helps to expand your business!
We still average $200+ per day in checks. We do get a fair amount of bad ones, but we prosecute through our state attorneys office and end up collecting on most of them. Sounds like PJgirl has some sleazy hotels in her stores area, and these commonly aren’t worth the headaches involved for the limited sales they bring. I have 19 hotels in my area, most of which are pretty nice. The ones I have a good relationship with can net me 25 orders or more per week, while others I don’t see more than an order a month. In our market, everyone is aggresive bribing the hotel clerks, so it’s impossible to dominate all of them.
If you have alot of bars in your delivery area that allow you to deliver to their patrons, a good advertising tool is to provide the bar with coasters. The bars typically have to purchase these from their beer distributor, so they’ll be happy to use yours for free. Here’s the place I’m working with to get a batch from: http://www.americancoaster.com. I hoping for a pretty good return on the cost of these.
we stopped taking check in 2008 but i am fearful that we are paying more in credit card prossesing fees than we were in lost bad checks. anyone else do this and revert back? we do take checks from long time customers without advertising it.
I’ve been mulling this one over for some time now, and have just started today with the hotels - did up a nice full color flyer on the desktop publisher, had it laminated, and went around to managers to pass them out & convince them to talk it up with their staff. Will let you know how it goes (giving the staff 50% discount).
The bar idea, I’m going to try a different route … am setting up a program for bars that either don’t carry food, or have a limited offering: They carry our menus, I’ll supply table tents, signage, whatever. Their customers place the order with the bartender (or server), pays them FULL PRICE for what they order. The bartender then calls the order in to us - we deliver the food to THE BARTENDER, and get a copy of their receipt. We then invoice them weekly with a 15% discount off the total - with an extra 5% discount if the bill is paid within 7 days.
The bar owner gets a food program with a guaranteed 15% profit (20% if he pays his bills on time) with $0 setup cost, I’m (hopefully) getting an extra $50 - $100 per day during the week & double that on weekends. If I can get that going at 3 or 4 of the half dozen bars in my area, could potentially make over $1k in extra sales every week! Plus the additional benefit of garnering new customers for ordering from home!
My drivers (since the food goes directly to the bartender) don’t have to worry about 10 drunk people yelling “Hey pizza guy! Over here!” when they walk in with the order; the receipt they get from the bartender is their cash for that delivery.
My question is, is there anything illegal with this? From the checking I’ve done, it seems that it would only be a problem if we were selling unbaked or par baked pies for resale (I think then the you’d hsvr to have a federally inspected factory set up). Has anyone tried this or something similar? I see this as a potentially HUGE sales builder.