How does everyone compete with papajohns and pizza huts 10.00 dollar deals. Any pizza with any toppings for $10.00
How can we compete with domino’s new pizza large 1-topping for only 5.99. Are they trying to close down all the independent pizzerias by lowering there prices. I feel that the economy has put a hurting on indepenedent pizzerias. Anyone have any suggestions on how we can compete with these prices? I can’t not using grande cheese on my pizzas. I use grande cheese.

If you have better quality pizza (thus higher pricing), then its not your competition…

Its like the commercial where a new jazzy hip hair cutlery opens directly across the street from a well known established barber advertising a “$6 dollar haircuts!” and the existing barber then starts advertising “we fix $6 dollar haircuts!”

You already know you can’t beat them on price, and you are right that if you tried you would be out of business.

Beat them on quality which I’m sure you already do, advertise that fact to your customers, you sell a better pizza, premium ingredients, taste, experience and now you do not have to compete with them.

My grocery store sells store brand cola for half the price of Coke, which one do you think sells more?

Focus on quality, image and your message.

I think you are right that it creates a pressure on us guys who are not price-focused business model. We will certainly lose some business to the $6 and $10 pizza deal guys. The key to survival, I believe, is to stay true to the brand and business model we have developed. If we can make some bundles and cost-reduced specials to help our custoer base, they need to be connected to our overall plan and concept.

My shop is developed and priced for higher position product than the econo-shops like Dom, LC, PH and PJ. We are built for long term stability of loyal customers and people seeking value for their dollars. Sure, we have been hit by the economic realities of higher prices on cheese, chicken and other products over the last year. We make considered, strategic business decisions based on our business plan and marketing plan. We have modified it and rethought some product development and expansion recently . . . . but buying food on the cheap to reduce our pricing would kill us.

I am not set up to mow out the volume it would take to be profitable. We are positioned in the marketplace for a different, more stable customer base. Price wh*res will follow the lowest price coupon, regardless of who prints it and what the pizza is. If your business and market is such that you can power buy to reduce you food cost per unit and run an uber-lean operation to minimize overhead, then you might be able to swim in the cheap pizza pool. Most independents are head to head with the nationals who are just to big a competitor in terms of marketing muscle, national recognition and brand familiarity.


These are business elements that we can maximize and win head to head comparison to the econo-shops. Volume production business models cannot meet the same expectations of food quality and service excellence, due to their ultra lean margins. Do what you do better than they do what they do. You may still die, but you will have a better chance of surviving playing your “game” than competing against their “game”.

Well said Nick.

I think sooner than later, these deals will start slowing down. Since the corporate office is still making money based on store count, the franchisee is getting his butt kicked.
Payroll is up, the rent is up, cheese is up, and the suits are dropping the pizza prices in the weeds. I think in some situations, this may help close up some of the weak stores that use this form of promotion.

It all sounds good on paper I guess. We are fortunate, people in our area of the Chicago suburbs love their pizza, they wouldn’t eat that stuff if it was $2.99.

Our sales haven’t dropped one bit since the onslaught of the cheap so called pizza. As a matter of fact, they flood the tv, and print media and I think it reminds them that a pizza sounds good and they call us, not them.


Hi Tpizza:

Your situation is much Like ours.

At one time in addition to selling new ovens we had a large oven rebuilding shop and were producing over 100 rebuilt Middleby PS-360 ovens per year.

At the time of the 2nd Woodstock festival the pizza concessionaire called about everyone in the equipment business wanting to rent ovens for the festival no one could help him until he got to me.

We put 30 some rebuilt ovens on site at various concession stands for him.

We got out of the oven rebuilding business when fly by night shops claiming they were rebuilding ovens began marketing them for 1/2 of what we knew it took to properly rebuild an oven.We did not want to sully our reputation by not offering a quality product.

We still sell used ovens. We have a high quality re builder we work with, plus a couple reconditioners who’s price is less but do not pretend to rebuild units and some others who offer units just about as they are extracted.

I don’t know how it would work but perhaps if like us you cannot find enough high quality buyers you could offer economy pizzas made with the type ingredients the lo-ballers use.

Perhaps if a lot of the high quality producers took this approach they could syphon of a substantial share of the lo ballers business and force them to rase prices as they would have no high value clients to offset their losses

Is this a dumb suggestion? As you know I am not a pizza shop operator. Usually when I offer suggestions on this forum concerning subjects like this I indicate that I am only stating what my clients tell me. This time I have no clients that I know of doing the two level quality thing.

George Mills

I think it’s kind of funny that the big chains use cheap bait to lure in customers, piss them off by charging more then their advertised price, and then serving them inferior product. I’ve had a couple of customers tell me that they were so disappointed with the so-called $10 PH pizza offer that they were going to boycott them. Like, Steve-O mentioned, I’ll fix those $10 pizzas for them :lol:

you state in your post that you use grande, then in your advertising let your customers know that you are using top quality products to produce a great pizza for them.

I view all the local businesses who sell pizza to be my competition. I certainly cannot ignore the huge customer base who clearly are looking for a budget friendly offer. We offer something for them. They certainly will not be getting one of our specialty pizzas or any pizza, any toppings for 10 bucks. But from what I know about the chains offering those kinds of deals is they don’t either. There is a charge for this or that, there is no double toppings and on and on. I am also confident they will not provide the kind of service we do.

What we did in our situation is take what we would run for a Large Two Topping Pizza and take the toppings off. They can get a cheap cheese pizza at my place. It will feed the family if they so choose. For 2.00 they can add additional toppings.

We also have bundled offers. Stuff the “other guys” don’t even carry.

For those of us in areas where clearly unemployment is up and sales are down we need to have a plan to capture customers who quite frankly can’t afford to pay what I wish they would pay. I got empty tables to fill, I have room to fill sending my drivers out on deliveries, I have a host who appreciates carry outs. I don’t give it away but I will be competitive to keep em coming. I don’t think it is a loyalty issue with our customers. We have had a chrysler plant shut down, a few factories who made seats and etc for cars shut down, commerical property is for sale all over around here. These people just can’t afford a 35 dollar pizza night anymore. I was waiting for a prescription to be filled last night and I could not believe how many people didn’t have insurance to pay for their prescriptions, I could not believe how many people were getting prescriptions filled(probably from sick from stress and money problems) and most of all I TRULY COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE BUYING FROZEN PIZZA. I couldn’t believe it. So now I realize even Wal Mart is my competition. :roll: