Theme/Perception/Menu Change?

Hey Guys,

I’ve been pondering this for a while now and I wanted to hear other peoples input… Is it ever too late to change the whole perception/theme? I had this idea before we opened and now I regret not running with it. We have no image, theme, perception… We use high cost quality food items but we really really don’t make people aware of it.

Also, we ordered about 5,000 menus at first, and we have about 2k left BUT I’ve made some changes to certain things. Right now with all of our current menus, we took sharpies and manually changed our hours. I realize that doesn’t look good but we needed to save the money. On top of that, I discontinued about 4-5 ingredients, and 2 of my specialty pizzas. So if someone happens to order (which is rare) those specialty pizzas or certain ingredients, I regretfully say “sorry we discontinued that pizza or ingredient”. Now that we got all the kinks worked out should we take the hit and order new menus with all necessary changes?

Please feel free to flame, as I already know my mistakes.

Thanks for any input guys!

I think it would be beneficial to update your menus with all your new information. I’m fortunate to have my own graphic designer with a laser printer. But we print as we go which makes it easier to make changes and even revamp the menu when needed. Being in business for less then 2 years, we’ve realized we needed to make changes or add menu items.

Something to think about would be to set up your theme, get some new menus, and add some hoopla to get everyone to come visit and show it off. Just a thought.

Okay, I thought I had peaked in sales at my shop but I wanted to try something. I went from a 8 1/2" x 11" black and white menu to a full color 11" X 17" tri-fold menu. Ordered 25,000 in October and I mailed them out at a rate of 500 a week to a five mile radius. Since I have been doing this my sales have grown from $150,000 per quarter to $190,000 per quarter.
If you want to know details, PM me.
Get the new menus and get them in peoples hands and you will be glad you did.

If you are talking colour laser is very expensive…You could order 5,000 from Taradel and throw 3,500 away and still have a lower cost than the laser printer…Your menus should be full colour with a full bleed margin to get the best impact…

Definitely make some sort of color impact. I prefer our red/white/black print theme for impact and stand-out amongst all the full-color junkies :wink: Do something that gives you a visual punch and differentiates you easily in the “menu drawer”. By all means develop an identity and a visual “brand” for your business. Repeating that image over and over will help you get customer attention. If you have all sorts of different looks, you miss the cumulative impact of each person seeing your print assets and emssage repeated times. Find some basic visual theme that you can stick with and repeat through all your print materials and even at the store, if possible. Five Guys burgers is ALL ABOUT red and white checky . . . you see red and white checked materials around Georgia, and eveyone thinks of Five Guys . . . or my pizzeria. will also save you some $$$ if you can design it yourself. 5000 brochures full color 4/4 glossy on 100# paper w/ aqueous coating . . . tri-folded . . . were $426 dropped at my door by UPS. At $0.085 each, I am ordering from them again next month with our newest menu design.

My menus are currently full color. The whole menu is two tone red with no white visible (just the typesetting). 100# glossy text with aqueous coating both sides, tri folded 11 x 17.

Thanks for all the replies guys. Its always appreciated.

My color laser printer was only $800. And with our abilities to our on designing, it turned out for us to be cheaper in the long run. For us, it’s easier and saves money.

What kind of themes were you thinking of? I think it’s an important part of any restaurant to help it stand out from the competition. When I was in the bar business, we were always having to reinvent ourselves.

Well I’m a numbers guy, I love numbers. And my pizza place is called Pi’s Pizzeria (based on the math symbol for PI, and also a nickname of mine) and I always had the idea of relate a lot of things to math and the symbol PI. For example, one of my concepts is infinite possibilities (just like Pi) for creating a pizza, there’s almost infinite possibilities with 4 different size crusts, 5 different types of crusts, 7 different sauces, 30 different toppings and cooked any way you want. And also calling my pizzas “Pi’s” (instead of pie’s). Like “come on by and get a Pi”. Just a play on words I guess.

The reason I didn’t really do it from the beginning was b/c I thought a lot of people wouldn’t understand it. But as of right now, I don’t care if they do or don’t, cause I will make them aware of what it means and hopefully the people that do get it will think its clever. I was also thinking about having the top of my pickup area with the number Pi all the way around and getting some cool pictures that relate pizza with Pi. Maybe even still using inches for sizes of pizzas, but maybe like fun facts like the area of a pizza using Pi.

A lot of people ask why I came up with the name.

Steve, Taradel has some great designers (I wish they did not do magnets though…lol)…If you give them an idea they will run with it…Or take a look at some of the “stock” designs from My Pizza Promo…

Actually, I’m in the works of talking with Taradel… Just trying to convince my pops.

My dad is a “pushover”…Glad you do not have to deal with your wife…lol…


Please find a way to work this shirt into your theme: … 5577836531 :slight_smile:

I admit I’m enough of a geek to find that shirt hilarious.

Haha… thats pretty good! I want one!

Steve - I love that concept! You could do so much with it and it is very unique. Nerdy is cool right now and there are million different clever things you could do. You could have your drivers wear fake nerd glasses with tape on them and use pocket protectors.

I’ll be the cold shower. I’m not sure how far you can run with that theme. You could do some cool things with the symbol. Running pi out to 100 digits or something around your dining room… run contests for the person who can correctly recite the most digits of pi out to you. Include your math combos and the possibilities. Heck, throw in some physics even and throw some formulas on the wall F=MA etc. Put some white boards up and put math equations (ala numbers and that movie with Matt Damon in it) but I just don’t know if the general public will GET IT… or feel passionate enough about the concept to care. Just for fun and to develop your concept… Convince me your customers will care!

I hate to be a party pooper here but I think you gotta keep things simple. I think your first and most immediate need is to get new menus. Anytime you think it is a good idea to take a sharpie to any of your marketing material…that needs to be the first clue it is not a good idea.

If you have some specialty items which are a little iffy just leave them off the menu and run them as specials or perhaps some box topping materials.

I think the Pi thing is fine but get to the point quick, get to the idea quick and just keep things simple. Get the menus printed ASAP and for goodness sakes triple double check your menu, hours and prices. Make sure they are something you are going to be doing and selling in 6 months if not don’t include it on the menu.

I couldn’t be more please with our menus from Taradel, they captured the feel of who we are and incorporated it in some terrific menus. The menus are top quality and I think it makes the customers view us differently. But they are simple to read, to the point and reliable in what we serve, when we serve it and how much it costs. We then used the same “spread” for some post cards.

But the reason they have been a success is we were able to get them into the hands of potential customers. We made an investment by sending a menu and magnet to a couple of thousands people, we dropped menus off every day for months to every business in town, we boxed topped, we followed up with thousands of post cards and it has paid off. Now that I am getting low on marketing materials it is starting to effect business. Our customers are bombarded with our competitors who religiously advertise in the paper, in the mail, at all the events, on billboards and realizing that is what we are battling…name recongition…we have to keep at it…just like day one otherwise people will just fall back into old habits and call who they have called all the years we were not around. You cannot let up once you start marketing.

Steveo I think when things get slow we tend to over think our plans. We start to change all kinds of things instead of doing what we do and doing it better. You have to keep an image of success going. You have to do more than just order the menus…you have to get a plan together on getting the menus out in your town. I know things are tough right now but you need to spend time getting ready to get those menus in the hands of potential customers.

Just my 2 cents.


All your guys’ time and thoughts are appreciated. I really don’t know what else to say though. I’m constantly torn between 3 people - me, my dad, and all the great advice on pmq.

I know I need new menus, I know its bad to sharpie in changes and I know I really have no control over that.

I’ll keep you guys informed what goes on this Sunday. I have a feeling everything will be put on the table then.

Scott - I understand what you’re saying. But let me ask you this… Is it better to have some theme/concept than no theme/concept? I like Kris’s advice on keeping the idea, but keeping it simple.

I think everyone here has made good points but what excites “you” about the business is important. If the “pi” thing truly inspires passion in you GO FOR IT! In the end its really about product, service and marketing. Imo, I think you can make a bad theme work with a good product, service and marketing. You cannot make a good theme work the other way around.

Pizza Hut???
Straw Hat???

What’s clever about those or what do the names have to do with pizza?

Its a hard business. The passion you have can make or break you. I went through the same thoughts when creating my concept and in the end I knew I would be more inspired in “everything” I did if I truly enjoyed the concept.