today special

Im creampuff’s hubby And think that the special should be for lunch only. Not all day? We are in a small town and it is going good but not to pay the bills with specials all day I want A time line on it. Just open in April 30 th and things to me are slow and she thinks it is great Need Help Can’t get her to see the short fall

Specials/ coupons/ offers… they serve three purposes for me. Which purpose I am pursuing will have a lot to do with the nature of the offer, where I place it and how long it is valid.

  1. General pizza promotion. Whether we like it or not, coupons, offers and discounts have become a part of the pizza world, espcially for delivery. The offers I use for this shoot for an average cost around 8% of the ticket they generate. Notice I said “cost” not “value”. I often approach this kind of thing as added value by giving something away rather than offering a discount, but either way, I want to keep a limit on the revenue side.

These offers are year round and generally do not require a coupon. They do not expire. Some offers are placed where tourists will find them, others are placed where locals will find them. The offers are not the same.

  1. Up-selling. My best standing offers are for larger orders. The dicount or added value is tied to an order that includes at least 2 16" pies. The increase in the value of the offer recognizes the delivery cost savings… basically, that the delivery cost is paid for on the first pizza.

These offers are also widely published and expire about the time the next publication with the same offer comes out. Like the offers in #1, we have some offers targeted at tourists and others at locals. The ones for locals come out in the off season and are a little better value than the tourist offers.

  1. “Try me” offers. The purpose of these offers is to get a customer to try us for the first time. The offer is so good that a customer loyal to another store will go ahead and give us a try. The profitability on business we actually do on the offer is secondary.

The offers are only valid for a short period of time (30 days) and are delivered or placed in such a way that only locals see them. We are seeking new customers for the long term. The offers tend to come out in the slower season. I prefer direct mail for these offers.

Im not talking pizza. Im saying special like baked lasange with a side salad and garlic nots to run all day. We have them on the menu. You take it and add labour,gas,time,materials, and run three hours at lunch and sell 15 you might have made what 10 dollars. You want to have them come but not only for the special. Like I said it is a small town and she is runing them at 5.95 where did you make the payroll

Sounds like some marital counseling might be more helpful than anything we could contribute.

Thank You for your responce. If I can make her see we can do good. We have a good thing going just need bettercontrol of things

I like to make my specials actually something special! Not to say that they are any more special than my regular menu, so I guess they are special guests! This way the item is not tied to a menu price that you must discount or else what is special about it. I pick something new, exciting, and exotic so that I just might find another good old standby to stick on my regular menu. This way I can price the special at what it is worth rather than having to discount it in order to make it special. You mentioned your lasagne, well how about a vegetable lasagne, or pepperoni lasagne for a special. Good luck!

The language of cost of goos and contribution margin are where my wife and I get connected. We can see what percentage a “discount” is costing us in percent of dollars generated. If we have a deal that is 45-50% cost of goods, we had darned well better sell A WHOLE LOT of them to make it worth our while, else we bleed some money.

I see where you are coming from and this a different direction from what I was thinking in my first response.

Here are my thoughts on this direction:

You are giving too much emphasis on Special PRICE and not enough on Special PRODUCT. Having a “Special” allows you to sell by suggesting something. It does not have to be a discounted item at all. In fact, if it is not on the menu (it should not be!) there is no comparison basis for the price anyway.

Customers like to be sold and many like to try new things. Come up with your specials, make them attractive and price them as you would if they were on the menu. Make sure that your staff offers them to every table. Having an interesting menu is always a plus in a restaurant, adding great specials increases variety and gives the opportunity to describe product in appealing ways to the customer. You can also develop new menu items through this process and add the most successful ones to the menu next time around.

Look for “special” items that use mostly the same items you stock anyway so you do not complicate your buying and inventory and add a unique center of the plate ingredient that you can buy in moderate quantities. Tell your food rep that you are looking for good opportunities in this area and they will be very helpful pointing out good buys that come along.


Bodeghawy hit some really good points. Those who live in the world of dining rooms and turning tables and specials boards have a clear vision on this sort of thing that your average pizza joint doesn’t. Specials are a great way to

  1. test market new menu ideas
  2. use up excess stock in the cooler/freezer at a profit
  3. highlight an existing menu item (preferable a high profit margin one)
  4. highlight the skills and talent of your staff
  5. begin modifying the public perception of your restaurant and reposition yourself in the marketplace
  6. Add variety to a bored staff
  7. Take advantage of supplier food item sale
  8. . . . . other reasons

His thoughts on having a REASON for the special, coupled with his latest post, and some of the ideas I put above . . . should give you lots of grist for developing a “Specials Program” for your store. It may be that every day at lunch you have a mildly discounted menu item, or it may be that you decide something else is a better idea.

(Notice that no one is really taking sides in your dispute? :slight_smile: )

one very important reason to have a special - is to generate new customers or attract new customers at certain times.

Some of you may recall I have an aggressive carry out deal - it attracts people who want an aggressive deal and think our regular price is high and it cuts some slack to the delivery service - it was put there for a reason and it does what i expect from it.

Here’s another good example:

For me (delco) lunch time is not as big as I think it should be (pizza is not seen as a lunch thing) so I have some aggressive offers specifically targeted at getting people in the store at lunchtimes (yep at these prices they can come and pick their order up!). Some of the lunch specials have a food cost is 40-50% - do they contribute to bottom line - maybe - BUT they do get people in the door trying our pizza, seeing our store and talking to the staff - some will go home and order later in the week and then they pay full price or one of my other offers (lets say food cost 30%). I only need a few of these to have a regular priced order and a few sides delivered to their office and I’m back at 20-30% food cost again.

It all depends on what it is you are trying to achieve. Would I run an offer with a relatively high food cost all day every day? Maybe, it really depends on the reason - new store trying to attract customers? Old store trying to attract more new customers the list goes one.

Would I run and offer with high food costs without a specific reason - NO.

So, my advice, decide what your strategy is, what you are trying to do then plan some offers which will help you do that. Make sure you know the food cost of each offer and remember that sometimes its better to break even a few hours than to do no business and make a loss.

Run it as a “lunch special” or have a seperate “lunch menu”. Many sit-down restaurants have a lunch menu and a dinner menu (or a lunch menu on the back of the dinner menu).

If you’re trying to boost your lunch sales, then have it on the lunch menu at a lower price. Of course, I’m not sure this is going to have much impact on your dinner sales.