unique situation... ...unique problems

To help cut back on your labor you need to cross train your employees. If your employees only do one job and stand around the rest of the time your waisting money. Also check to see if your state has a tip wage, you don’t have to pay your drivers as much an hour and it can be an insentive for them to learn new job duties for an hourly increase. And when sales start going up add more drivers before inside crew.

You also say you don’t want to lower your food cost, because you think quality will suffer. Well start shopping more vendors, you will find the same quality with better prices. Let your vendors know you shop around and see your prices drop. Your sales person wants your business no matter how big or small. If you only use one or two vendors your prices have probably been going up from the first time you ordered. Check your invoices over the past 8 months and see how many items have increased and how often.

As for Marketing, When your phone book contract is up, change to just a basic ad. Nothing big, just your name, phone # and hours. The phone book is a waist of money. The newspaper isn’t that good of a return either. Your better off taking that money and spending it on other marketing tools. Door hangers and box toppers are a cheap and great way to build sales. Make sure you don’t market your area too much to start, you don’t want to ruin your service and loose all those new customers.

It sounds like you have gotten off to a good start for being open 8 months, good luck to you.

an update:

thank you to everyone that has joined my topic and offered advice.

the good:

i’ve followed an extensive training schedule and now feel very comfortable leaving my pizzeria and spending some time at home! i have 2 key people who run the operation when i am not there. they are young and motivated and very friendly. i’ve cut my hours from 35 to 22 per week (remember i work full time in another profession). we’ve trimmed the labor fat and not sacrificed any food quality (i haven’t changed any of my brand name supplies - grande, hormel, etc). my free time has been devoited mainly to advertising research. i know that this is what we need to do, but i have a degree in engineering and not marketing. i need advice!

i will devote personal funds to making this commitment, but i don’t know what to do. i have a large ad in the phone book along with my full menu. i do sporatic advertising in my newspaper (which is highly popular here) but i find these ads to only break even on a wekk to week basis.

i’m unfamiliar with direct mailings, as it’s not done here by independents. as i’ve stated before, i live in an area of 30,000 people and over 50 pizzerias (NE Pennsylvania).

the bad:

if my marketing venture doesn’t help considerably, i will be forced to close due to poor sales.

thank you all in advance.

Moneymailer, valpak and you can buy mailing list to do mailings on your own. Dont give up. Be persistant if this is something you really want to do.

Since you’re only :smiley: an Engineer I’ll advise you that there is a slight difference between marketing and advertising.

Advertising is typically what everyone does, paying for ad space or airtime in radio.
If it’s not working after 3 months, drop it! Change to something else. Not to mention if you’ve ran one for 3 months you’ve hit the “newspaper readers.” Who else is your target customer? Take ads out or advertise where they might see it.

One of the biggest mistakes I saw franchisees make was getting “suckered” into an expensive yellow pages ad. Even after advising them to stay away from there. Do not renew!

So like some said get some young people or whoever you can and have them door-to-door hangers, shopping centers. It’s been and always will be one of the most cost effective ways to advertise.

Marketing is more of getting the public to know “who you are” and “what you offer.”

In my business our product was our pride and there also was no cutting costs to get it cheaper.
Now remember, “cheaper” and “less expensive” are two different things.

So product pride; nothing is more valuable than getting your product into a potential customer’s hand. Give some product away!! We always had franchisees squawk at the cost. First it’s only COG, second if you’ll spend $200 on a print ad that doesn’t allow people to sample your product and many don’t read it why not spend $200 on product that you know is directly getting to people.

So how should you market? “It takes money to make money.”
Any kids? Any friends with kids?

Get some T-shirts and or ball caps printed up. Give them away to the kids or people who, hrmm let’s see it’s football season, how about go to high school football games. People who might not know you exist will see this walking advertisement of your business.
Remember that give away product? Will the school allow outside food into the game? Give a few pizzas out and have them sit in the stands and hand out free slices, with a coupon on your flyer. Even if they don’t eat it the smell will get to them and they will be thinking Pizza, maybe see someone in your t-shirt and go try you out.

Take some pies around to local businesses. We always hit up the car dealers and hospitals. AND ALWAYS with a coupon on your flyer.

You have beer sales. Get your beer rep to kick in some “marketing products” so you can do some loss leaders with the beer sales.
Something like Monday night football special 2 pizzas and half off a 6 pack. You can work the details out :slight_smile:
I remember once having this discussion with a franchisee about running an ad putting out flyers for giving away a can of coke with every order on a specific upcoming day.

He was balking at what it would cost to give away a free can of coke with every order bought for a single day. What he was really balking at was the lost revenue from the coke sales for the day.

Again, I asked that if he thought it would drive so many people into his store just to get a free coke with an order and he would lose so much in sales then obviously he would have a ton of customers. All he was “losingâ€