what makes you special?

What is it that makes it a “break-out”? we make high quality pizza. So, What makes it so that I can see sales increase. Just quality hasn’t done it for us. we are in the process of adding a liquor license, and plan to have craft beers at that point. what made the big difference in you operation, so you could actually take a day off?

ambiance, vibe , the intangible, not too loud, not too quiet, no headbanger music, employees who are happy and instantly alert to customers needs, non robotic interactions with customers, say their name, i bring customers into my kitchen all the time for a sample of my latest house made ice cream, people remember that, our place is a destination for dates with wine, kids (hopefully not too many!) families,old folks, business people, create something and hang it on the wall, show you are real people, be creative, good salad bar draws non pizza people,here is an example of a win, 2 weeks ago i was waiting tables on a 4 top, after finish i asked if anyone was interested in our house made ice cream, 3 solid no"s the fourth reluctantly said no- peer pressure, i sensed her disappointment and came back with a super small scoop of butter pecan, she jumped for joy, it was just enough,she came in the next week with a bunch of people and heartily thanked me for the mini scoop, the little things matter, ask the kids if they enjoy their pizza,not sure about the day off !!! L license should definitely help, does your place look like a chain restaurant ? Try to make it more earthy in some way,unique,hope this helps

well, since we moved it is a little less “indy” looking, but it is cleaner looking, and still has our own details to it, like a handmade bar that people can watch us from. We are a little quirky, but our regs love us, I just need more of them!!

What’s your marketing plan?

Sales increase when you offer customers what they want…

Do not make the assumption quality is what they want…Some folks are more driven by price and will gravitate to a lower priced product even if they sacrifice quality…

How much “curb appeal” does your place have?..When I am in the city I look at a lot of places from the outside…Some are simply “unappealing” to me…Many are cluttered with a mass of signs and look like they have not been cleaned and/or painted in decades…

Service! Being the best at what matters most to your customers is the ONLY way to increase sales.

Having great food only takes you so far. If you have poor service then the best food in the world wont save you. Price is meaningless if service is great and the concept of “image” is over-used as perception is based on what the CUSTOMER thinks.

Ive been saying this for years! Everyone talks about having the best pizza which really doesn’t matter as much as people think, If you have great service good prices and decent food you will do far better then if you have, Bad service, high prices and Amazing pizza

First I agree with many of the recent posters, you have to offer the best possible service. Most of us here are independents, or small franchisees and we need to be providing service as part of our distinguishing (Unique Selling Proposition - USP if you prefer) characteristics of our businesses. Focus on making every customers experience as positive as possible, anticipating their needs, leaving lines of communication open - let me know if there is anything further you need, let us know how you liked that, saying thank you often, remembering details that they like, being easy to do business with, etc.

I think it is a HUGE misconception in our business that it is all about the food…I always say that about 75% of people base their decision on service and only 25% on food. I used to do turnaround’s for Dominos, taking bad stores and making them good stores (based on sales and P/L) and I always succeeded by focusing on the service. We took stores from 3K a week to 12K in short periods of time, selling essentially the same product. By all means, make the best food you can within the parameters of your business model, but service will typically win more hearts!

Another thought is that once in a while the stores we turned around seemed to have no issues by looking at the numbers and the quantifiable aspects of the business. The store was clean, the delivery times were solid, the marketing was consistent, employees were knowledgeable, etc. However, after spending a couple of weeks there, it quickly became evident why customers were turned off. We would see “quirky” things from our employees…they would say things in front of customers that were strange or turned them off, they were inattentive, their team chemistry sucked, they communicated ambivalent attitudes, they alienated certain genders, races, age groups, people based on politics, etc. This is another form of service that is much harder to quantify but is none the less present. You mentioned being quirky and that is always a concern for me…some businesses thrive on this and some locations and audiences are perfect for certain kinds of quirky, just be sure to be honest about whether you are turning off larger audiences by being quirky. Personality is great, but I first and foremost like selling more pizza and I want to be as inclusive as possible. Make sure you, your staff and your environment isn’t alienating anyone.

Assuming you feel your service is the best you can make it, I would take a close look the marketing. Exactly what kind of marketing you do will depend a lot on your business model and there are plenty of great articles here on that so I won’t go into detail on these ideas, but I would remind everyone that marketing takes repetition, constantly being aggressive, constantly mixing new mediums in with old and it takes time to build a new customer base. I am a delco and I am a big fan of what Daddio always refers to as “food in mouth” advertising. He and I approach our distribution a little differently, but there is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING more effective than someone coming in and having a positive experience in your store. I had a gentleman tonight come in and say “by the way, since you gave me that free pizza to try, I have come back in three times and I have not been back to my former favorite place yet!”. If you have the great product and great service, get people in the door and let it sell itself!

I do not know for sure.
We only have TV off the antenna. Not a sports bar. In a town of 750.
We do not have liqour. Dont sell wings. Only open evenings. No major metro hubs close. Do not discount pizza at all. No coupons in paper. NOTHING. Hand roll all our skins. Do not advertise. Have pizza only with 6 ? sandwiches. 4? salads. In an old brick building. Cook in a deck oven. Building is 120 + years old. Crust is not perfectly round. Whatever it comes out like is what is served. Seat 60. DO NOT deliver. We (wife and I) work the store. Have some cards made up that I hand out only to give a $2 discount on a large or A free cinnamon stick with a large purchase or $5 off $25 purchase or one free large single top. If I get the chance or member to hand em out. Make our own house made sausage. 3 kinds. Goes on pizza raw. Have COKE and PEPSI fountains for people to enjoy. Make own sauce. Only appetizer is cheese stick or bread stick. Did not advertise that we were opening. We have bottle beer only. Have only 1 size pan pizza. Offer real house made lemonade. No mozzarella is used and has never even been in the place. Each child gets a dum dum sucker. Have a pizza called the WHOLE HOG. Offer real house made tea. Have old photos of the town hanging on the walls. Do not offer coffee. Honesty. Offer sour cream packets with certain pizzas. Hopefully have great service. Do not run out and find a CHEAPER product if what I use goes up. Not a dark dungeon. Only desserts are cinnamon sticks, ice cream cookie or root beer float. Have CLEAN mens and woman’s restroom. Have TripleXXX root beer from West Lafayette, IN. in fountain. Sell t shirts. Owner attempts to speak with every table that comes in if we are able depending on how busy. We screw up your pizza you are eating it for free or you get a cinnamon stick for free. We give out cinnamon sticks free for birthdays and anniversaries for eat in customers. Offer a gluten free crust, 10" only frozen. We chop real ice burg lettuce for your salads and for pizza topping. We do not skimp.
Welp, not to sound like a smart arse here. I still have no clue honestly. I really would like to think it is a combination of things listed above and many other things that I have not listed that may make us special.
Every place will more than likely have their own little thing to make them special.
I will say that what ever you do. DO not do it halfway. DO it right from the start or do not do it at all. And that may be what makes you SPECIAL!

I agree, And I offer my most sincere apologies if I may have offended anyones sensitivities.

Besides that, what makes us special for our area :
we are the only place doing hand tossed, making our own fresh sausage, and using a whole milk cheese. The other pizza places either press, or sheet their dough into a cracker’ish crust. Most also use a pre-cooked sausage, or they use Fontinini brand sausage which makes the flavor profile between our competitors almost identical.
We also offer an “Upside-Down” pizza option. (cheese on the dough, then stripes of the sauce on top of the cheese) plus we do strombolis.
Then on top of all that, all of our BBQ meats are available on our pizzas,
The current favorite among carnivores is our “Chopping block” pie that gets Beef Brisket, pulled Pork, smoked chicken, Bacon, & chopped rib meat
The 2nd most popular is our “Pile of Pig” which gets Sausage, pulled pork, bacon, & Pepperoni, then the “meat & potatoes” is gaining quickly in popularity, that has beef brisket, and the filling of double baked potatoes, garnished with pickle slices for a little acidic addition to the flavor profile.

No offense at all, we all do it one way or another, I just have a cousin whose the best guy in the world so I always say something. The pizza sounds amazing. I’ve got a cracker crust that I put smoked brisket, cayenne candied bacon that I cure myself, sweet baby rays and white cheddar. I’m all into the mash up pizza, I’m trying to make a Shepard pie pizza with mash potato as deep dish. I have others once were open I’ll post the menu.