Get et Sma rt r
About Your Market a
Detailed research on key
demographics can help
unleash your pizzeria’s
By Steve Dartt
How well do you know your market? Most pizzeria operators know how many households are in their markets and where their competitors are located,
and most know where area schools are located. Sadly, however, this is all many of them know. A lack of knowledge of your
market could be costing you a lot of money in unrealized sales
and wasted marketing dollars. While you can get as much detailed demographic information as you’re willing to pay for,
this information often can be collected for free or fairly inexpensively. Here’s what you should know, at minimum:
How many households are located within
one mile of your business? Convenience is a
major buying trigger, and your pizzeria is very convenient for
those living within one mile of your shop. Once you become
familiar with who’s in that one-mile radius, you can expand
to a bigger swath of your service area. Additionally, your
service area in a city setting may be geographically smaller
than a rural location. Regardless of the kind of market you’re
in, the principle of convenience still applies.
What is the makeup of these households?
What percentage of these households has kids?
How old are the people living there? How many people live
in the household? What’s the breakdown of single-person
households versus four or more people in the household? Are
these households single family or multifamily?
What are the median incomes of
Where are the pockets of ideal pizza eaters?
Ideal pizza eaters can be single people, couples and
younger individuals. They are often young couples with children and an active lifestyle. As a good rule of thumb, consider
customers who are under 50 years old.
How many businesses are located within a
mile of your pizzeria?
What schools (elementary, junior high, etc.)
are located near your pizzeria? (In this case,
you can look outside the one-mile radius.)
Where are your competitors? How many are
located within two miles of your pizzeria?
Again, it’s OK to look outside the one-mile boundary, because
their service areas will overlap with yours.
What is the quality of your competition? Are
they routinely busy?
How does the quality of your pizza compare
with competitors in your immediate area?
This may be the most difficult question to answer, but it’s an
Of course, there is more data that you can and probably
should know about your market, but answering these basic
questions will enable you to target the best customer prospect
zones within your market and build nontraditional sources of