THE THINK TANK
Think Tank users help a fellow
restaurateur address a common
Lee Kim: After opening in early 2016, we started using direct mail in October, and our sales have
doubled since then. But lunch is still slow. We created a lunch special and hung a large vinyl banner to
advertise it, but the increase has been incremental.
We don’t have any large office buildings nearby, so I
thought maybe this is just not a good area for lunch.
Then I learned that a sandwich place five blocks
away is killing it. Any ideas on how to create lunch
traffic will be greatly appreciated!
d9phoenix: I would guess the sandwich shop is killing it
because they offer fast food. Pizza is not considered fast
food, even though I can get a pizza out of the oven faster
than Burger King can even make my sandwich half the
time. Box toppers would help your lunch business. If you
offer grab-and-go items, that could take off, too. Or you
can think about doing a buffet, although that’s a lot of
work. Whatever you do, it will take time to build sales.
Just stick with it and, if done correctly, it will make you
money in the long run.
Steve: We struggled with this at our second location.
Using direct mail, we put lunch specials on the coupon
flap that you see as soon as you open the menu, along with
everyday specials on the back. We don’t collect most of
the coupons—we simply ask customers to mention them
when they order. Our lunch business is picking up, partly,
I’d say, because of increased visibility with the coupons
as well as our quality food and ability to serve customers
rather quickly during lunchtime.
MPS: Open an account at referenceusa.com and do a
search on businesses within a three- to five-mile radius
of your restaurant. Download these contacts and have
someone on your staff call each business and ask for permission to fax or email them your daily specials. Make
sure to email them every day around 9: 15 a.m. or fax
around 8: 45 a.m. You can use services like SimplyCast for
broadcast faxing and MailChimp for email blasts. If you
offer online ordering, make sure to update your specials
every day on the website. Add an opt-in form on your
lunch specials page so that site visitors can also subscribe
to your daily specials list. Make sure to offer a variety of
dishes and change them daily. You can get dish ideas from
spoonacular.com and other websites.
Get answers to your most perplexing problems and swap tips
and ideas with the experts in PMQ’s Think Tank, the pizza
industry’s oldest and most popular online forum. Register for
free at thinktank.pmq.com. (Member posts have been edited
here for clarity.)