Marketing Matters: Slow days

Recently I did a brief survey of some of my pizza pals across the nation. My suspicions proved true — business on Monday is generally half of Friday’s sales. So, can I take a ‘dog’ day and make it a star? Sometimes it is just plain hard or impossible to change people’s spending habits, after all. Plus, let’s face it … Monday and Tuesday simply are going to be slower days in the restaurant industry. The trick is to make sure they aren’t dead days.

Frank Zappa once said: “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.” Think about that quote and how we can take our nothing Monday and sell it as Friday’s art. A mastermind group I am involved in recently had this discussion and came up with some easily implemented ideas designed to perk up the beginning of the sales week.

Since most of your business is on the weekend, let this be a time to distribute bounce-back offers that are redeemable only on Monday or Tuesday. Make the offer at a price point you can live with; concentrate on selling value along with customer service and convenience. There is a reason why people hate Mondays so do your part to make Monday a little easier on them.

Chris Nonnemaker, owner of Papas Pizza To Go in Cleveland, Georgia, recommends giving people a reason to order. Nonnemaker suggests that pizzeria owners “Partner with local non-profits to give them a percentage of the sales between certain hours on those nights.” The idea of school nights has been around awhile, and many operators have found success with such programs. Plus, the school does all the marketing for you by sending families to your pizzeria in order to raise funds for school projects. Nonnemaker takes this approach a step further by focusing on convenience.

“I called the President of the PTO at the local elementary school and we arranged a special PTO afternoon where we sold $8 large pizzas to parents in the pick-up line after school,” he says. “The PTO sent out a small notice to all the kids and met me at the school. We walked car to car and sold the first 25 immediately! Within an hour, we sold 60 pizzas and raised $120 for the PTO. The president of the PTO is excited to do it again. Two other schools want to do this also.”

Ever notice how one nice order can make your day? Try partnering with a local business and offer a Monday lunch combo just for its employees. Set a price point that people are willing to pay yet does not devalue your product. Add in the convenience of delivery or the assurance that it will be ready on time. You’re now getting the business and the employees will realize the value and most likely be back other times of the week or want to share their experience with their family after work. I recommend personally taking a sample to the secretary or manager, along with menus for all the staff. Do this with enough businesses and eventually you’ll enjoy watching the orders come in by lunchtime.

Scott Anthony is a Fox’s Pizza Den franchisee in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today and a frequent guest speaker at Pizza Expo.

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