Problems in the kitchen? Don’t let your customers bear the brunt of it. Have your manager be up front at the table. Admit to the problem and offer to make it right. A simple order of garlic knots while the customer is waiting helps foster good will. And don’t forget your delivery customers. Sending out a low-cost item (such as an order of cheesy bread or cinnamon sticks) and an apology at the door by the driver goes a long way to righting a wrong.
At International Pizza Expo in March, an operator at the yearly Beer & Bull Idea Exchange offered a great tip: When a pizzeria in his local town goes out of business, he buys the store’s old phone number and has their calls redirected to his own pizzeria. The result? New — and hopefully repeat — business. If a customer is calling, they’re wanting pizza anyway, so luring them in with a new business special gets the order out the door and increases the pizzeria’s profile in town. It’s a win for all!
If you’ve got a pizzeria, you’ve probably got a television or two in house. And with your focus on the food, it’s easy to forget about programming, and that might turn off some folks. News stations can turn ugly fast, so keep an eye on what’s playing. And honor patrons’ requests to switch channels if appropriate. If there’s a game on, you might just pad checks with extra beer, wings or breadsticks!
Want some new marketing materials? Check with some of your distributors. Soda companies, liquor distributors and cheese companies often offer table tents, banners and even branded stickers that can affix a menu to a pizza box — all available at little to no charge to the operator. Ask around … most companies are more than willing to partner with your pizzeria.