March 9, 2018 |


By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

Do your customers know how to find you?

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

It started with a text from my friend Ronda. 

“Have you been to the new coffee/donut shop on 7th?”

I hadn’t. In fact, I hadn’t even heard about it, but I’m a sucker for donuts and lattes, and we don’t have any places near the Pizza Today offices. After picking up my daughter from school that day, we headed over to 7th and Oak … and proceeded to drive in circles in search of the mythical donut shop.

We never did find it, and returned to Pizza Today empty-handed.

If you’re opening a new pizza shop, how easily found are you? Chances are your Web site hasn’t made an impact on Google yet. If you’ve got a common name, potential customers won’t be able to find you amidst all the Joe’s Pizzas found in every city. You need customers, and you need to be found.

A few days later, I made it my mission to find this donut shop. I found an address, plugged it into the WAZE app and found donut nirvana. Turns out the coffee shop is just in its soft opening and hasn’t had it’s grand opening yet.

Here are some tips to follow if you’re brand new:

  • Make sure your Web site is designed and designed WELL while you’re still in the construction phase. Get your menu up early.
  • Social media is your best friend. It’s informal, and you can use it to set the tone of your restaurant before the doors even open. Mac’s Dough House, which opened just a mile from my house, did a great of this. They posted construction photos, but also pictures of potential dishes, their signature pizzas and their employees. Before customers stepped into the business, they already recognized staff members.
  • Join the Chamber of Commerce. They often put out newsletters to people in town, and they’ll most likely give you a mention.
  • Have your employees stuff paper boxes with your menu. Choose a day that the kitchen is closed and pay your staff to drive around and hand our menus.
  • Take samples to local businesses. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and spread word-of-mouth advertising. Make sure your product is top-notch. Be sure to include coupons for free small pizzas or copies of your menu.
  • Have an employee use the WAZE app to find your pizzeria and put a photo in. In the case of the missing donut shop, I never would have found it without this map app. There wasn’t a sign outside the shop yet.
  • Host a soft opening and make it splashy and invite only. By the time your restaurant opens, people will be looking forward to stopping in. AND they’ll know how to find you.

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