Maybe you're the manager of your family’s pizzeria. Or perhaps you’ve just plugged in the neon “open” sign at your trendy gluten-free pizza shop.
Either way - as a pizza restaurant owner - you know the importance of customer loyalty and bringing new clients through the door.
Traditionally the pizzeria has been defined by local spirit. High schoolers come to grab a pie after the big game. Business men and women run in during their lunch breaks to purchase a slice. Your pizzeria is meant to be a place of comfort, family and friendliness, with (of course) great food.
However, there’s a lot of competition in the pizza industry. With a plethora of Main Street pizzerias and more chain restaurants like Panera offering the meal, you’ll need to make your restaurant stand out.
How do you become the one establishment everyone turns to and says “that’s my spot?”
And more importantly, how do you keep people saying that for years to come?
This guide unlocks the secrets to growing your customer loyalty and acquiring new customers.
Overall we recommend the following steps:
For mom and pop shops digitization can seem like a huge and confusing task. However, it’s the perfect way to differentiate your establishment. Luckily with a few simple steps you can easily launch a digital marketing campaign.
Text messages are opened more often than emails and are a great way to communicate with your target market. Be sure only to reach out a maximum of one time per week and segment your customer phone number list, otherwise people will view your campaign as “spammy.”
Here are some simple email segmentation ideas from The Digital Restaurant:
How to get started: We recommend signing up with a text message service like Mobile Monkey.
A customized mobile app for your pizzeria allows your loyal customers to conveniently place an order to increase repeat transactions.
How to get started: Now with services like Appy Pie you can launch your first app with zero coding experience.
Digital rewards programs make it simple for loyal customers to check-in at your shop as well as earn and redeem rewards. Customers will love tossing their plastic rewards cards. It also cuts down on costs, as these physical cards no longer have to be manufactured.
How to get started: If using Wordpress try downloading the plugin MyRewards. As well, we recommend creating a custom loyalty program. That way you have complete access to customer information for remarketing.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are a great way to engage with customers.
In order to create the largest following, abide by the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your posts are helpful to the community and not focused on your business. Retweeting the announcement of Little League championship teams is a good example. Promote your business including specials and new items the other 20% of the time.
How to get started: Sign up for an account at Hootsuite to post and manage your social accounts from one platform. No more going in and out of apps, copying and pasting messages.
User-generated social media content can do wonders for your pizza shop. Make every aspect of your customer experience visually appealing and engaging, from food to restaurant decorations to packaging. For example, consider installing a unique and instagram-worthy mural.
How to get started: Post a hashtag (#) on in-store signage so customers include it in their posts.
Good quality pictures are a must, especially for social media posts.
How to get started: Refrain from stock images, as they rarely look like your restaurant’s actual food. Instead hire a food photographer for a professional set of photos. Use these photos on menus, fliers, promotions, your website and your social media accounts.
Pizzerias who have been around for a long time know the importance of tailoring a menu. Whether offering pizza by the slice to bring in solo customers or combo meals for large groups on game day, customization is key to bring in a variety of customers and groups of people.
How to get started: Install a neon sign in the front window saying you provide slices to go. As well, consider having a family combo package deal either for game days or for weekend movie nights.
Most local customers find pizzerias using the tried and true Google search: “pizza places near me.” In fact, “pizza near me” is one of the most highly searched terms on Google.
Customers are also searching on Yelp, Facebook and other social platforms when looking for new pizza shops.
You want to ensure that your pizzeria appears on these search engines with the correct information, like address and phone number. Also consider uploading some professional photos of your food or local celebrities at your pizza shop.
You also need to make sure your reviews and ratings are up to standard. Your star rating should be at least over a 4.0. Be sure you are handling customer issues promptly and monitoring and responding to online reviews.
Because pizzerias have such a strong local presence it’s important to focus on word-of-mouth marketing. Consider sponsoring a town fundraiser or partnering with a school, church, nonprofit or sports team. You could host a “dine and donate” night where a percent of revenue is donated or provide pizza free of charge at events.
Running so many loyalty programs, campaigns and gamification plans can be confusing, especially if a lean team handles your pizzeria operations. It’s a lot of work to keep track of all these promotions and work around educating each employee of the relevancy of each campaign! Did you know your point of sale (POS) can actually help out with this? Cloud-native POS platforms can integrate directly with loyalty and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions so that deals and promotions are automatically triggered when your guests make their purchases.
As well, POS platforms have a wealth of customer information. Mining your company data can reveal customer segments you're doing well in and highlight the types of customers you could speak to even better. Mine the data in your POS to determine whether you have generational gaps in your customer base. For example, maybe you’re missing out on millennial clients. To address this, you may switch your loyalty program from paper or card-based program to an app-based offering to better resonate with this mobile-centric market.
Overall, your POS platform can be one of the most important components to implementing your marketing strategy. No other technology is more robust.
How to get started: We recommend signing up for Revel’s pizza POS platform. As a pioneer of the cloud-native iPad solution, Revel offers ingredient-level business insights and streamlines your operations on every order. Our POS is easily scalable, simple and quick to deploy with regular software updates.
Pizza Patron, a chain out of Texas, offered customers a free pizza if they placed their orders in Spanish. Their market is 75% LatinoDomino’s ran a promotion where those who checked-in to your store the most each week, won a free pizza.
Domino’s in Europe delivered pizzas on electric scooters which loudly emitted the phrases “pizza” and “Domino’s.”
Hell Pizza had a “Pizza Roulette challenge” where customers could opt in to have one slice of their pizza doused with a chili sauce that was as hot as police pepper spray.
Pizza Hut created their own fragrance Eau de Pizza Hut which smelt like “freshly baked, hand tossed dough.”
Dubai’s Red Tomato Pizza created a button that stuck to fridges and when pressed would order a pre-selected pizza to the address.