No cheesy gimmicks here! Just effective marketing tactics to help get the word out about your pizzeria and bring in more paying customers.
Competition is fierce in the restaurant industry. Hungry customers have a giant list of options to choose from. Plus, the rapid growth of restaurant chains is making it increasingly difficult for locally owned pizza shops to get a share of the pie. With that said, it’s still possible to run a successful pizzeria. After all, everyone knows that pizza made by hand is better than the stuff Papa what’s-his-name and the other big chains are selling.
So how can your restaurant find and retain more business? You’ll need some out-of-the-delivery-box ideas. Here are 11 pizza marketing strategies to get you started.
1. Hire a Professional Photographer
What do your website, menus, in-store posters and social media channels all have in common? They all have photos of your food. Photography can make or break the way your pizza not only looks, but also sells. Professional photography is a small investment that can make your food more craveable. Find a local photographer to capture shots of your pizza, as well as how it’s made.
2. Create a Limited-Time Offer
A buzzworthy LTO can bring in huge amounts of business, especially if your offer gets picked up by food bloggers. Generate hype, urgency, and profit, by offering a special menu item for a limited time only. Line up your offer with seasonal events. For example, if you’re running an LTO in the month of November you may consider creating a cranberry stuffed crust. Whatever idea you come up with, the key is to make sure no competitor is already offering something similar. The more exclusive and innovative your menu item, the easier it will be to intrigue customers.
3. Use Text Message Marketing for Your Pizza Shop
One effective channel for running pizza marketing campaigns is text messaging, also known as SMS. The reason SMS is so popular among restaurant marketers is that it works on every single mobile device. There’s no app to download and complicated sign up process to go through. All users have to do is text in a keyword and they’ll be signed up to receive updates from your pizzeria. Use a business texting service to send out info about your latest offer and quickly respond to inquires. You can even coordinate deliveries and arrange reservations by text.
4. Request Reviews from Happy Customers
Forbes reported that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Positive reviews build trust and help your restaurant rank higher in search engine results. But the benefits of reviews goes beyond your online presence—they translates into cash flow. In fact, research from the Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in a Yelp rating leads to a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue. Use email, text messages and in-store materials to ask your customers to leave your business an honest review.
5. Run Targeted PPC Advertising
Pay-per-click ads, known by most as PPC, let you place ads on search engines and only pay when a user actually clicks through to your website. The benefit of PPC ads is that your pizzeria can target very specific keywords that users search for when they’re on the hunt for a great slice. Include the name of your city, region or town in your PPC keywords. For example, you could run an PPC ad for the phrase, “Pizza delivery in Wake Forest, North Carolina.” These highly specific keywords are less expensive and more effective than general keywords such as “good pizza.”
7. Encourage and Promote User-Generated Content
As a restaurant operator, you’ve probably seen your customers take out their phones at the table to caputre the perfect picture for social media. This type of content is known as UGC, short for user-generated content. Don’t let this free media go to waste! Search for UGC taken at your establishment and cross-post it on your account. Another good idea is to add table tents with a call to action that encourages customers to tag your accounts in their photos. This will boost your restaurant’s visibility and sales.
8. Optimize Your Menu for Mobile Phones
Imagine walking into a restaurant and finding out you have to go on a scavengar hunt just to find the menu. You’d walk out immediately and find somewhere else to eat. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing customers. According to Google, 72% of users prefer their content to be optimized for mobile. Make sure your online menu is easy-to-find and legible. Users shouldn’t have to dig around your navigation or zoom in to read what type of pizza your restaurant offers.
9. Partner With Delivery Services
A survey from Statista found that 20 percent of people use food delivery at least once a week. That’s billions of dollars in spending. Don’t miss out on this stream of customers. Partner with delivery services to make it as easy as possible for people to find your pizzeria from their computers or smartphones. Consider teaming up with the following services:
10. Support Local Organizations
It’s impossible to help every organization that needs contributions. However, becoming a regular sponsor for a nonprofit that aligns with your pizzeria’s values is good for the community and your business. Choose the right charity, then offer to cater their next fundraising event. Better yet, take a day off with your employees and volunteer. This will improve employee engagement and make your local customers more likely to return.
11. Invest in a New POS System
Many mom-and-pop pizzerias are still using the same cash register from their grand opening. Ask yourself, can your POS system collect your customers’ emails and phone numbers? Does it tell you how many guests you have in a given day part? Can you create a loyalty program right from the register? If the answer is no, it’s probably time to upgrade. You’re missing an opportunity to collect data, reduce costs and turn customers into regulars.
Anybody who’s worked in the front or back of the house knows that running a restaurant isn’t an easy job. A dedication to customer satisfaction and clever marketing can go a long way. Try out these 11 pizza marketing ideas to start making some serious dough.