Updated: Oct 12, 2019
The last week of October was a bit slow for sales. The highlight of the week was participating in our city's Trunk or Treat at the local park. We were told to expect 6,00 kids.
We handed out candy and marketing material and there were games and food vendors on site. We used to buy out candy from Sams or Costco, but this year we ordered $600 worth of candy and clear plastic bags from Amazon.
It was totally worth it. With the help of our 5 and 7 year old, we handed out about 2,000 bags of candy.
In the past, we had families visit our station more than once. This year we had a pumpkin stamp so as we gave out candy, we stamped their hand.
They didn't know what it was for, but it helped us keep track. If a family showed up again, we graciously sent them on to the next booth.
We get our food order twice a week. When sales are good, we tend to run out of items. When sales are low, we have a surplus of items.
Though both are problems, we'd rather have the first problem. Sometime, equipment is the issue.
We are obsessed with making sure everything is checked daily and running well. We check temps on all our fridges and freezers.
When one fails, we have a back up plan to move items until it can be repaired. Other times, staff is the problem. We tend to hire a lot of high school aged kids. We have experienced no-shows or running late many times.
We check labor hourly to ensure that we stay at a certain percentage. The pro to hiring teens is that we can pay less, but the con is they can only work so many hours a week.
Many are involved in school activities and have to maintain their grades, too. We hire and train more than we need because of their limited availability.
We are also competing with other companies' starting salary. It's difficult knowing that we have to pay for the basic training and pay property taxes.
No matter what happens, our goal is to make sure that sales continue to grow.
Another marketing technique we employ is Black Friday sales. We start campaigning in September but visiting local businesses and asking them to let us help them feed their employees that weekend.
This morning, we got a call from Deborah, our marketing assistant, saying that Lowes wants to order 10 trays of Fettuccine Alfredo to go with their pizza order. We will also get business from Target, Walmart, Discount Tire and other businesses. The point of this is to always be laying down the foundation for future business.
As the holiday season approaches, we will get busier, but we have to market now to have that business later. We must be aggressive and proactive.
Down the highway from us, two theaters are being built ironically across from each other. One is planning to have a Mod Pizza syle restaurant inside.
Both will have smaller restaurants built near them. We have to make ourselves known so our business doesn't suffer when they open in the next 6 months.
Their marketing departments are already figuring out how to dethrone the competition in the area. Our job is to counter with a clever marketing strategy of our own so people will want to visit our restaurant.
Reflecting back on our special October project, we tried something new this year.
Deborah had an idea to celebrate National Pizza month and combine it with National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
She reached out thrtough Facebook to our local television celebrity, Leslie Mouton with KSAT12. Leslie is an 18 year breast cancer survivor and lives in our small town of Schertz. Our proposal was to partner with her organization, WINGS.
We invited Leslie to come to our restaurant to make 3 different pizzas.
She chose the best one and it became Leslie's Special of the month: pepperoni, salami, black olives, green bell pepper and onion, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
We agreed to give 50% of the sales back to WINGS and to collect donations in house and online.
We had a videographer film Leslie making her pizzas. The best part was Leslie inviting us to be on television and present a 28" Leslie's Special to her co-workers. It was fun getting up at 3:30am to make the pizza at 4:30am and be at the station by 6:30am to go on air. It was a great experience and a wonderful marketing opportunity.
We were able to raise $600 in sales and $400 in donations so we could present WINGS with a check for $1000.
It's been a crazy, but exciting month for usa.
Hope your month was good, too. Let us know what you're doing to market your business.