Here you will find current trends and see how they relate to your business so you can continue to build connections with patrons and keep them coming back. Be sure to visit from time to time, to see what new insights we have to share with you, and how you can turn this information into a catalyst for success.
Stay ahead of rising costs by pricing for profit
It's no secret that food costs are rising faster than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics wholesale food prices are up 8.2% since last June and we've seen the highest food price increase in 27 years!1 Because of this, it is expected that upscale and moderately expensive restaurants will see a decrease in customer frequency. However, traffic at family style quick-service restaurants should stay relatively consistent, and 10% of consumers say they'll actually be spending more in restaurants over the next 90 days.2
With this in mind, now's the time to make a few adjustments in your menu pricing to head off the rising cost of doing business and increase your bottom line. Pricing for profit allows you to get the value you deserve for your product without altering the great food you're known for. Here are few things you can do:
· When you raise prices, don't do "across-the-board" changes
At some point you'll have to increase prices but, when you do, don't change them on a large number of items at once. If you do there's a greater chance for customers to notice and not like it. Instead, raise just a few items at a time.3
· Don't mark up your menu - reprint it!
Never cross out, write over or use stickers to hide old prices on your existing menu. This will call attention to the price change. Your best bet is to reprint the menu.3
· People like value but they'll pay for premium.
Ninety-three percent of pizzeria operators said their least-expensive pizzas are priced at $15 or less. But what might surprise you is that two-thirds of those operators reported up to 25% of their customers order the most expensive pie on the menu. The message? Serving a higher-end pizza still appeals to 1 in 4 customers and can make up a nice slice of your profits.
For more information please contact your Grande Sales Associate or call 1-800-GRANDE.
Sources:1Bureau of Labor Statistics; 22008 InvestorPlace Media, LLC;3restaurantowner.com, August 18, 2008; 4Pizza Marketplace Industry Study 2007
Supercharge Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Social media is a great way to reach out to your current customers, but its real value may lie in getting them to share their appreciation of your restaurant with others. Some operators have started using Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts to encourage their loyal followers to spread the word about their businesses. According to a recent New York Times poll, a "recommendation from a friend" is the most credible source of information.1 While old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) is still one of the most effective ways to expand your customer base, the internet has grown more influential in forming these WOM conversations.2
Tasti D-Lite, a frozen dairy dessert company, has used Twitter and Facebook in its marketing mix. Company president Jim Amos explains, "Regular customers are having conversations that can be used to build our brand." You should think about how to add value and give your customers a reason to become more involved with your business, by using social media tactics to your advantage. Some simple ideas to increase participation in your social media include -
Offer a chance to win a gift certificate in a drawing among the first 500 people to sign up on your Facebook fan page. Set a start and end date for the contest and encourage current customers through in-store signage to sign up and "follow" you on Facebook. When they are following your fan page, they each receive a posting every time you communicate through it. The more people you are able to gather, the more powerful your marketing voice can be. Large fan bases also create an impression of an active community, and that encourage even more visitors to join.
· Just ask
Odds are that you have some loyal customers who would like to help you spread your message just because they believe so strongly in it. Use your in-store signage, menus and delivery boxes to invite customers to visit your Facebook fan page and leave comments, or invite friends of theirs that aren't "following" your page yet. The more fans you have, the more potential WOM messengers you have.
Finally, make sure your customers know where to find your pizzeria. The Grande Solutions @ Work®. Menus program is an easy way to get your Facebook, Twitter and other important business information to your customers. It's important to let them know where to share the great food and experience they had at your place. Contact your Grande Sales Associate or call 1-800-8-GRANDE to learn more.
Sources:1"The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing", March 8, 2010, www.wax.com, 2"Word of Mouth and the Internet", June 2010, Yahoo! Insights