Business Builders

Customer Bonds

Worldwide Wall of Fame

Here is a fun challenge to traveling customers – snap your photo wearing a Cornerstone Pizza t-shirt in an exotic locale and when you return, the owners will gladly hang a framed 8” x 10” copy on their pizzeria wall! So far, regulars on Cornerstone’s Worldwide Wall of Fame are pictured visiting The Great Pyramid in Egypt, a Jamaican beach bar, and the front line in Afghanistan.

Filling every square foot of wall space with smiling Cornerstone shirt wearing guests in exciting places reinforces the tiny pizzeria’s sense of community, while making honored travelers feel even closer to the restaurant!

Dave Shearn, Owner Cornerstone Pizza Prospect Park, PA


Court Careful Eaters

Tastefully adding small symbols to the menu to highlight items appealing to guests with special dietary preferences (e.g., vegetarian, heart healthy, etc.) can help better tap into those consumer groups.

For example, restaurateur Frances Dalisa worked with a local Weight Watchers leader to identify which especially lean items from her menu she could flag as “Weight Watchers friendly.” This made her menu more appealing to existing guests who participate in Weight Watchers. It also tapped into a pool of new patrons, as the program leader began recommending Dalisa to dozens of her clients.

Frances Dalisa, Owner Dalisa Pizzeria and Restaurant North Babylon, NY


Rewarding Referrals

To promote positive word of mouth, Gina Maggio mails her best regulars “give one, get one” Customer Referral Cards. The card, printed with the regular’s name, entitles a friend who has not yet tried Maggio’s Restaurant to $10 toward their first meal.

When the card is redeemed by a first timer (i.e., their home address on their ID does not already appear on the restaurant’s customer list), the referring regular is also mailed a $10 gift certificate of their own! Since friends often share similar tastes, many of these first timers have returned to become regulars themselves.

Gina Maggio, Owner Maggio’s Ristorante Southampton, PA


Kid Friendly Dough

When young visitors to his pizzeria become restless, Giuseppe Mignano quickly loans them a plastic placemat (lightly dusted with flour), small dough ball, small toy rolling pin, and toy pizza cutter. Within seconds, their boredom is transformed into creative play!

Giuseppe’s son, Vinnie, says his father’s thoughtfulness costs only pennies’ worth of flour. But not only does it keep little people (and other diners) happy, it instantly reassures young parents that they are especially welcome at Vinnie’s Pizza!

Giuseppe Mignano, Owner Vinnie’s Pizza, Troy, PA


Banning NSF Checks

Owner Ria Fox (whose pizza box slogan is “Pizza with Attitude”) does not take credit cards at her decidedly modest pizza joint. She does take checks. But despite a depressed local economy, Ria has not had one “bad” check in over two years.

Her secret? In keeping with her famous “attitude,” Ria posted a “leave nothing to interpretation” sign on her cash register. Under an actual newspaper clipping naming a previous NSF check writer, it reads: “Win a FREE ride in a Sheriff’s Cruiser by writing a ‘bad’ check to us. Lucky Winners can also get their names published in the paper for their friends and family to see! Won’t Mom be so proud?!”

Ria Fox, Owner Pizza Ria’s Too, Thurston, OH


Pinpointing Hometown Roots

Originally from New York, John Immerso quickly noticed that many of his customers in his South Carolina pizzeria also had Northeastern accents. Since “Where are you from originally?” was a natural conversation starter, John posted a map of the Eastern US on his wall. Guests were then invited to flag their hometowns using colored pins.

Seeing so many pins from places with a prominent “Little Italy” subtly communicates to native Carolinians that John’s food is the real deal. To Northern “expatriates,” being encouraged to celebrate their hometown roots makes them feel especially welcome.

John Immerso Ray’s Pizzeria and Ice Cream Shoppe, Lexington, SC