Business Builders

Increasing Repeat Visits

Attracting Families with Kids Reading Program

With summer vacation just around the corner, many parents are already looking for ways to keep their school aged kids learning during vacation. Recognizing this opportunity, Darline Kovach worked with the local library literacy program to reward kids for reading. The library tracks the number of books each child reads and awards them with a certificate for a free mini pizza at Darline’s when they reach their goal. Because the youngster is normally accompanied by family members who are paying guests, the program more than pays for itself!

Darline Kovach, Owner Pizza Factory Winters, CA


Owner’s Visit Ensure First Times Return

When servers at this upscale Italian restaurant detect clues that it is a guest’s first visit (e.g., the guests ask where the restroom is located), the server later subtly inquires if this is indeed their first visit. If so, the server notifies the owner, who comes by their table at the end of their meal to personally introduce himself, present them with a complimentary dessert, and invite them to return again soon. As a result of this genuine personal interest, many first timers develop into regulars!

Wishes to remain anonymous

Send Notes to Recall Missing Regulars

In order to make sure that his best customers keep coming back, Rick Grabowski tracks “regulars’” visits on a list by writing down each date when they come in. When he notices that it has been a while since their last visit, Rick dashes off a quick note encouraging them to return soon, which they typically do within a couple of days!

Rick Grabowski, Owner Amore Pizza Queensbury, NY

Signing Pizza Box Says “Handcrafted Original”

When guests dine in, the restaurateur typically has the opportunity to get to know them. But for most takeout and delivery customers, there is little opportunity for face to face contact, so forming a personal connection presents a problem. Pizzeria owner Dave Stamps responded to this challenge by hand signing each lid of his pizza boxes! Not only does this remind Dave’s takeout and delivery customers that their order was handcrafted from top quality ingredients, it also lets them know that Dave personally cares about them and stands behind the quality of their meal!

Dave Stamps, Owner Dave & Jim’s Pizza Sackets Harbor, NY


Balloon Bouquet Uplifts Birthdays

Upon learning that a guest is celebrating a birthday, many restaurants traditionally recognize the event with a complimentary dessert. Micah Jones says she’s found a unique twist on that traditional approach. By having a helium tank on premise, her staff can create a colorful balloon bouquet for less than the typical cost of a dessert!

Not only does this provide the guest with a lasting birthday gift, the bouquet really stands out in the restaurant, and best of all, it does not preempt the party from buying dessert for the happy celebrant!

Micah Jones, Manager Mama Mia Albuquerque, NM


Customer Photos Create “Favorite Tables”

This owner of an Italian family style restaurant wanted to find a way to make customers feel at home and to encourage regulars to come back more often. So she came up with the idea of decorating every tabletop with photos she takes of her guests (with their permission). The photos are displayed under the protective glass which covers each table top and are occasionally shuffled and updated to include new customers.

Her guests enjoy searching their table for their own pictures or those of friends. As a result, they feel a sense of “ownership” of their table and are personally closer to the restaurant.

Wishes to remain anonymous


Complimentary “Assaggini” Sets Meal Apart

Many restaurants offer their guests a complimentary basket of freshly made Italian bread as a welcoming gesture of hospitality. To help personalize his restaurant and make it stand out from competitors, Tony Mastrofrancesco instead provides his guests with complimentary “assaggini” (little tastes) of foccaccia, grilled polenta, or other regional favorites. This allows

Tony to demonstrate his restaurant’s competency in regional Italian cooking and also introduces newcomers to these specialties. As a result, many guests end up ordering these items as paid full portion appetizers during subsequent visits!

Tony Mastrofrancesco, Owner Baffetto di Roma Bromont, PQ