Business Builders

Target Marketing

Welcome Attracts Business Customers

Being new in town can be just as awkward for the fledgling business as it is for the recently arrived family. So when new companies join the local Chamber of Commerce, member and restaurateur Joe Nawrocki welcomes the owners to the business community with a warm letter and a gift certificate for dinner.

New Chamber members appreciate Joe’s gesture and, after being introduced to his great food and tastefully upscale surroundings, many have returned to personally dine and/or entertain clients on a regular basis!

Joe Nawrocki, Owner Café Piccolo Scottsdale, AZ


Happy Hour Targets “Football Windows”

With football season starting again next September, many restaurant bars will host Monday Night Football events to attract mostly male fans. However, some customers are less enthusiastic “football widows” who don’t share their husband’s obsession. So last season, restaurateur Sandy Kossky targeted these women with a highly successful event called “NFL (No Football Ladies) Night.”

Event regulars gather on Monday nights in the trattoria’s bar to enjoy live music, fresh veggies, other appropriate antipasti, and perhaps a glass of wine. By setting Lascari’s apart from competitors vying for the same male audience, Sandy’s been able to fill her bar on an otherwise slow night!

Sandy Kossky, Owner Lascari’s Trattoria La Habra, CA


B.I.Y. Pizza Attracts Families

With his pizzeria located in a retirement aged community, Joe Lembo wanted to attract more young families to diversify his mostly older customer base. So Joe advertised a “Have your child build you their pizza” night on Tuesdays, when his kitchen isn’t normally rushed.

For the same price as Joe’s ready to eat version, the build it yourselfers get a partially baked shell and bowls of sauce, cheese, and toppings which they then creatively assemble at their table before returning the completed pie to Joe’s oven.

While Joe served 4 to 5 young families a week prior to the event, he soon was counting 20 to 30 kids on Tuesdays alone! And by popular demand, Joe expanded the profitable event to Saturday afternoons!

Joe Lembo, Owner Donato’s Tamarac, FL


Dr. Pizza “Advance Column” AD Gets Read

Unless a restaurant’s newspaper ad stands out, it runs the risk of being ignored. However, the citizens of Kearny, AZ, actually look forward to reading Gary Birkett’s biweekly ad in the local paper. That’s because instead of simply listing his specials, Gary has turned his ad into an “Ann Landers” type advice column. Under the pseudonym “Dr. Pizza,” Gary responds to questions readers mail to the newspaper. And true to his “title,” part of Dr. Pizza’s solution to any problem always includes “Eat more pizza!”

Gary Birkett, Owner Old Time Pizza Kearny, AZ


Contest Maximises Magnet Distribution

Like many restaurants, Mi Amore decided to keep their name top of mind by printing it on refrigerator magnets. But restaurateur Gary Mead wasn’t content to simply distribute them to existing customers; he wanted to increase awareness among potential customers by getting his magnets placed on as many neighborhood refrigerators as possible.

Therefore, Gary came up with a contest where if a costumed employee from Mi Amore knocked on a local resident’s door and the resident could present the magnet, they’d win $50 cash. The contest announcement was printed on the side of plastic Food for the Homeless collection bags that Gary donated to the local Boy Scouts, who distributed them (and his magnet) to every home in town as part of their annual canned food drive.

Not only was Gary able to help the Scout troop pay for their service project, subsequent home visits by his costumed employee revealed that for only a few hundred bucks in bags and cash rewards, Mi Amore’s magnet was prominently displayed in nearly every home in town!

Gary Mead, Owner Mi Amore Restaurant Lompoc, CA


Lotto tickets Say “You’re Worth a Million”

Richard Saumby has found a great way to tell his customers how much he appreciates their business without discounting his food. When the state lottery jackpot got really big, Richard sent a dollar lottery ticket and a letter to each of his most frequent customers saying, “We like you so much we wish we could give you a million, but here’s the next best thing!”

Richard’s unexpected gesture was appreciated far more and cost far less than a discount coupon offer (and didn’t cheapen his food in his customers’ eyes!). And due to the considerable lottery publicity the week before the big drawing, Richard’s customers were reminded of Pizza Roma every time they turned on the news or picked up the newspaper!


Homemade Video Ensure Consistent Training

Richard also developed a great, low cost way to ensure that his new employees are properly and uniformly trained. Rather than having his new hires observe existing employees, Richard created simple, homemade training videos starring Richard and an assistant!

“Just show them how you want it done,” Richard says. “It’s not pretty, but it’s consistent.” Although videos filmed with a camcorder won’t win an Academy Award, they have greatly increased employee consistency in Richard’s restaurant.

New employees are responsible for watching the films independently and for checking off a training form after each lesson. This ensures their accountability in knowing what’s on the tapes (and precludes the potential for subsequent “I didn’t know” excuses).

Richard Saumby, Owner Pizza Roma Houston, TX