Business Builders

Word of Mouth

Shirts Embrace Regulars

With his pizzeria in a gritty industrial neighborhood, Alfred Macaluso wanted to foster a greater sense of community among regulars and build word of mouth among other locals. So Alfred gave regulars attractive, yet inexpensive, tee shirts displaying the restaurant’s newly redesigned logo, “Pete’s Brooklyn Eats.” In wearing the shirts around the neighborhood, regulars felt a greater sense of “belonging” to Pete’s, potential customers were intrigued to try it, and longtime neighbors were reminded by the new logo that the restaurant was freshening its look!

Alfred Macaluso, Owner Pete’s Brooklyn Eats Brooklyn, NY


Traveler Word of Mouth

Truckers and other motorists often stop in Dwight, IL, while driving the interstate between Chicago and Springfield, IL. Since fellow truckers frequenting the same highway often become friends, John Nakashima gives them a free soda if they “tweet” or “instagram” a photo of their meal with his restaurant name and location to their buddies. By encouraging word of mouth among drivers visiting Dwight several times monthly, John is attracting a growing share of their repeat business!

John Nakashima, Owner Dwight Pizza Dwight, IL


“Super Sub” of the Week

To deepen his neighborhood roots, sub shop owner Jay Williams supports local high school sports by donating two gift certificates per football and basketball game for the coach to give to that game’s MVP and most outstanding substitute player (“Super Sub”). The following game, the PA announcer mentions “Mancino’s Baked Subs is pleased to award 8” subs to Frank and Tony, MVP and Super Sub in last week’s game vs. Twin Falls. Thanks, Mancino’s!”

For a few bucks of ingredients per game, Jay gets name recognition from some of his heartiest patrons, student athletes, and their families!

Jay Williams, Owner Mancino’s Baked Subs and Pizza Nampa, ID


FREE Winter Refrigeration

Like other upstate New Yorkers, restaurateur Anthony Scalise is used to long, cold winters. To make lemonade from lemons, Anthony cuts his winter electricity bill (and expensive refrigerator compressor wear) by chilling his walk in directly with cold winter air.

To do this, Anthony had narrow “trap door” style vents professionally installed through the rear wall of his building directly into his walk in refrigerator. Insulated and tightly screened to prevent pest entry, these normally closed vents can be opened in freezing weather to admit FREE naturally prechilled air. Bravo!

Anthony Scalise, Owner Prima Pizza Cornwall, NY


Chalkboard Implies “Unique”

How customers perceive a message partly depends on how it is communicated. That is why restaurateur Vinny Desiderio splits where he lists his offerings between his printed menu and a large wall chalkboard menu. His standard printed menu lists items which are more commonly available elsewhere. But his more unique, higher margin offerings appear only on his chalkboard.

While chalkboard listings may not frequently change, seeing them on a chalkboard helps customers perceive these items as unique, noteworthy, and of limited availability – all positives for encouraging customers to choose them first!

Vinny Desiderio, Owner Linguine’s Italian Restaurant Bowmansville, NY