A customer acquisition strategy for pizzerias

A pizzeria perfectly organized and impeccably managed by an owner who plays his role as an entrepreneur in the catering industry, may not get the success it deserves. In fact, in your pizzeria you can eat a good pizza, spending the right money, have prepared and welcoming room staff, be impeccably furnished and have a financial and organizational management without stain and yet the results may not live up to expectations.

I imagine that, right now, you are thinking that this is the case.

Without prejudice to the fact that it is very difficult to make an examination of conscience and discover their shortcomings (never heard an entrepreneur says: “I work superficially, I do not care, the work is not important, in my restaurant you eat badly, I am arrogant with customers and the staff is rude and unprofessional”), generally the owner of a pizzeria tends to put it all into it. If your pizzeria has problems, you don’t necessarily have to call Cannavacciuolo or Gordon Ramsay of the pizza 🙂 (presenters, respectively of the Cucine da Incubo program in the Italian and American versions) to fix things.

In some cases, seen with my own eyes (and, unfortunately, also with my taste buds), the disaster is so evident that one wonders how there can be even just one person willing to pay to live a gruesome experience like the one you live in some pizzerias.

But natural selection, sooner or later, takes its course … Instead, it is possible that everything works perfectly but the results are hard to come. When this situation happens, which is very frequent, the pizzeria tends to blame the crisis and, in any case, external factors, or decides to pull up its sleeves and bring in some

changes to their premises.

It’s a shame that these changes almost always go in the wrong direction.

I’ve seen pizzerias:

  • renovate the restaurant several times;
  • change and re-change the menu;
  • replace the cook or the pizza chef;
  • redo the logo and replace the sign;
  • redo the website;
  • make a flyer campaign;
  • join a coupon service.

Tens of thousands of euros spent without having achieved the goal. A bit like treating a sick person on the basis of a wrong diagnosis.

Your problem is not, or should not be, in the furniture, the cook, the menu, the logo or the site. The problem with your pizzeria is that it doesn’t have a strategy to attract customers!

You are making the typical, and most serious, mistake of doing Italian-style business: you are dealing with the product but not with how to sell it!

In 2017 having a pizzeria where sublime dishes are prepared and offered at the right price in a perfect atmosphere is no longer enough. What you need to do is communicate it to the market!

If you don’t decide to invest a fixed part (at least 10%) of your turnover in customer acquisition strategies, no venue will ever make the leap in quality.

And, I can assure you, apart from the case of historic restaurants or pizzerias, open for decades and well known and that of the historic pizzerias, the places that are most successful are those that, unlike many others and probably also of yours, have a strategy to generate a steady stream of new customers.

How do you implement, then, a customer acquisition strategy?

Mostly, a customer acquisition strategy is done through promotions. Promotions that, be careful, are quite different from coupon services.

They create advantageous offers on Facebook Ads, which is currently the simplest and least expensive channel for distributing content, and are aimed only at people in the target, where “people in the target” means potential customers who have demographic characteristics (age, area of residence, profession) or particular interests and passions (such as haute cuisine, or a passion for ingredients of particular quality such as flour, leavening, local ingredients, gourmet products, etc.) and that represent the typical typology of your customers.

If your restaurant is well structured and offers a pizza capable of differentiating itself from the mass of places all the same in the city (see the following article: “Specialize and differentiate”), then it will certainly have a clientele with certain characteristics.

What you have to do is to address your promotions only to them, thus discarding a priori those people who would take advantage of your offer without then becoming a regular customer.

An example of this strategy is to create such a promotion:

“Take your partner to eat a pizza, you pay only for yourself”, meaning not the fact that a person, usually the man, pays for both but that the pizza of the second customer is kindly offered by the pizzeria.

Obviously this type of offer will be shown only to people who have the typical characteristics of your regular clientele, discarding all the hunters of discounts that wander, however, between the services of coupons and who just fill your place with people who won’t ever come back.

How can you make sure that your promotion is shown only to those who are “in target”? Simple, with FacebookAds!

That doesn’t mean that you just need to publish the promotion for free on the Facebook page of your pizzeria! Also because the latter have put “I like” the people who are already your customers and, at the very least, you will dedicate new campaigns to them to “reactivate”, ie return to you customers who you have lost sight of.

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