Pizza Today - June 2020 - 31

TJ Messerschmitt, owner of Fatty's
Pizzeria in Breckenridge, Colorado.
"That reached quite a few people
right away."
The posts ranged from a video
of a camel eating a slice of pizza on
Wednesday (hump day), to trafficdriving promotions such as a large
one-topping pizza for $15. Messerschmitt also uses Google Posts,
updates that show up in the local
panel on Google search and Google
maps. "It was very successful," he
says of the discount. "People appreciate it."
Offering a discount might seem
difficult during these challenging
times, but customers are looking
for deals as they stay home. At the
48-location Russo's New York Pizzeria, the
Taste of Italy Spaghetti and Meatballs for
Two for $19.95 has been very successful.
Other deals include free medium pizza
with a large pizza when ordering online,
and a free appetizer with a specialty pizza.
"We knew that families, moms and dads at
home with the kids, were our target," says
Anthony Russo, founder and president.
"We knew they want value offers."
The Houston-based Russo's posted videos on Facebook and Instagram, showing,
for example, how their in-house delivery
drivers are trained to do contactless transactions. To reinforce the messaging, Russo's
also sent out direct mail. "Everyone is home
looking at their mail," Russo says. "When
the postcards actually hit the neighborhoods, we immediately saw response.
Customers walked in with the postcards
and said, 'I just got this in the mail. I didn't
know you were here.'"
Others agree that low tech marketing
works well when paired with social media.
Sauce on the Blue, located in Silverthorne,
Colorado, has run an ad on the back page
of the local newspaper, the Summit Daily
News, since the eatery opened in 2016.
Sauce also has Facebook posts, and the
Town of Silverthorne helps by listing local
restaurants open for takeout and delivery
on its website.
Takeout used to account for only five to
10 percent of orders at Sauce, a full-service

restaurant with a patio. "We are luckier
than a lot of restaurants," says managing
partner and owner Tim Applegate. "We
always had a to-go model in place."
The model changed slightly, as the menu
items became available for curbside pickup
only. Instead of adding an app or online
ordering, Sauce simply let customers know
they could call in their orders. Customers order, read their credit numbers on the
phone, and when they arrive, they put a
sign with their last name in their car window. "We walk out with the pizza, put it in
the back seat or trunk, and wave goodbye,"
Applegate says.
Curbside takeout has long been popular
at the 16-location Regina Pizzeria, headquartered near Boston. Some locations,
such as in shopping malls, closed temporarily, but six remained open for curbside
pickup and for delivery through third-party
companies such as DoorDash, Grubhub
and Uber Eats. Curbside has its advantages,
says Stuart Thompson of East Coast
Associates, the Beverly, Massachusettsbased firm that handles marketing for
Regina Pizzeria. "There are cost savings
from not having to pay delivery fees or
upcharges," he says. "It's the same as picking up at the store, and they don't have to
leave their car." The Regina locations that
offer curbside pickup have cameras so that
workers inside can see when customers
drive into the designated area.
Like other pizzerias, Regina announced
the shift to delivery and curbside pickup on

social media. There were also e-mail
blasts to the chain's large database
of customers. The messaging was
updated often to keep people interested. "Just doing the same e-mail
repeatedly will probably drive people
to unsubscribe," Thompson says. "So,
you have to be creative." Also, he
says, it doesn't hurt to include heating instructions with the pies.
It helps to also include information about limited hours, and about
details such as price changes. Via
313 Pizzeria, with five locations in
Austin, Texas, uses Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and e-mail messaging
to indicate the hours, new setup and
new products. "We added a
15 percent service charge on all
orders to make sure the staff is getting
theirs," says co-owner Brandon Hunt. "It's
worked very well for us."
Operators use social media not only to
update customers but also to offer feelgood messaging during the crisis. Many
restaurants posted photos of their food
donations. "As part of what we do we
always give back to our community," says
Bill Jacobs, founder of Piece Brewery and
Pizzeria in Chicago. The eatery donated
pizzas to Chicago Fire Department Engine
35, the City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications
and the Chicago Police Department. "What
we're trying to do with Piece is to connect
with people, let them feel good, and say it's
going to be okay. We're trying to make the
best of the situation." (The eatery stayed
open for takeout only until April 5, when it
announced a temporary closure.)
These efforts are important not just to
endure the pandemic but also to build
future business. "People are going to say,
'We ordered from 10 places and we like
seven of them so we put them in our rotation,'" says Thompson, from Regina Pizzeria's marketing firm. "We want to make
sure a new customer has a great experience
and becomes a customer for the future." n
NORA CALEY is a freelance writer who
covers small business, finance and lifestyle
topics.
J U N E 2 0 2 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 3 1


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - June 2020

Pizza Today - June 2020
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
White Pies
Pizza Lupo
Life After Closure
Marketing DELCO
Selling Merch.
The Phoenix Rising
Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today - June 2020
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Digital
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Life After Closure
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Marketing DELCO
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Selling Merch.
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Phoenix Rising
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 38
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 40
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - June 2020 - White Pies
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Lupo
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 46
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Product showcase
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover3
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