I have mentioned on the forum before that Root's Market is complicated in all the vendors stands it has, how large it is, how many exits doors there are and maybe other things in general comments about my small pizza stand at market. I also posted a few months ago that I had asked to move to another stand in the busier part of market. I found out after a few months that market management doesn't want to run water and drainage to that stand and they also said I would interfere with other food vendors that are in are #1. Market management is aware that where I am located in area #4 is the slowest part of market. They have tried to help somewhat by placing a sign up near the nearest main exit door to the back parking lot that just says pizza and other food vendors back in my area. To complicate matters a little more there are two stands, one a restaurant, and one an outside food stand that both sell frozen pizzas. Market management had wanted a fresh dough pizza stand back in the area I am in before I even started making pizza there to try and draw customers back to that area. Another man that was going to start making fresh dough pizza ran out of money and could ever open his pizza stand. That is how water and drainage was run to that stand that I eventually started. When my late husband and I had our caramel popcorn stand at market we were in are #2 which is a much busier part of market and between my husbands parents, him and then me in total years all of us combined have been at market since 1928. I even asked market management if I purchase a shed or food truck if I could move outside, but management said there isn't any vacant room outside.
My small pizza stand is somewhat unique in that I am only open one day a week, am very small, mostly sell slices of pizza and only right now sell pizzas and drinks. It is hard to make a decent profit when only selling those things. I have stand rent to pay, electric, propane, the ingredients for my pizzas, liability insurance and also repairs when something breaks down at market. I have talked to market management about my mostly selling slices and how many slices have to be sold to make a profit. I told market management I donít know of any regular pizza businesses in our area that only sells pizza and soda. I know of another market near me that does sell pizzas that the crusts are frozen, but they also sell fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and other foods. That business at a local farmers market sells lots of whole pizzas including other foods, but they are much more highly visible than I am and also have a sit down area. I saw different times when I visited that local farmers market that they have about 30 pizzas sitting there on racks waiting to go into the oven. That farmers market isnít open the long hours that Rootís is either and is a Saturday market, but that market sure doesnít get the number of visitors or customers that Rootís market does. That market is only open from about 8:00 AM to about 2:30 PM.
All of the above doesnít leave much of any money for advertising. I did try to hand out coupons and that didnít work, Rootís market on their facebook page have offered money off of slices different times by telling customers to mention to me that saw they saw that post on Rootís facebook page. I only had one customer use that method to get money off a slice and one person that asked about it, but didnít purchase a slice. I have a facebook page for my small pizza business, but that doesnít get more customers. I have signs on the 8 bulletin boards at market about my pizza stand, but people donít look at those bulletin boards because they are loaded with other business cards and other signs. I do have a photo and what I sell under standholders on Rootís Markets website, but there really isnít any kind of directory on Rootís website, or many standholders arenít listed under standholders. People have mentioned to me about having someone go around the market with a sandwich board that advertises my stand, but that would also cost me more money. Other people have told me to give out free slices by handing them out to people around market, but that also would cost me more money and I would have no idea if those people that got the free samples would be one time visitors or regular customers that come to market. Rootís Market does get many people from other states because we are in Amish country. Market also gets some buses, but not many. Years ago many buses used to come to Rootís. Another standholder lady back in my area talked about going to market management and seeing if each standholder back in our area could contribute some money to get some kind of sign made that shows what is back in our area and points back to our area I donít know if she ever talked to market management though.
Market management told me last week if I can come up with some good ideas to get more people back to our area they will try to implement some of them. Market management said they have been trying for years to get more people back in that area. I sure donít know what they tried, but it sure didnít work. I have seen many standholders back in my area leave and go outside, or either leave the market forever, because they said there isnít enough customers back in that area. I have talked to standholders that were originally back in my area and they told me that since they have moved they have much more business because they were then much more visible. Many standholders have told me if I was in another area I would be busier too. The pasta lady was kind enough to put two signs on her stand advertizing my pizzas. She is very busy and does great at market.
I am located in area #4 right next to the back parking lot along Lititz Rd. in almost the end of that building on the back side. The first two photos are the only handout Root's has at market. Although the areas at market or listed by numbers no standholders are listed and there is no directory of any kind of market. Area #5 is the latest addition to market (about maybe 20 years ago) and before that addition was added more people went into the area I am in, but still not a lot of customers went into that area, especially in the back where I am because there are no other food vendors back there. That area was added before I started the pizza stand though. I have talked to management many times about what I can do to get more foot traffic back in my areas so maybe more potential customers might see my pizza stand and really don't get much help from them. Almost every week someone mentions to me that they didn't even know a fresh pizza stand was at market and I have been there for over 4 years. Usually by the time they have found my pizza stand they have already eaten other foods from other vendors. I do have regular customers, also people that are tourists, or people that might just wander into my area by chance. Especially if the weather is raining all day more people will come back into my area, but really not that many.
Right up from my pizza stand there is a main exit door and most people crossing over from area #2 use that door and go straight across and exit right beside the sausage stand into the back parking lot. That is located about right where the #4 is and about 4 stands up from where I am. The people at market that do come down area #4 usually turn left there and go back up to area #3 without ever coming back to the back of area #4.
To explain a little more, the biggest outside area where most people go in the summer, or when weather is nice is in front of area #1 and area #2. Also outside the buildings number 6 and 9 also have many outside vendors. It can be seen how big Root's Market is from their map.
I took some photos on Tuesday morning before I started making pizzas at market to show how little foot traffic there is in my area compared to other areas of market. It was really hot Tuesday when I took those photos and usually more people would have been at market if it wasn't so hot.
1st two photos are the market handout.
3rd photo is back in my area.
4th photo is in the top part of area 3
5th photo is part of area 5
6th photo is between area 1 and 2
7th photo is almost the same photo showing people heading back to area 3
8th photo is more of area 3
9th photo is part of area 1
10 th photo is the top part of area 1 leading into the office. The Nature Center is the stand I would have liked to have.
11th photo is going down area 1 on the other side.
All the next photos are of outside and some of the stands and side buildings there, including only part of the Flea and Antique side of market.
Then the next photos are inside again. When the Thermal Sash Window Systems picture is there that is the back part of area 4 on the opposite where I am located, then it back to where I am located again.
Next two photos are where the signs are for my pizza and then where customers exit at the main exit door on my side of area 4.
The next photos are of market on a non-market day to show some of the buildings and some of the exit doors.
Mike, (Essen1) has been trying to help me find ways to get more foot traffic to my area on facebook.
Sorry this is long-winded, but I am trying to explain and show photos and videos about market. I can take more photos if anyone wants to see more.