Author Topic: Any ideas in finding ways to get more foot traffic to my area at market  (Read 10532 times)

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Offline norma427

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Norma:  I am sorry to hear of your struggle.  I have found the key to success without spending money on advertising is promoting oneself.  Some people do this naturally and others cringe at it.  I am of the PT Barnum mold and coupled with my cause of working with developmentally delayed students brings us much free publicity and contracts.   You may have done all this already but here goes for free advertisement.  All it will cost you is your time.

contact local, regional, newspapers, radio, TV stations.  Make appts with them and bring your pizza for the meetings.  Talk about how you handmake everything with top ingredients, and how that is lacking(hopefully) in your area.  People need to be led to the plate so to speak.  In major food centers if one is starting out with a new twist or classic good stuff, food lovers will come and word will spread.  From what I have gathered from your posts is you don't live in a vibrant food cultural center.  I live in good food wasteland.  I have to bring my product to the masses and explain why it costs more than a little ceasars pizza.  I explain the art of dough and how it can't happen in the chain places.   This has been a great thing because there is no other person doing what we do and it has allowed me to rapidly move to a place of being well known and also brings my cause of training developmentally delayed people to the front page as well.  People that try our pies/baked goods/breads immediately say- this is like I had in NYC, Italy, France, or just say- this is good stuff.   I have helped/am helping several people start up small bagel/bread ventures here.  I love doing this because the more good food being made will just increase the awareness to good food and they learn about what great entry level workers my students are.  I see no competition because I do my own thing and IMO all artisan people do their own thing.  That is the beauty of handmade.  People are starting to learn here in Central Ohio that eating good food is a good thing.  Stuff out of cans, frozen, premade, etc, is still the norm but small cracks are appearing in the mantra.   

It is a small town atmosphere in our county and everyone gets to know everyone eventually if you step out of the norm.  I walk around in the summer in our village giving out pizza and our baked goods.  Most people insist on paying.  I also carry menus (that state our cause) and business cards.  I ride my bicycle to work barring snow/ice and when we have leftovers I pedal to homes I know like our stuff.  My mother, who came here  from Italy and settled in the Newark NJ area, tells me about the corner baker when she was growing up.  He would come house to house around 6am with bread deliveries (walked).  I got to experience some of this type of artisan service growing up and living in Brussels, Belgium.  I love carrying on this tradition. 

You might want to consider hiring a disabled person to do cleanup and prep.  If you contact the local state agency for developmentally delayed people you could most likely get a person to work and their salary paid through federal funding.  This would open up a win-win for you.  You would be bringing hope and meaning into someones life and this would interest the media in promoting your business.  I wish I lived closer because I would gladly help  you connect this up if it interests you. 

I have hit dead ends all my life with my music/approach to teaching special education but each one led to another new horizon, which currently is my most exciting to date.  The music industry told me for years no can spontaneously create their words/music everytime they play and record 300+cds a year.  Yet I was able to perform around the world for 25 years doing this without their support. I continue with my music strictly on my terms.  It has taught me a lot about doing just what interests me with art(and I consider pizza art).  Start blending into what the norm is for a pizza shop and you are easily forgotten and to make money will end up doing work instead of passion.   Public schools have also told me my current set up would never happen.  Let the passion guide you.  Sometimes a change of venue (I know you said you don't want to move) is just what is needed.  I have lived in 3 countries, 15 cities, searching for where I fit.  It works for a spell and then it is time to move on.  Everything ends and as I approach 60 I am learning it is a good thing because better stuff awaits.   If you really love making those pies it will all work out.  If there is anything I can do via the net or phone to connect you with the disabled scene let me know.   Walter

Walter,

I did contact our local newspaper and our local TV station different times, gave them a link to my pizza blog, facebook page and told them how long in total years we all combined were at market.  I even told them I think I am the first pizza business to sell Detroit style pizzas in Pa. and gave them links about how Detroit style pizzas are being noticed.  The local newspaper did do a few articles in our local newspapers years ago about our Caramel Popcorn and Clear Toy Candy stand at market, but our local newspaper is a ghost of what it used to be.  I did place an ad in the local newspaper when Root's had its Anniversary this past May in hopes of it drumming up some business, but apparently that didn't help any.  I never contacted any regional newspapers or radio stations though. 

I really don't know if I live in a vibrant food cultural center.  The local newspapers does articles mostly on foods right in Lancaster and promotes Central Market which is a 3 day a week market right in Lancaster.  I think Central Market is the oldest inland market in the US, but am not sure.

I know you have done a lot for your students and know you do try to promote what you do at school.  I enjoyed hearing your story and know your passions.

I would hire a disabled person to do cleanup and prep work, but my area is too small for another person to work there.  Also I am not making that much money to pay another person.  If you recall Steve (Ev) does work for me. 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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I do think I need to repaint my pizza signage outside and make it less cluttered.  Mike pointed that out to me.

These are two of the articles the local newspaper ran about us years ago.  I would have to find the other ones.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Essen1

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I do think I need to repaint my pizza signage outside and make it less cluttered.  Mike pointed that out to me.

These are two of the articles the local newspaper ran about us years ago.  I would have to find the other ones.

Norma

And don't forget to include the slogan...

"Fight for the last slice!...Yes, it's that good!"  ;D

Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline norma427

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And don't forget to include the slogan...

"Fight for the last slice!...Yes, it's that good!"  ;D

Mike,

Thanks so much for trying to help me on facebook with what to try to get more foot traffic in my area.  I love that slogan.   8)

Norma
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Offline norma427

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I saw this article on facebook yesterday from PMQ Pizza Magazine and might try what is said. 

http://www.pmq.com/The-Pizza-Insider/July-2013/Let-the-Customers-Tell-Your-Story/ 

Norma
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Offline dhorst

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Does the market do a twitter feed?  How's about pinterest?  Little things, but they may help. 

Have you thought about flags instead of heavy signs?  A lot of the wineries in the Finger Lakes use flags.  Sure they don't display info as well as a sign, but they're a heck of a lot lighter and they do wave at you. 

Another thought that may or may not go over with the market, is could you possibly do "chalk board graffiti" on the parking lot, directing people to your stand?  It would be cheap--especially if you have some great kids who would love to draw for a slice or two in return.  I'm thinking about your avatar and other types of pizza graffiti to draw traffic.  Other vendors might be upset though, but check with management, who knows what could be worked out!
Best wishes.
Diana
For the love of Aleppo chile, ask and you shall receive.

Offline Essen1

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Mike,

Thanks so much for trying to help me on facebook with what to try to get more foot traffic in my area.  I love that slogan.   8)

Norma

Norma,

You also can say "You'll fight for the last slice! Yes, it's that good!" which is probably a more subtle way instead of causing a ruckus if some people take the other one literally ;)
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline redox

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Norma,

You also can say "You'll fight for the last slice! Yes, it's that good!" which is probably a more subtle way instead of causing a ruckus if some people take the other one literally ;)
And that's far better than, "You'll slice someone for the last bite."  :-D

Offline Chicago Bob

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"Buy my pizza...before I cut you"  8)

Well, parts of that area up there are kinda rough, no?  ;D
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline redox

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"Buy my pizza...before I cut you"  8)

No one would believe that line after seeing Norma's kindly face.  ;)


Offline Chicago Bob

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No one would believe that line after seeing Norma's kindly face.  ;)
Yeah, you're right...what was I thinking.

"Buy my pizza....before I spank your little bottom!"  :-D
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline redox

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Yeah, you're right...what was I thinking.

"Buy my pizza....before I spank your little bottom!"  :-D
Half price lap dance with every pizza!  :-D

Offline redox

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Ah, the dog is telling me UPS and my BS have arrived! Later.

Offline dhorst

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Behave yourselves, boys!   ;)
For the love of Aleppo chile, ask and you shall receive.

Offline norma427

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Does the market do a twitter feed?  How's about pinterest?  Little things, but they may help. 

Have you thought about flags instead of heavy signs?  A lot of the wineries in the Finger Lakes use flags.  Sure they don't display info as well as a sign, but they're a heck of a lot lighter and they do wave at you. 

Another thought that may or may not go over with the market, is could you possibly do "chalk board graffiti" on the parking lot, directing people to your stand?  It would be cheap--especially if you have some great kids who would love to draw for a slice or two in return.  I'm thinking about your avatar and other types of pizza graffiti to draw traffic.  Other vendors might be upset though, but check with management, who knows what could be worked out!
Best wishes.
Diana


Diana,

Root's Market doesn't have a twitter feed, or pinterest as far as I know.  Market doesn't do a lot of marketing and I don't think they have anyone there that is very tech savvy.  This is Root's website http://www.rootsmarket.com/ and Root's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RootsMarket

I did have sort of a flag that was then put on the back of my van window and the lower part of my van, but would have to see if I have a photos of that flag.  The flag started to look a little faded though and that is why I don't put it on the back window of my van anymore.  I still have the flag in the cupboard at market.  I do like the idea of flags waving at you.

I agree that a chalk board graffiti would be good on the parking lot, directing people to my stand.  I really don't know any children at market, but maybe could draw something myself.  I know I have to check with the management on anything I might try.  I did say at one time I wanted to put a bigger sign up in area 3 to direct people to my pizza stand, but market management said it wouldn't be fair to other standholders, because they all might want to do that too.  In the end market management had a small sign made and it was about 12x12 that was put up to close to the ceiling.  I don't think anyone sees unless they would really strain their necks. 

Thanks for your ideas and best wishes!

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

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Norma,

You also can say "You'll fight for the last slice! Yes, it's that good!" which is probably a more subtle way instead of causing a ruckus if some people take the other one literally ;)


And that's far better than, "You'll slice someone for the last bite."  :-D

I agree guys!  ;D

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Mike just sent this photo (signage) to me on facebook.  He sure must have whipped it up fast.   ;D  What does everyone think?  I really like Mike's style.   8)

Norma
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Offline jeffereynelson

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Norma,

You said that Roots made an effort to increase volume to area 4, and it seems to me that maybe you were their solution. They put the water in that part to put a food stand to draw more customers but it wasn't enough.

Have you thought about moving to Green Dragon? Maybe they will give you a better space? Maybe the threat of you leaving roots would give roots management an incentive to move you? Obviously don't mention leaving unless you had a spot at green dragon or somewhere else.

Offline norma427

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Norma,

You said that Roots made an effort to increase volume to area 4, and it seems to me that maybe you were their solution. They put the water in that part to put a food stand to draw more customers but it wasn't enough.

Have you thought about moving to Green Dragon? Maybe they will give you a better space? Maybe the threat of you leaving roots would give roots management an incentive to move you? Obviously don't mention leaving unless you had a spot at green dragon or somewhere else.


Jeff,

Root's management did get the one maintenance man to make both signs outside to try and increase the volume of customers to my area.   The signs are posted at Reply 4 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26435.msg266784.html#msg266784  The first photo I am now posting is when the one sign was put out on Lititz Rd. by the one maintenance man the first week.  He then placed it the same place the next week, but I had to bring it in.  I said it was too heavy for me to lift the whole way back to my stand and that is why I don't move it out there anymore.  The first sign was only made of butcher paper stapled on the pressed plywood.  The pressed plywood is why is it so heavy.  The butcher paper eventually tore from winds and that is why I repainted the boards. 

I really wasn't their solution to try and get more stands back to that area.  The pizza man that didn't finish that stand was supposed to be their solution.  I didn't post this here before here on this thread, but while I was operating my funnel cake stand I had wanted something to do over the winter months.  That is when the stand became open and the pizza man didn't finish that stand.  I started a fresh salsa, tortilla chips (sent in from another state and they were good) and dips.  I also sold chili with beans.  I made those things at my funnel cake stand over the winter months.  I thought I could also run the funnel cake stand in the warmer weather and have someone else run the fresh salsa stand in the warmer months, but that didn't work.  When that stand didn't do well enough (Nov. to around April) I knew the market management still wanted a fresh pizza stand, so I asked market management if I could then start a pizza stand at the same place.  Of course I had to then sell the funnel cake stand to be able to purchase the equipment for the pizza stand and also I couldn't be at two businesses at once making both food products. 

I didn't post this either, but there was a man and his wife that started a baked goods, granola and other food products stand right almost across from me in the other aisle.  They seemed very nice and I was happy another food stand was back in that area.  They seemed to draw more customers because you could see them when walking down that way in area 4.  That is the way normal foot traffic flows in that area.  The man told me once the weather got better (that was 2 winters ago) that market management was going to run water and drainage to their stand so they could open a deli.  I thought that sounded very good.  I won't mention what happened with that man, but his wife quickly pulled out of market on a Monday when I was there making dough.  Later I found out what happened.  That is the one thing that gets me that the market management was going to run water and drainage for them and they were new vendors.  I think however, but don't really know, that is how bad market management wanted more food stands back there. 

I don't know if you recall, but Steve is at Green Dragon with his WFO Airstream and makes Neapolitan pizzas and also NY style pizzas.  They also sell pizza at the soft pretzel stand.  I really wouldn't want to have to go to Green Dragon either, because it is farther away from where I live and going up there as many times a week as I do for Root's could become bothersome.

I really don't think Root's cares if I leave or not.  I haven't talked to the market master about me possibly leaving, but did talk to the manger of the flea market about me leaving if I don't do better.  The flea market manager told me he knows of someone that would be willing to purchase my pizza stand.  I know who that pizza man is because he told me if I ever wanted to sell my pizza stand to call him.

I have seen a few new stands up in area 4 including a pasta stand that was dried pasta come to that area and then be moved over when a better location was available, but then they didn't need water and drainage.

I agree with you that it was not enough to just put a pizza stand there to get more foot traffic back to that area. 

Norma
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Offline jeffereynelson

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Yes I read about the signs that you said you couldn't carry. That's too bad. But when you said you said the other pizza man didn't finish the stand and then you came in, I was implying you become the solution, since the original solution didn't work out which was the first guy. So that really didn't help you. Anyways... I forgot Steve was Green Dragon.

If management won't help you to move, then you really only have two solutions. To market more or to close down. Even though it costs to add marketing, if you don't do it you won't be able to create more income. So it will be necessary to spend money on. You can do something as simple and gimmicky as a guy in a pizza suit passing out flyers with your special on it and the location of your shop. Make sure he is out there before people have already eaten. And you mentioned someone said giving away free slices, I wouldn't do that. But I do think 2x2 inch sample squares would be smart.


 

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