Craig, well said on all fronts.
For a town of 20,000 next to nothing is the exact amount I was thinking would be needed to run an effective marketing campaign. In fact, it is a great size for grass roots marketing.
There is one now well known case of a person who opened a well regarded pizzeria in one of the toughest markets in the country, New York City (Brooklyn). Before opening, this person appeared in local newspapers, internet blogs, videos and other media. He paid nothing for that exposure.
His marketing campaign essentially consisted of spending about $600 on materials to build an oven in his backyard and the time and expenses needed to make test pizzas in this oven. He would invite over a mixture of friends and, at first, local bloggers to his backyard pizza tastings (a couple of times a month). Word spread and very quickly local newspapers and more nationally focused internet websites caught wind and started contacting him to come to one of the tastings (yours truly being one of them).
Over time the anticipation of this pizzeria opening in Brooklyn, all created from those backyard pizza tastings, reached the more major New York magazine and internet publications....further increasing excitement over the opening of the pizzeria. Again, all at no cost.
Bill, not that such a plan would work for you, but a smaller community such as yours makes it all the easier to press the flesh and create interest. In addition, and also important, what exactly about your plan to add pizza to your offerings is worthy of excitement? What makes it different, worthy of a buzz?
Guerrilla Marketing is a great investment. I'm looking at a copy right now. You would do well to purchase it. --K