Author Topic: Any ideas in finding ways to get more foot traffic to my area at market  (Read 15334 times)

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Offline norma427

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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.

Jeff,

I don't think market will help me move unless a stand becomes available with water and drainage.  I am not holding my breath on that because there isn't much water and drainage at market since the market is so old.

I can understand my options are to market more or to sell my pizza stand.  I guess I already knew that if I don't market more, I will not be able to create more income.  I just want to ask you one question on how you think the small samples would be in they are not in a heated holding cabinet or reheated like most slices are?  I would think they wouldn't taste the same as freshly made pizzas, or ones that are reheated.  I for one don't really like to eat a cold slice or part of a pizza.  For me, eating a sample of pizza isn't like eating pasta, cheeses, or some other foods that don't have to be warm.  Maybe I am just weird that way about pizza. 

Norma
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Offline Chicago Bob

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What about keeping one cut up "free samples" pie in the Hatco and place a banner down in front of the counter saying something like "Free samples...just ask."
Keep a stack of mini paper plates handy.
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Offline Essen1

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"Free samples...just ask."

If I were a potential customer...having to ask for a free sample would be rather odd. You don't want new customers to have to ask for a hand-out.

You want to hand them out freely, voluntarily and with a smile on your face..."Hope to see you soon at the best stand in this godforsaken, but exciting, market...Norma's Artisan Pizza! Area 4! Come see me! Bips are provided upon request!" :)

My suggestion to Norma is to hand out free samples (Sicilian & Thin crust slices, cut to smaller portions) during those heavy traffic times at her market outside and inside, handing out flyers at the same time.

Just my $0.02
Mike

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Offline jeffereynelson

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What about keeping one cut up "free samples" pie in the Hatco and place a banner down in front of the counter saying something like "Free samples...just ask."
Keep a stack of mini paper plates handy.

The real issue is getting customers to come to the stand it seems. It doesn't really seem as if she needs help once they are standing at the counter.

Offline redox

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A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Hi Norma, just a thought, if you can have one of your staff or hire a kid to carry your sign around other areas when you are not busy. Make a sign that they can wear to allow them to handout samples. Plus install a brochures pocket.

Another crazy thought is to have someone install one of those cheap large (12-15") electronic picture frames, with a rechargeable battery pack. This should grab some attentions. But it will require some design and probably will cost about $200 for materials.

I found this 10" battery powered frame for $ 88.00 http://www.digitalframe8.com/digital-picture-frame-battery-powered-in-101-15-hours-battery-life-samusng-chip-inside_p232.html

Link to Wearable Board  http://www.signshopper.net/store/product.php?productid=17548 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 08:00:53 AM by MightyPizzaOven »
Bert,

Offline Chicago Bob

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If I were a potential customer...having to ask for a free sample would be rather odd. You don't want new customers to have to ask for a hand-out.

You want to hand them out freely, voluntarily and with a smile on your face..."Hope to see you soon at the best stand in this godforsaken, but exciting, market...Norma's Artisan Pizza! Area 4! Come see me! Bips are provided upon request!" :)

My suggestion to Norma is to hand out free samples (Sicilian & Thin crust slices, cut to smaller portions) during those heavy traffic times at her market outside and inside, handing out flyers at the same time.

Just my $0.02
Good idea Mike..I've seen this done at an outlet mall and people were very receptive to stopping and talking with the person giving away the samples.
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Offline norma427

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Mike and Bert,

Both of your ideas are good.  I really don't have anyone working for me except Steve and he is working for me from about 12:00 AM to about 7:00 PM.  I know Steve wouldn't want to go around handing out free samples.  I have to see if I could find anyone like a teenager that might want to do something like that.  I don't know of any teens right now, but will have to look around.  I still wonder how the samples will stay warm and crisp if they are taken away from my stand.  I also wonder how many people that will be getting the free samples will be regular customers that come to market.  As I posted before we get many tourists and one time visitors at market.  I sure don't want to give them a sample of a soggy piece if they like crispy pizza.     

Bert thanks for the links to the electronic picture frames and the Wearable Board.

I also have to think about about what to put on flyers and what they should say.  I also have to ask market management if they would allow me to have someone walking around.   

Norma   
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Offline jeffereynelson

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I wonder if you could use something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-Portable-Cold-Pack-Combo/dp/B0007UF3GE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_2

inside of something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Casserole-Totes-Carrying-Bags-Collections/dp/B004FJR77G/ref=sr_1_17?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1374341205&sr=1-17&keywords=warming+bag

It's just an idea. I would imagine the person giving out the free samples would restock often so they wouldn't get that cold and soggy.

Offline mkevenson

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Norma, boy scouts, girl scouts, church groups, enlist the help of kids that want to do something fun. Offer them a pie or two to take home to the family, give them a merit badge, teach them how to make a pie. Delivery is not an issue, pies are delivered every day of the year and are edible, well depends on who made them, when they get to the customers door.
Just a thought. Once you get a customer base, perhaps you will no longer need to "go out there", but who knows you may have to grow with public demand. ;D


Mark
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Offline norma427

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I wonder if you could use something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-Portable-Cold-Pack-Combo/dp/B0007UF3GE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_2

inside of something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Casserole-Totes-Carrying-Bags-Collections/dp/B004FJR77G/ref=sr_1_17?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1374341205&sr=1-17&keywords=warming+bag

It's just an idea. I would imagine the person giving out the free samples would restock often so they wouldn't get that cold and soggy.

Jeff,

I really don't know if I could use the items in your links, but I appreciate your links.  I think I would have to use something NSF, because that is what the Dept. of Agriculture makes me do at my pizza stand. 

The Dept. of Agriculture in our state is strict with giving out samples and they have to be covered at all times.  That is for all food vendors at market.

To explain a little more, after my pizzas hit the pizza pan in a few minutes the bottom crust starts to get soft and not as crispy.  When the pizzas/or slices are in my heated display cabinet the slice bottoms are also not crispy.  That is why I ask each customer if they want a slice reheated before I sell it to them.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Norma, boy scouts, girl scouts, church groups, enlist the help of kids that want to do something fun. Offer them a pie or two to take home to the family, give them a merit badge, teach them how to make a pie. Delivery is not an issue, pies are delivered every day of the year and are edible, well depends on who made them, when they get to the customers door.
Just a thought. Once you get a customer base, perhaps you will no longer need to "go out there", but who knows you may have to grow with public demand. ;D


Mark

Mark,

I think your idea is good and might try to contact one or more of them.  I know delivery is not an issue for a lot of pizza businesses.  I never tried that though.  I do sell whole pizzas, but don't even know how the pizzas are when they arrive at the customers home. 

I don't really think I would ever want to get any larger in a pizza business at my age, but I would like a little more business at times.  I already see how much work goes into a small pizza business like I have.

Thanks for ideas!

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Norma,

You indicated that there are about 200 stands at market. Yet, there does not appear to be any directory of who the standholders are or where they are located, either in kiosk types of directory arrangements or paper directories that could be handed out at strategic points at market as visitors enter the market from different parking lots. Do the stands have numbers or names? I would think that it would be in the best interests of everyone--the owners and managers of the market and the individual standholders--to have some sort of directory. When I go to a mall, or even a large airport, I routinely look at directories to see which stores or food providers might have what I am looking for and where they are located. Some malls have multiple levels, and I would never think to wander level by level and store by store hoping to get lucky.

The market where your stand is located is subject to random visitations, by locals, tourists and other visitors who may not have a specific plan in mind when they arrive at market to check out the stands. If your situation is not conducive to steering visitors to your stand by the various methods suggested by other members, and management is unwilling to bring water to another, more conveniently located stand for you to move to, then why not consider creating a directory to at least let visitors know who and what is at market? The directory could be by category, such as used at malls, and one directory might be food, which would include pizza in your case. If you feel that the managers are not up to creating a directory, then maybe a group of standholders could do it. I would seek out the most influential and valuable standholders at market to be your allies in your case. I would perhaps do that even before confronting management on the matter. If veryone is treated equally, there should be little reason to discourage the creation of a directory. And, if a directory is created and people still do not visit your stand in sufficient numbers, then you would have to revisit the entire matter and your purpose at market.

Peter

Offline thezaman

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 norma, could you use a portable four compartment sink and not worry about water lines. i use them to qualify my truck as a mobile catering business.  you would have a hand sink and three individual sinks for cleaning dishes and utensils. you would need bottled water to make your dough.
 the other thing that i find helpful are sandwich boards.i buy mine and use laminated card stock fastened with Velcro to customize it for each use. one of the wineries puts us at the back of the property and putting the sign at the front door doubled our sales vs week before from 50 pies to 100 plus. you may be able to put them at every entrance. from the looks of your food one visit and you will have them hooked!!!
 

Offline Pete-zza

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Larry,

Norma discussed that option, or one similar to it, at Reply 34 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26435.msg266884/topicseen.html#msg266884 but it was not well received by management on fairness grounds.

Peter

Offline waltertore

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Norma:  I read in one of your posts here you threw out a bunch of dough balls.  When my dough gets tired I roll it out with a rolling pin into a thin rectangle, slice the dough into long strips and then knot them very lightly and cook em on the deck.   Top with butter, cinnamon/sugar,  olive oil/garlic powder, and you have a cool side dish that people around here go nuts on.  I get like 6-8 strips on a 1lb dough ball.  Make them small for samples or just cut them up, have someone walk around the market with them, and when they try it and say "man this is good" have your person tell them if you think these are good you should try the pizza!  That is a dirt cheap way to lure people in.  People pay $1 for one out here and some of these same customers complain about my $7 price for a 18" pie that uses grande whole milk mozz, grande provolone, DOP parmigiano regiano, DOP romano, and  fresh harvested basil on top!  They say little cesars on our corner has them for $5.   Go figure.............   We catered a big event today.  I was stocked with menues and information on our program.  It was at a huge mansion our village owns and the patrons were all 6 figure + earners.  They loved the pizza and even a group of NYC natives approved by eating almost a pie each :)  They came up to me with typical NYC pizza attitude- "this better be real pizza".  I looked them dead in the eye and laughed.   I said if you don't like it I will go to NYC and bring you one home for diner (we live 500 miles away).    I had no pizza bags and even though they got cold there were only 3 left at the end of the event.  Go girl go and tell that town of yours you are the queen of PIZZA!  Walter
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 05:56:51 PM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Norma,

You indicated that there are about 200 stands at market. Yet, there does not appear to be any directory of who the standholders are or where they are located, either in kiosk types of directory arrangements or paper directories that could be handed out at strategic points at market as visitors enter the market from different parking lots. Do the stands have numbers or names? I would think that it would be in the best interests of everyone--the owners and managers of the market and the individual standholders--to have some sort of directory. When I go to a mall, or even a large airport, I routinely look at directories to see which stores or food providers might have what I am looking for and where they are located. Some malls have multiple levels, and I would never think to wander level by level and store by store hoping to get lucky.

The market where your stand is located is subject to random visitations, by locals, tourists and other visitors who may not have a specific plan in mind when they arrive at market to check out the stands. If your situation is not conducive to steering visitors to your stand by the various methods suggested by other members, and management is unwilling to bring water to another, more conveniently located stand for you to move to, then why not consider creating a directory to at least let visitors know who and what is at market? The directory could be by category, such as used at malls, and one directory might be food, which would include pizza in your case. If you feel that the managers are not up to creating a directory, then maybe a group of standholders could do it. I would seek out the most influential and valuable standholders at market to be your allies in your case. I would perhaps do that even before confronting management on the matter. If veryone is treated equally, there should be little reason to discourage the creation of a directory. And, if a directory is created and people still do not visit your stand in sufficient numbers, then you would have to revisit the entire matter and your purpose at market.

Peter

Peter,

Yes, I did indicate there are about 200 stand on the market side of Root's and also many more stands on the Flea and Antique part of Root's which is across the road from Root's Market.  At the Flea and Antique part of Root's there are also food stands, but not as many.  I do know on the Flea and Antique side that the spaces are numbered.

You are right that there is no directory of who the standholders are or where they are located.  I think the management might have numbers for the stands on the market side of Root's, but I am not aware if they really are numbered.  Most of the stands do have names and most standholders have some kind of sign either on their stand or on the ceilings what their stands are called.  I think you make a good point that there should be some kind of directory.  I also look at the directories at the mall, or at an airport to see what I might be interested in.  Sometimes when I go to the mall I go directly to the different places that have the directories to find the stores I want.  The one place I really use a directory is at Park City Mall in Lancaster because I also don't feel like walking all around to find where the store is I want to visit.   

I think if Root’s had some kind of directory that lists standholders by what they sell that would be helpful for me and other standholders so the regulars, visitors, or tourists might see what is offered at market at a glance.  I really don't know if the market management would be open to creating a directory, but the market manager told me to give him ideas of what might bring people back into our area.  I wouldn't know if the market management would be open to creating a directory unless I asked.  I think the most influential and valuable standholders at market are already busy enough that they might not be interested in helping us back in our area to create a directory, but I could always ask them too.  I have talked to many standholders in the busier areas and they almost always say they hardly can keep up with the all the customers they have on busy days.  I really don't know if everyone is treated equally, but the market manager does seem to want to help us back in our area.   

I know if a directory would be created and then people still don't come to my stand then I would have to revisit the entire matter and my purpose at market.  I truly love what I do, but it get discouraging some days to see how busy the other standholders are and then how we do back in our area.  Standholders back in our area talked about that a lot.  As I posted before many standholders have either left market, or have been moved to better locations because not enough people come back into that area. 

Norma   
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Offline norma427

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norma, could you use a portable four compartment sink and not worry about water lines. i use them to qualify my truck as a mobile catering business.  you would have a hand sink and three individual sinks for cleaning dishes and utensils. you would need bottled water to make your dough.
 the other thing that i find helpful are sandwich boards.i buy mine and use laminated card stock fastened with Velcro to customize it for each use. one of the wineries puts us at the back of the property and putting the sign at the front door doubled our sales vs week before from 50 pies to 100 plus. you may be able to put them at every entrance. from the looks of your food one visit and you will have them hooked!!!

Larry,

If you look at Reply 1  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26435.msg266780.html#msg266780 7th photo down you can see that some standholders are allowed to have their own signs out in the midway outside.  Those two signs are for standholders that are behind building #1.  I don't know how those standholders were allowed to put their signs out there, but I am sure it does help their businesses.  I would like to be able to put a sign something like you posted maybe outside the entrance to where our old stand was.  That entrance leads if going straight across from one building into the other back building almost to my stand. 

I know I could even use my sink and have portable water in my stand.  At my funnel cake stand across the road I had water run by a hose and a storage tank for my dirty water that I had to empty.  I do use bottle water for my dough now. 

I really like the looks of your sandwich boards.  Where do you purchase them?  I have no idea if market management would let me put some of those sign in the main outside midway, but I think they would be helpful to get customers.  I might ask management if I could have one, or more of those kind of signs.  Great to hear those signs really helped your business. 

Thanks for the ideas.   

Norma 
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Offline norma427

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Norma:  I read in one of your posts here you threw out a bunch of dough balls.  When my dough gets tired I roll it out with a rolling pin into a thin rectangle, slice the dough into long strips and then knot them very lightly and cook em on the deck.   Top with butter, cinnamon/sugar,  olive oil/garlic powder, and you have a cool side dish that people around here go nuts on.  I get like 6-8 strips on a 1lb dough ball.  Make them small for samples or just cut them up, have someone walk around the market with them, and when they try it and say "man this is good" have your person tell them if you think these are good you should try the pizza!  That is a dirt cheap way to lure people in.  People pay $1 for one out here and some of these same customers complain about my $7 price for a 18" pie that uses grande whole milk mozz, grande provolone, DOP parmigiano regiano, DOP romano, and  fresh harvested basil on top!  They say little cesars on our corner has them for $5.   Go figure.............   We catered a big event today.  I was stocked with menues and information on our program.  It was at a huge mansion our village owns and the patrons were all 6 figure + earners.  They loved the pizza and even a group of NYC natives approved by eating almost a pie each :)  They came up to me with typical NYC pizza attitude- "this better be real pizza".  I looked them dead in the eye and laughed.   I said if you don't like it I will go to NYC and bring you one home for diner (we live 500 miles away).    I had no pizza bags and even though they got cold there were only 3 left at the end of the event.  Go girl go and tell that town of yours you are the queen of PIZZA!  Walter

Walter,

I didn't throw out the 20 dough balls yet.  They are now frozen.  I just didn't know what I would use all of them for.  I know I could mix a few with my new doughs tomorrow, but wouldn't want to mix too many of them with fresh dough.  I could also could just thaw them and use them, but they were pretty much fermented until last Tuesday evening.  Thanks for giving me the idea of rolling out the dough and cutting into strips and what to put on them.  I might try handing out samples of them this week.

I am glad to hear you were successful with catering your big event.  I am also happy that they loved your pizzas.  You rock Walter! 

Norma
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Offline waltertore

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Norma:  here is a video on the basic how to-not my way all the way but a general idea to work with. I prefer laying them out on a sheet pan or pizza pan when they come out of the oven and to brush on the olive oil or melted butter. I put them direct on the stone where this guy puts them on a screen for convience.  Even when they cool they taste good.  The long ferment dough flavor really jumps out with these.  Thanks!  Walter

« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 09:30:59 PM by waltertore »