Author Topic: educating customers  (Read 1165 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gelenn

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Georgia
educating customers
« on: July 30, 2014, 09:04:41 PM »
I am starting renovations on a building for a combination BBQ and pizza restaurant.  On the pizza side we have just ordered an Acunto Mario Classico 10 which will arrive around the end of August.  Obviously we will be doing Neapolitan style pizza.  During my discussions with various people, including suppliers, about our concept I find myself having to stop and describe what a Neapolitan style pizza is and why its different from other styles, particularly NY style.  They want to keep going back to selling slices, you should try this great pizza sauce we have, etc.  Do any of you find it necessary to try and educate you customers, or suppliers, on your style of pizza?  What method(s) do you use to educate?


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12993
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: educating customers
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 09:06:02 PM »
I've been to many NP places that explain what NP is on their menu, website, via waitstaff, etc.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11118
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: educating customers
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 09:28:28 PM »
Have you talked with any other pizzeria owners in your area?
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Online petef

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 588
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: educating customers
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 12:54:34 AM »
Do any of you find it necessary to try and educate you customers, or suppliers, on your style of pizza?  What method(s) do you use to educate?

From a consumer's point of view, here's a few ideas...

* Make a youtube video explaining what Neapolitan style pizza is all about.
I just checked youtube and there are none that explain what it is. There are some that show how to make it, but none focused on educating people what it is.

* Use your website to educate people and refer them to the youtube video.

* Get a digital picture frame and load it with a series of pics with captions that explain what Neapolitan style pizza is. Place the frame(s) at places in your restaurant where customers are waiting.

* Many Pizza shops have TVs displayed for customers to watch as they wait for their food to be prepared. Use that to play your youtube video explaining what Neapolitan style pizza is all about.

* Make a brochure style, single sheet pamphlet that has pics and captions explaining what Neapolitan style pizza is all about.

The main thing is, in any pizza restaurant there is much opportunity to educate the customer while they wait to order or as they wait while you are preparing their food. Most people are probably bored stiff waiting and would be quite receptive to read or watch anything about Neapolitan style pizza.

---pete---


« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 01:06:29 AM by petef »

Offline gelenn

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Georgia
Re: educating customers
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 06:44:54 AM »
Thanks for the replies, Neapolitan style pizza will be new to the my area other than the what I am currently doing with my mobile unit.  Thanks for the tips Petef, I had not thought of going the youtube route.
Glenn

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12993
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: educating customers
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 10:47:10 AM »
Regardless of what you do to "educate" your customers, my guess is that most won't pay attention, read, watch videos, whatever, so you probably should also have a Plan B to deal with those who are initially unhappy despite your best efforts.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline jeffereynelson

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1278
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: educating customers
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 02:46:57 PM »
In my experience the best way is to use your servers as the first line of defense. Have all your servers ask, "have you been in before" or "have you had our pizza before?" Then when they say no, welcome them in and thank them for trying you out. Then proceed to say something along the lines of, "what we do is an authentic Neapolitan pizza, it uses a special flour, is baked in a wood burning oven from Italy, and takes only 60 seconds to bake. The texture and style is different than anything you've tried, and it's delicious."

Just a quick education, and of course if the customer says something like, "yes, I've been in" then you can just welcome them back.

Offline gelenn

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Georgia
Re: educating customers
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 02:54:51 PM »
Simple and to the point, I like that jeffereynelson.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1926
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: educating customers
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 06:34:30 PM »
Regardless of what you do to "educate" your customers, my guess is that most won't pay attention, read, watch videos, whatever, so you probably should also have a Plan B to deal with those who are initially unhappy despite your best efforts.

Almost all won't. That's pretty much a given in pizza marketing. But if you manage to reach, say, 5% of your target market, versus 2%, that could be the difference between living comfortably and going out of business, respectively.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1926
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: educating customers
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 06:41:17 PM »
In my experience the best way is to use your servers as the first line of defense. Have all your servers ask, "have you been in before" or "have you had our pizza before?" Then when they say no, welcome them in and thank them for trying you out. Then proceed to say something along the lines of, "what we do is an authentic Neapolitan pizza, it uses a special flour, is baked in a wood burning oven from Italy, and takes only 60 seconds to bake. The texture and style is different than anything you've tried, and it's delicious."

Just a quick education, and of course if the customer says something like, "yes, I've been in" then you can just welcome them back.

Skyline Chili (Cincinnati style) does that, as their chili is nothing like what most people consider chili, nor is it served the same way. (It's basically a sauce for hot dogs and spaghetti.) I think it would make a lot of sense for you to do that, considering Neapolitan pizza can be described very similarly to how I just described Cincinnati style chili.


Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11118
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: educating customers
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 06:41:42 PM »
Put 2 pics at top of your menu...a top shot an a upskirt....captions under photo says....THIS IS NEAPOLITAN PIZZA....like it or leave.          DONE DEAL folks!!    ::)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1325
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: educating customers
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 06:46:41 PM »
Almost all won't. That's pretty much a given in pizza marketing. But if you manage to reach, say, 5% of your target market, versus 2%, that could be the difference between living comfortably and going out of business, respectively.

Or adjusting your product to cater to the uneducated. I was at Desano's in Nashville a couple weeks ago and they have everything they need to make a proper Neapolitan pizza, but don't, at least not when I was there. I wouldn't be surprised if they threw their original playbook out the door because of overwhelming complaints of "watery pizza" or "it's not crispy enough".

When push comes to shove, is it better for a business owner to change their pizza to give the customers what they want, or stand firm on their beliefs and go out of business?
Josh

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1926
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: educating customers
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 06:51:38 PM »
That too.

Offline waltertore

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 1677
  • Location: granville ohio
    • The Smiling With Hope Bakery
Re: educating customers
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 07:03:30 PM »
With suppliers I simply order what I need.  I haven't run into one that has said anything to me about changing or even what style we make unless they don't carry what I want and they try to tell such and such a product is just as good.  I live in an area of the country where pizza is considered domino's donatato's, and the other chains.  It is cheap, and from my NYC area upbringing not eatable.  The small local shops make pizzas that are as good or worse than what you can buy in the frozen food isle.  It took a quite a bit to win over the locals but they now come in with friends showing off our NY style pizzas.  Our prices are more than the chains as well.  Top shelf pizza outside of the NYC metro area will rarely be bought by the people that live at or just above the poverty level.  that is where the chains dominate.  We walk a fine line with this as our town is very poor but there is an affluent town 6 miles away that understands what we do.  I work in a public high school running a commercial bakery/pizzeria that teaches special needs students entry level job skills.  The staff and district personel are big customers and are all educated and most have tried good pizza around the world.   I would never open the kind of shop we have in a poor area with my own $ because it would be to forgein a concept to get over to the population. We rely on contracts with schools an universities for our baked goods for 80% of our revenue.  I will open my own shop when I "retire" and it will be in an affluent area.   

I say make the pizza you love and it will be contagious.  Cater to what others tell you and you might as well open a chain pizzeria.  I would put a picture of the pies on the menu, with a short explanation of the process and ingredients on the wall so all can see.  Also play up the high costs of ingredients vs. the standard chain pizzeria and the amount of skill that it takes to make a true neopolitan pie.  One thing you might encounter up front is - it is burned and why so small.  It may just take a lot of sharing of information from you and your staff.  I just got back from a trip to Sacramento CA and Reno NV.  I hit at least a dozen pizza places that were considered top shelf and not one pizza maker I talked to knew what kind of flour they used.   That to me is  a dead turn off and it proved true in all cases.  Not one of the pizzas would I return for again.  Walter
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 07:35:13 PM by waltertore »

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11118
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: educating customers
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 07:12:00 PM »
Or adjusting your product to cater to the uneducated. I was at Desano's in Nashville a couple weeks ago and they have everything they need to make a proper Neapolitan pizza, but don't, at least not when I was there. I wouldn't be surprised if they threw their original playbook out the door because of overwhelming complaints of "watery pizza" or "it's not crispy enough".

When push comes to shove, is it better for a business owner to change their pizza to give the customers what they want, or stand firm on their beliefs and go out of business?
That may seem like a simple answer JD, but check this out....
I`m in pizza Wasteland USA, year an half ago first WFO joint opens up downtown and everyone cried an whinned...but they stuck to their guns and are now the media darlings with wait lines.....guess what....2 more WFO joints have opened in last 6 months downtown andthere are WFO pizza wars in all the local rags/media sources.

It`s all about timing and location.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 07:17:37 PM by Chicago Bob »
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1926
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: educating customers
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2014, 10:19:15 PM »
How many of those WFOs run above 600, Bob?

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11118
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: educating customers
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2014, 10:27:44 PM »
How many of those WFOs run above 600, Bob?
The game has changed in town Ryan since I last told you about the pathetic joint running at 600 a couple yrs ago.
The new places are running hot, but not making the pizzas properly, bragging about their house made motz that actually melts like dung,etc.
The small town `food critics` are raving all this junk up and it is oh so sad.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3522
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: educating customers
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2014, 10:54:47 PM »
If it has to be explained you are not doing it right.

Offline dohboy

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 16
Re: educating customers
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2014, 02:29:39 PM »
When I opened up Pizza CS in 2011, I figured by being right outside DC in one of the highest educated/median income counties in the country, that folks would already be familiar with Neapolitan.  I was actually surprised with how many 1st timers we had (and still get).

We have a huge 6 ft tall display at the entrance along with our menus and website that explain what it is we do - but as eye catching as they are, maybe 10% (if that) of people actually read anything. 

http://pizzacs.com/?page_id=44

To combat that, our front line staff always explain what to expect when dealing with new customers and it seems to work out well.  We quickly became the highest rated pizzeria in Maryland on Yelp, but we still get the occasional 1 or 2 star for "burned-soggy-fancy pizza," but every proper Neapolitan place deals with that.   :-D

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12993
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: educating customers
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2014, 11:09:45 AM »
Nice website. Could use a few more pizza pics though  ;D
Pizza is not bread.


 

pizzapan