Boost Summer Sales with the Power of Suggestion

By Tricia Hoy

Welcome to the first day of summer. Beaches, BBQ’s and beverages—summer is known as a season of fun, free and lazy days—no ovens required!  But are your customers turning to pizza this summer, or are they reaching for their BBQ tools? Many customers are looking to beat the heat and head outdoors for summer gatherings with friends and family, opting to BBQ instead of choosing pizza.

If you can’t beat them—join them!  Check out these 5 tips for boosting your summer sales:

BBQ – Give customers some alternatives to the traditional BBQ this summer. Welcome the season with cheese burger pizza or BBQ chicken pizza. Take it one step further and go luau style and add pineapple to the chicken pizza. Try creating these new flavors on a thin crust, knowing customers don’t always like to eat heavy foods on warm days.

Or consider this. Can pizza be the perfect “Take and BBQ” food? Surprisingly, yes! With a bit of prep, pizza comes out of the BBQ with perfectly cooked toppings and a crispy crust. If you’re not offering take-and-bake pizza yet, now may be a good time to consider it. Not only is take-and-bake a growing trend, but unbaked pizza is ideal for summer grilling.

You may need to educate your customers on how easy and delicious grilled pizza can be. For example, try including “How to cook me on the BBQ” instructions with your take-and-bake pizzas.

Feature Summer Menu Items - Take advantage of the season and the trend towards eating local. Feature local veggies and fruits in salads, drinks, or gazpachos. Try a specialty crust with a local beer or honey—or locally grown and ground flours. Consider adding a cool treat like an ice cream dessert pizza. Try offering beverages with your meal deals—customers can quench their thirst and beat the summer heat.

Help Tourists Find You - If your area sees an influx of hungry tourists during the summer months, make sure they know about your restaurant. Form partnerships with local resort and hotel staff, and consider advertising in materials that are given out at tourist info booths.

Vacationers often search for a place to eat using their mobile devices, so make sure you’re listed on sites like Facebook, UrbanSpoon, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and Google Places. Not social media savvy? Get a free guide from SpeedLine.

Get Involved in Community Events - Being involved in the community can have an impact on your sales. Even if community events don’t generate huge sales volume, your pizzeria gains visibility and mindshare with local consumers. This may also be a good time to provide samples of your delicious food -- an opportunity try before you buy. SpeedLine user Wayne Rempel, owner of JP’s Pizza, shares some of his strategies for keeping sales up during the summer:

“We partner with non-profit groups and have things like car washes and fundraisers, which keeps our name out there. During our town’s local celebration, we set up a booth and sell pizza by the slice, so we actually gain sales on that weekend.”

Coupons - Customers will likely jump on board of the new summer sensations offered if they have incentives to try. Offer discounts or coupons to try this summer. Contact existing customers, or even “lazy” customers you haven’t seen in awhile, mining the database in your POS to entice them with summer savings or new menu items. Or use customer messaging to create personalized staff prompts at the point of sale, or to print messages on customer receipts.

To find out more about how POS can increase profits in your pizzeria this summer:

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Posted on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 @ 10:06 AM.
Updated on April 24, 2019 @ 7:13 PM PST.

Posted by Tricia Hoy

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Tags: point of sale, Restaurant Marketing

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