In this guide, I’m going to walk you step-by-step through a comprehensive marketing strategy designed specifically for pizzerias.
This is a proven process we’ve used with hundreds of real pizzerias to increase their direct online orders by an average of 270% in just 90 days.
If you are looking to increase sales, reduce fees, and even reduce staffing costs, this guide is for you.
How Much Can Your Pizzeria Expect To Grow?
Before we dive in, let’s establish a realistic expectation for growing your pizzeria, using real examples from the last few years.
A well-managed pizzeria with excellent food and service, regular marketing, and a loyal base of regulars ordering directly from the restaurant can expect to grow around 3-4% month over month, which is 36-48% per year.
If your pizzeria has been around for less than 5 years, recently changed locations, or made some other significant change in operations, these growth numbers can end up being a lot higher.
Here’s a great example from Jay’s Incredible Pizza in Wilmington, North Carolina, which opened up in 2020.
Prior to November of 2021, Jay’s had essentially no online presence. The restaurant took orders over the phone or in-store, and the owners realized they needed to establish a stronger web presence if they wanted to grow.
Jay’s started using Owner.com in November 2021 and went from $0 in online orders to $10,590 in the first month. They then went on to grow online orders 12% per month for the next 8 months, on track for 144% yearly growth.
Where this growth comes from can have a large impact on operations.
There are three different ways people can order pizza:
- Dine-in orders
- Phone-in orders
- Online orders
Not every pizzeria has a dine-in option, but for those that do, it’s going to be capped based on the size of your dining room, and it’s also the most expensive type of order to service.
While it's the least efficient type of revenue growth to pursue, you may still want to get as many diners as you can. Here's an example of how a pizzeria used direct mail to get diners.
Phone-in orders, usually for takeout or delivery, are a lot more efficient than dine-in orders, and they tend to be the bread and butter for most pizzerias today.
It’s better, but it’s not the best.
Online orders are notably better for pizzerias for a few reasons:
- Online orders don't require staff to receive orders and collect cash.
- Online orders don't have to worry misunderstanding the customer.
- Online orders let you automatically increase Average Order Value.
- Online orders collect customer data so you can retarget customers.
The Owner.com platform does all of these things for our pizzeria partners, and so we have firsthand, on-the-ground data for hundreds of pizzerias over the last few years. We’ve been able to see exactly what works for them, and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you in this guide.
Partners on our platform, with the world-class website, checkout, and automated marketing we provide, tend to do around 50% of their sales online and 50% offline after a year of working with us.
So we can estimate that Jay’s online growth represents around 6% total growth per month, putting the pizzeria on track for 72% growth this year.
Let’s look at one more example from a more established pizzeria.
Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant was established in San Diego, California in 1952 and has been at its current location for the last 17 years.
Unlike our previous example, Ottavio’s had a bit of an online presence and was doing around $12k in monthly delivery orders through DoorDash. The problem was that they were getting $0 in profit off those sales. When the restaurant switched to Owner.com, it took just over a month to fully replace the Doordash sales and continue growing from there.
From $12,000 through DoorDash in October, Ottavio’s online orders have averaged 6% monthly growth over the last 10 months and now account for 50% of total sales volume, putting the business on track for 36% total growth this year.
While growth tends to be a bit slower for more established restaurants, these types of numbers keep Ottavio’s well ahead of inflation and have them outperforming the vast majority of restaurants — restaurants that aren’t following the strategies I’m about to teach you.
Part A: Get New Customers Into Your Pizzeria
The first step to growth is getting new people to place orders at your pizza shop.
Pizzerias tend to face more competition than most other cuisine types. The demand for pizza in most markets can support multiple pizzerias, so getting new customers into the shop is going to require intentional marketing.
We’ve found that the following three marketing strategies are most effective at driving new customer orders for pizzerias:
- Showing up in Google search through SEO
- Showing up on Instagram through social media marketing
- Showing up everywhere through strategic promotions
Let’s dig into each strategy.
1. How To Dominate Your Pizza Competitors With SEO
There’s a lot of ways people can stumble across your brand. There’s also a lot of ways you can put your brand in front of people.
But when it comes to pizza marketing, context is critical.
Let’s imagine two different scenarios.
In the first scenario, Kacie Smith is browsing Instagram at 10pm and sees a picture of your pizza show up in her feed. She’s already finished dinner and has no plans to go out. It’s still effective marketing, and she might end up thinking about your pizzeria the next time she’s in the mood for pizza, but it’s not going to drive an immediate order.
In the second scenario, it’s 6pm and Kacie is feeling hungry. She pulls out her phone and searches for “best pizza near me”. Your pizzeria shows up, and she sees you have a 4.6 star rating. She clicks through to your website and places an order.
Both scenarios include good marketing, but what makes the second scenario so powerful is that you are showing up in the right place and at the right time when your customers are actively looking to order food.
This scenario illustrates why SEO is more powerful for pizza marketing than nearly any other channel.
In this section, I’m going to teach you how to dominate your competition using SEO. We’ll cover the three core strategies that savvy pizzerias are already doing, including a special strategy you (and your competitors) have likely never seen before.
This strategy is so effective, our Owner.com restaurant partners grow their online sales by an average of 270% within 90 days of using it.
Here are the three strategies we’ll be covering:
- Add four critical components to your homepage.
- Synchronize your NAPS.
- Optimize your individual menu items for search.
Let’s start at the beginning.
A. Add four critical components to your homepage.
For local businesses like pizzerias, your homepage is the star of the show, and it needs to do most of the heavy lifting for you.
If you want your pizzeria to show up in Google search, you need to add four critical components.
The first component your homepage needs is strategic keywords.
If you aren’t familiar with “keywords”, they are just SEO-speak for the words your customers type into their phones or computers when doing a Google search.
For example, in the scenarios we mentioned earlier, Kacie types the keyword “best pizzeria near me” when searching for a pizza place to order from.
If you include keywords on your homepage, it tells Google that you believe your website should show up when people are typing those keywords into Google.
So what keywords should you add to your homepage?
Over the last 5 years, I’ve tested hundreds of keywords across thousands of restaurants and found that the following keywords are THE best choice for independent pizzerias.
- “Best pizza in [your city]”
- “Pizzeria in [your city]”
- Popular toppings keywords
For the toppings keywords, a lot of pizza consumers search by their desired pizza topping, so you want to list out popular toppings on your homepage.
The above three keywords are universal. Every pizzeria should include these on their homepage.
Here’s an example from Union Pizza Company, one of our restaurant partners at Owner.com. The pizzeria is located in Manhattan Beach, so they have “Best pizza in Manhattan beach” included on their homepage.
And look what happens when you Google “best pizza in manhattan beach”:
The next batch of keywords are situational. IF you offer any of the following items, you should add the corresponding keyword below to your homepage as well.:
- “Wings in [your city]”
- “Gluten-free pizza”
- “Vegetarian pizza”
- “Vegan pizza”
These keywords get a ton of searches in most markets. Add each relevant keyword to tap into those searches and bring eager patrons to your pizzeria’s website.
The second component your homepage needs is appetizing pictures.
The very first thing new visitors should see when they click over to your website is a collection of appetizing pictures of your bestselling pizzas.
This might sound obvious, but I’ve consistently been surprised by how many pizzerias don’t lead with amazing food pictures on their website. It’s way too common to see pictures of the restaurant’s interior or exterior, poor-quality pictures of the food, or any number of other visuals that don’t highlight the star of the show: your pizza.
Union Pizza Company once again shows the correct way to do this. These are really fantastic pictures of their pizza.
The better the pictures of your food, the more enticed new visitors will be to place an immediate order.
The third component your homepage needs is direct-order incentives.
It’s very common for consumers to check out your website, decide they want to order, and then hop on a third party delivery app like DoorDash to place their order. This is the worst case scenario for your pizzeria. You’ve already done all the work to get your website in front of the customer, and now they are paying your entire margin to DoorDash.
In order to avoid scenarios like this, it’s important to offer incentives to customers to order directly through your website and then make those incentives really obvious at the top of the homepage.
Tell your customer the benefits of ordering from you directly through your site — benefits like saving money in third party fees, supporting local businesses, earning free food via your loyalty program, and even getting faster service.
Like with all our Owner.com restaurant partners, Union Pizza Company makes these incentives obvious just below the headline on their homepage.
Some of your customers will order through your website simply to support you, but the vast majority of consumers need these personal incentives in order to place an order in a new way they may not be as familiar with.
The fourth component your homepage needs is a menu preview.
If you’ve included the previous three components on your homepage, you have presented your visitors with a strong argument as to why they should order from you right then and there on your website.
Now, we want to make the transition into that order super easy and super compelling with a menu preview.
A menu preview highlights some of your bestsellers, and includes tantalizing images combined with a Call to Action. For Owner.com partners, we include the menu preview just below the initial landing screen.
We’ve found that adding this section to the homepage consistently increases the number of visitors who transition from landing on the homepage to completing an order.
B. Synchronize your NAPs.
Unfortunately, I’m not about to explain to you how to find time for a nap every day... although that would be nice.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. It’s also important to include your website in this as well.
Google’s algorithm tracks the total number of online NAPs when gauging the validity and importance of local businesses. It’s very common for internet-only businesses to attempt to trick Google’s algorithm, and tracking NAPs is one of Google’s key tools in helping prevent that.
So what does that mean for you?
It means two things:
First, you want to get your Name, Address, Phone number, and website listed together in as many places as possible online.
The more places these things show up together, the more frequently your brand will show up in Google search when customers are looking for terms or words connected to your pizzeria or pizzerias in general.
Second, you need to make sure that your Name, Address, Phone number, and website are listed EXACTLy the same in every location.
Any variation in this data on a listing — an old telephone number listed or “Unit 32” on one and “#32” on the other — will result in the algorithm either being confused or simply discounting the listing altogether.
There are a lot of places you can publish a NAP for your business, but here are the most important ones:
- Google Business
- Yellow Pages
- Better Business Bureau
Again, make sure that your Name, Address, Phone number, and website appear EXACTLY the same on all six of these sites. If you don’t have a listing on one of these places, add it. If you have slight variations on any of these, claim ownerships of the listing and change it.
Changing these to match across all six sites should result in an immediate boost in SEO visibility for your website.
C. Optimize your individual menu items for search.
Everything we’ve covered so far is focused on ranking two specific properties:
- Your Google Business listing
- Your website homepage
For most pizzerias, these are the only available options.
At Owner.com, however, we’ve developed an SEO strategy that takes advantage of something every pizzeria has but almost nobody is utilizing for SEO: the online menu.
Most people are going to search broadly for “pizza” in their town, and they’re going to get results like this.
They’ll see aggregator sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, followed by pizzerias in the area that have done the best job following my SEO tips listed above.
But not everyone is searching using general terms like “pizza”.
Each month, hundreds of people hop on Google with specific foods in mind.
What if you could jump ahead in the search results for these specific item searches. What if you could be the first result when someone is looking for, say, “garlic chicken pizza”?
That’s exactly what our restaurant partner Ottavio’s has done for this exact search.
Unlike most other online menu software, Owner.com creates unique webpages for every single item on your menu and then sends them to Google and asks Google to rank them.
As of the time I’m writing this, Ottavio’s hasn’t had the chance to implement any of our SEO recommendations, BUT since we rank all their pages automatically (just as we do with all our pizzeria partners), they are showing up first in their area when people search for “garlic chicken pizza” and hundreds of other item-specific terms.
This is a big part of why they were only doing $12,000 per month on DoorDash prior to joining Owner.com and are now doing $24,000 per month.
Most online menus do not allow you to do this, and while there are certainly other ways of implementing this strategy, the fastest and easiest way is simply to get on the Owner.com platform.
2. How To Turn Social Media Activity Into Real Customers
Most pizzeria owners know they need to be on Instagram, but few really understand how to drive customers and orders using social media marketing on Instagram.
Instagram is incredible powerful for pizzerias for two reasons:
- It’s visual and lets you show off your food, setting, personality, etc.
- It uses Facebook’s geographic targeting algorithm.
What this means is that not only are you able to show off your product, but you’re able to show it off to the RIGHT people — people who are in your local area and actually have the ability to order from you.
In this section, I’m going to show you how to bring real customers to your restaurant using Instagram with three simple steps:
- Include the RIGHT info in your profile.
- Post new content every week.
- Follow your competitors’ followers.
Let’s start with your profile, because 99% of pizzerias are doing it wrong.
A. Include the RIGHT info in your profile.
Your profile is THE portal that takes meaningless social engagement and turns it into real orders for your pizzeria.
Likes, comments, views... who cares? If your profile doesn’t include the right information, it will fail at driving real orders and leave you with nothing more than vanity metrics.
Every profile needs these four things:
- Your location(s)
- Your hours
- A link to your website
- Story highlights
Here’s a great example from BASIC Bar/Pizza in San Diego.
You can also add a description of what you offer if it’s not obvious from the name of your restaurant.
And ideally, you also want to include a CTA next to the website link, inviting people to order online.
If you aren’t familiar with Story Highlights, you can pin any Story you’ve posted or been tagged in to the top of your profile. You can also create categories, so that clicking on any highlight plays a playlist of stories in that category.
You can use pinned Stories to highlight customer reviews, celebrity appearances, and brand shoutouts, as well as drawing attention to useful information like your store hours, location, and menu.
The best use of Story Highlights is to pin every Story your customers post mentioning you or showing up their visit to your pizzeria.
These will act as “social proof” and show everyone who comes across your brand how much your community loves you.
B. Post new content several times per week.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time creating images and videos to post.
You just need to be consistent.
If you can post at least once per week, you’re already doing better than a lot of your competitors. If you can post 2-3 times per week, you can begin to really drive orders through Instagram. If you can post 5 times per week, you’ll be an Instagram powerhouse within a year.
The only thing you need to post is pictures of your food, but if you can go a bit further, it helps.
BASIC Bar/Pizza once again offers a great example of the types of content that work perfectly for an independent pizzeria.
In just this one snapshot, you’ll find:
- Short personable videos from the owner
- Short videos of the food
- Short videos of the setting
- Short videos of customers enjoying the restaurant
Videos are especially great, because they let you tell a bit more of a story, but you can do the exact same thing using simple images, and for some pizzeria owners, that might be a lot easier.
Whether you do pics or videos, simply shoot them using your smartphone. Try to find good lighting, but don’t invest any more time or effort in trying to create something super professional. Your customers don’t want to eat at a photography studio. They just want a real look at your food.
The other type of content you should ALWAYS be posting is your customer’s content that mentions you.
If someone tags you in a post, reshare that post on your page. If someone tags you in a Story, reshare that Story and then pin it to your highlights.
Always, always, always take advantage of social proof from your customers!
C. Follow your competitors’ followers.
This is a little sneaky, but it’s insanely simple and insanely effective.
Go to the Instagram page of every pizzeria in your area and follow all of their followers.
95% of those followers are going to be pizza consumers in YOUR local area, and following them is going to send them a notification telling them that you’ve followed them. Given most people only get new followers a few times per week, they are very likely to click over to your profile and check out your brand.
It’s basically free advertising to the EXACT people you’re looking for — people in your area who like pizza.
3. How To Show Up Everywhere With Strategic Promotions
In a highly competitive, somewhat commodified cuisine category like pizza, finding ways to stand out can be a gamechanger.
And one of the best ways to stand out and give people a reason to take notice of your pizzeria is to run a strategic promotion.
Promotions work on two different levels:
- They provide a focal point to get people’s attention
- They provide a reason for people to visit your pizzeria
One of the best and most interesting examples of a pizzeria promotion was run in 2012 by Hell Pizza. The chain launched a promotional challenge where customers could request to have 2 drops of ghost pepper chili sauce added to one random slice of their pizza.
The challenge drew international media coverage, and Hell Pizza had its biggest sales day of all time during the event. It also saw an overall lift in sales, despite local economic struggles, and made the small, New Zealand-based chain a tourist stop.
It’s the perfect example of a promotion that grabbed attention AND brought people into the pizzeria.
Now, you might read that and think, “I’ll never be able to imagine something that unique.”
Fortunately, you don’t have to.
A promotion doesn’t have to be unique to be effective.
This promotion from Deen’s Cheesesteak and Pizza in Houston, Texas is nothing more than a simple, 20% off coupon offered via Facebook ads.
There is absolutely nothing creative or unique about this... but it worked very effectively for Deen’s.
The key here is that the offer gave Deen’s a justification for putting themselves in front of potential customers. If a pizzeria just showed up on your Facebook feed, you’d probably keep scrolling. But since they had something to offer — even something simple like a 20% off coupon — it grabbed attention AND motivated people to visit the pizzeria.
Deen’s could also have shared this promotion with its Instagram audience or turned it into a weekly discount night to drive word of mouth.
Review 58 more restaurant promotions ideas here.
Part B: Earn More Money From Every Customer
Getting new customers to your pizzeria is only the first step.
What happens from there is what separates the popular hotspots clearing 20% margins from the places struggling to keep 10% and stay in business.
The eating experience you provide is a really big deal here. Consumers tend to be more brand agnostic toward pizza UNTIL they are wow’d by a particular place, after which it’s not uncommon to find passionate, decades-long regulars at notably good pizzerias.
But improving recipes and curating the vibe of your restaurant are complicated pursuits.
In this part of our guide, I’m going to give you four simple, straightforward, and IMMEDIATE ways you can earn more money from every new customer who places an order at your shop.
1. Stop Paying Third Party Fees On Takeout & Delivery
The first, simplest, and most immediately profitable thing you can do as a pizzeria is get off any system or app that hurts your margins.
We know from working with hundreds of pizzerias that you are breaking even on third party delivery orders AT BEST, and in most cases, you are losing money. Lenny Belvedere, owner of Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, puts it like this:
We were using DoorDash before, and it was completely unprofitable. You can’t make any money paying 30%. It’s a loser. You’re hoping to capture some clientele, but after a while, it just becomes counterproductive. We have four staff solely handling takeout and delivery, and you have to pay for all that. So with DoorDash, it’s just not worth it in my opinion.
Not only are these apps a complete loser for restaurants in general, but for pizzerias specifically, they are completely unnecessary.
Customers are already prone to giving multiple pizzerias a try prior to choosing their favorites, and with the marketing strategies we covered above, you won’t need DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, or any other app to attract new business.
If you switch to an online ordering system like Owner.com that can accept takeout orders and fulfill delivery orders without charging you commissions, you can immediately increase your bottom line by 30% on those orders.
Lenny went from breaking even on $12,000 per month in DoorDash orders to making full margins on $24,000 per month in direct orders through his website on the Owner.com platform.
It’s simple, and obviously I’m a bit biased, but I feel like I’d be doing you a disservice if I had you read 2,000 words on “earning more from your customers” and didn’t include a strategy that would immediately add 30% to half your orders.
Click below if you want to try Owner.com out and see for yourself why it has such a massive, immediate impact on our pizzeria partners.
2. How To Significantly Increase Your Average Order Value
While it’s hard to beat an immediate 30% margin increase, this next strategy is just as fast, and depending on your current menu and checkout experience, it might be just as effective.
Most pizzerias have a really poor online menu and checkout experience.
There’s no nice way to say this.
Look at this.
It’s not great visually. There are no pictures of the food. The instructions are overly complicated and depend on the customer reading through a lot of stuff... which is unlikely.
It’s not great, and as a result, this pizzeria isn’t doing nearly as many takeout and delivery orders as it could be, despite having some of the best pizza in the area.
A better checkout experience is going to result in more orders from new customers, it’s going to result in more return customers, and most importantly in the short term, it’s going to increase the Average Order Value (AOV) of every customer who places an order on the website.
Here’s what the checkout experience looks like for pizzerias using Owner.com.
Look how much better that looks — how much more inviting it is to place an order.
I’m going to walk you through every step we’ve taken to increase the AOV of our menu and checkout experience for the thousands of restaurants using Owner.com.
You can have a developer build these changes for you directly. You can try to find another platform that features some of them. Or you can sign up with Owner.com and get them all.
Regardless, here’s how we’ve increased AOV for our partners by as much as 30%.
First, we make sure our partners include HIGH-QUALITY images of every dish on their online menu. We also include short but clear descriptions next to the image, visible from the menu page.
Additionally, the menu is arranged very strategically.
We include a mixture of popular items and high-margin items in the top section titled “Company Top Picks”. Next, we show the most popular items, and then we go through a more standard menu sequence.
A lot of online ordering systems default to showing popular items first. When you do this, you are missing your chance to push customers in the direction of your highest margin items.
Once customers click on a menu item, they see a full item listing with reviews, in-depth customization options, and a sidebar upselling them commonly paired items. We’ve worked hard to create the best customization system for pizzerias in existence, allowing customers to customize by half or whole and adjusting topping prices by pizza size.
The key to increasing your AOV is to upsell additional high-margin items at every opportunity. We do this in the sidebar on the menu items themselves, as you can see in the picture above.
We also do this by showing an upsell popup when the customer clicks the “Checkout” button.
Notice the “Earn 30 extra points” prompt attached to the high-margin meatball add-on.
Also notice that every clicking the “Add Item +” button on any of these screens results in a one-click add-to-cart. Requiring less clicks to get items into the cart increases your AOV.
We also attempt to upsell customers throughout the checkout process.
How would it change your business if your average order value increased by 30%? Particularly if that extra 30% was coming from high margin menu items?
This is exactly what has happened to our restaurant partners, and you can experience it for yourself with an improved checkout experience.
3. How To Re-Engage Customers And Increase Order Frequency
Consumers tend to be more brand agnostic when it comes to eating pizza. They will often try multiple pizzerias in their area and are less likely to have ONE place they go to every time they want pizza.
This tends to make it easier to get people in the door for the first time, but it makes it a bit harder to get them back in. If they have a bad experience, they are far less likely to give you a second chance, but more importantly, even if they have a decent or good experience, they are more likely to forget about your brand and try a new place the next time around.
At least, that’s how it works if you aren’t proactive at re-engaging every new customer who orders from your pizzeria.
This is why every pizzeria should be sending re-engagement texts and emails to its customers.
With the right marketing, you can take a $20 order and turn it into a $80 per month regular.
This is a big part of why Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant went from doing $12,000 per month in DoorDash orders to $24,000 per month on Owner.com. Once they had the customer data from all those new orders, they were able to turn them into regulars using the following process I’m about to show you.
This is also why customer data is so important, and it’s why apps like DoorDash are costing pizzerias FAR more than the insane 30% commissions they deduct from your revenue.
This re-engagement process I’m about to show you is an automatic part of the Owner.com platform, but you can replicate this process yourself using email marketing software like Customer.io and text marketing software like SimpleTexting.
This process requires you to have basic data from your customers like their email and phone number. If you are not currently getting this data with each customer order — for example, if you are using a platform like Slice that withholds this data from you — switch to an online ordering system that provides you with this data. This is YOUR data, and you are losing thousands of dollars per month when it's stolen from you.
We’ve tested different messaging frequencies and found that the following works best: ONE email per week and ONE text per month.
Here are a few of the emails our restaurant partners send to their customers:
Notice there is nothing particularly special or complex about this email. It’s a simple email that invites previous customers to order again. The goal here is simply to put your brand back in the customer’s mind every week.
The next week, they’ll get another simple email that invites them to order again.
With this email, we hint at the benefits of ordering takeout or delivery: relax, let someone else do the cooking, and you won’t even have to wait long.
The next week, we send an email highlighting a few of the pizzeria’s most popular dishes.
We have 9 different emails like this that we rotate customers through before restarting at the first one. By the 10th week, customers will have long forgotten the specifics of the first email, and it won’t feel like they’re getting the same thing over and over.
Again, the idea here is very simple: remind customers about your brand every week.
It doesn’t need to be more than that. This simple campaign increases ordering frequency for our restaurant partners by around 50%. That means that customers who were previously ordering twice per month end up ordering three times per month once they begin receiving these weekly emails.
Email is your main workhorse here, but we also recommend sending one text out per month.
The best use of your monthly text is to make some sort of discount offer. We’ve found from extensive testing that a simple 15% off coupon works best.
You can send this to all customers, or even better, you can incorporate this into a loyalty program.
4. How To Build A World-Class Pizza Loyalty Program
One of the problems with pizza is that it’s really, really good.
People enjoy pizza from a lot of different sources, and even if you objectively offer the best pie in town, that doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to choose your pizzeria every time they’re in the mood for a slice.
One of the best things you can do to combat this is to offer your own loyalty program.
With a loyalty program, customers know that every time they purchase pizza from your restaurant, they are going to move closer toward winning free food.
Now, the commodification of pizza works in your favor. Maybe they are slightly more in the mood for one of your competitors that night, but purchasing from them wouldn’t give them any rewards points and contribute to them getting free food.
So they order from you instead.
Strong loyalty programs have massively contributed to the success of franchises like Domino's, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-a, and they can be successful for your pizzeria even if you only have one location.
The keys to a world-class loyalty program include:
- Meaningful incentives
- Frequent messaging
- Great design
Let’s dig into each one.
A. You need to offer meaningful incentives.
First and foremost, a great loyalty program has to provide great incentives for people to join and continue taking advantage of the program.
If the rewards don’t feel meaningful, they won’t motivate customers to join your program.
We’ve found that combining two different types of rewards works really well:
- Signup and membership rewards
- Order-driven rewards
When customers visit any of our partner websites, they are invited to join with the offer of being entered into a $500 raffle (paid out by Owner.com), as well as receiving special discounts and rewards on every order.
Once they sign up, they receive the following email with a 15% discount.
They will receive a 15% discount code via email and text once per month moving forward. This helps provide some extra motivation to get them into the shop in the event they go a bit cold and haven’t ordered in awhile.
Order-driven rewards are potentially even more important, as the goal of the loyalty program is ultimately to drive more frequent purchases. With the Owner.com program, customers can win items quickly, earning a free soda after just one $40 order.
The key to rewards is offering low-cost products at the lower tiers. You want the first tier to include drinks that cost you barely anything to produce, and then the next tier should include low-cost appetizers.
You want to include the bestsellers like full pizzas and pasta dishes as well, but you want them to be the higher tiers where customers have to spend quite a bit of money at your shop to qualify for those items.
B. You need to message your customers frequently.
Getting people to join and begin using a loyalty program can be an uphill battle. It’s not something people just naturally do. Even if you have great incentives lined up, you’ll need to repeatedly ask your customers to join and repeatedly remind them of their incentives after they’ve joined.
I remember back when I first joined the Starbucks loyalty program. I had been visiting the same Starbucks once per week for months, and it wasn’t until one of the barista’s basically made fun of me for all the free drinks I’d missed out on that I actually took the time to join the program.
Joining the program resulted in me ordering around 3 times per week for the next year.
We do a number of things for our partners to help them get their customers in the loyalty program.
First, we include a bright, obvious banner on the website:
Next, we include a popup:
We also send physical collateral to include in stores, like these table tents:
And these posters:
Once customers join, it’s important to keep your foot on the gas.
We remind them about the loyalty program every time they order with an email just like this:
And a text like this:
These messages are not disruptive to your customers — they are already ordering and expect to hear from you about their order — and they help remind the customer that the loyalty program exists and the money they just spent is contributing towards their rewards.
C. The design needs to look and feel great.
One of the reasons big companies succeed with their loyalty program is that they invest the money needed to make it look and feel amazing. When you are using the loyalty program, it doesn’t look ugly. It doesn’t feel clunky. It’s not messing up every few times you click.
Historically, achieving this type of high-end design has been out of reach for independent pizzerias. Our goal at Owner.com is to change that.
We have a Fortune 500 experienced design and development team that has created a world-class loyalty program for our partners. With Owner.com, you get to offer your customers a loyalty program on par with Domino's without needing Domino's budget, having to sacrifice your data, or being required to forgo your entire margins on delivery orders.
And within the next year, we’ll be providing a loyalty program app that far surpasses Dominoes’ — one your customers will be able to access through their smartphone and easily order any time without needing to open a browser.
If you’d like to see everything our platform can do for your pizzeria, click below to schedule a demo.
Try Owner.com For Your Pizzeria
Our all-in-one-platform helps you take back control of your online presence, drive direct sales, save money on fees, and manage everything in one place. Schedule a demo to see the platform in action and discover why our new restaurant partners increase online sales by an average of 270% in their first three months using Owner.com.Schedule A Demo
Grab the condensed version of our Pizza Marketing Guide for easy access on the go. Whether you don't have time to read it now or want to take the key takeaways with you for quick reference, we'll email you a condensed, downloadable version of this guide.