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How to Keep Your Pizzeria's Customers Safe and Profits Up This Winter

December 9 2020 by Luke Siedow

Winter Pizzeria Safety and Profitability

When it comes to your pizzeria and the upcoming winter months of 2021, you’ll likely focus on two things: safety and profits. This article tackles new safety measures brought on by the global pandemic and some strategies for increasing sales during this unprecedented winter.

Ramp up Delivery and Takeout Promotion

Your #1 goal is to make sure your customers think about your restaurant this winter. You can do that by running social media promotions on delivery and takeout deals.

Plus, consider using limited time offers to promote new or special menu items like a new appetizer or a winter comfort food to go alongside pizza. Other ideas include discounted gift cards, pizza meal kits, social media blitzes. Read about them here!

Your customers may need to continually hear that you’ve made adjustments to keep them safe at home. You probably have your order and delivery/takeout system set up by now; it’s okay to remind customers of your efforts to keep them happy and safe.

Consider Joining a Ghost Kitchen

Speaking of delivery, if you see this as your only option this winter, this concept could be great. Think of a ghost kitchen as a delivery-only pizza operation that shares a kitchen space with other restaurants.

Why go this route? This winter, not every establishment can accommodate the costs of ingredients, equipment, and labor needed for pizza prep. The overhead is lower for ghost kitchens — not hiring waitstaff, for instance — even after taking into account delivery expenses.

A ghost kitchen also gives restaurants with dining-in service a chance to expand delivery operations (without stressing out the kitchen) and possibly enter new neighborhoods with low-cost delivery.

Profitability During the Pandemic

Crust is the heart of a pizza — respondents consistently rank the crust as the best part of a pie. One smart way to get a crust that drives customer loyalty is to use pre-made dough balls.

They're consistent across locations and can solve multiple problems brought on by COVID-19. Industry labor challenges complicated by the pandemic include the burden of short staffs and being extra sensitive to time management. Pre-made (frozen) dough balls are easy to handle and prepare, requiring minimal labor/training.

Plus, pre-made dough balls create more space in the back of house, allowing you to space out kitchen staff to meet new, safe operating requirements.

People still love an exciting dining experience, if they can get it. If you feel your pizzeria is a destination restaurant and you have the space, you could safely welcome customers to unique, outdoor dining in an igloo or tent (complete with heaters). The key is proper ventilation and cleaning them thoroughly after each dining guest has gone. Yes, this trendy option is expensive but can create some lasting memories, too.

This winter, more than ever, keeping your talented workers may present more of a challenge. Our sheet, 1-2-3s of Restaurant Employee Retention, provides actionable tips for finding and keeping talented team members. Get yours by clicking the button below.

The 1-2-3s of Restaurant Employee Retention Tip Sheet

Categories: General Operations, Kitchen Operations, Restaurant Marketing, COVID-19

Luke Siedow

Written by Luke Siedow

Corporate Chef, Alive & Kickin' Pizza Crust
Not only is Luke a trained culinologist, but he has managed a successful pizzeria – and currently owns one! Luke brings value to a number of areas throughout Alive & Kickin’, including sales, culinary, and product showings – experience that makes him able to solve even the trickiest challenges operators face. Luke is also the face of Alive & Kickin’ in many of our demo videos!