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"I truly believe that as we venture into this millennium our success, prosperity and survival will depend on our ability to share information. One purpose for this web site is to pass on some of that information, tips that have helped me successfully run my business over the past twenty-plus years." -- Big Dave

Confessions of a Road Warrior

Along with owning and operating my own pizzeria, I'm on the road at least eighty days a year. For the last nine years I've met with and consulted to hundreds of clients. This takes me on the road a lot! BC (before consulting) I traveled with my family on vacation. Very little for business. ...read more


Want a hundred new customers?

Every couple of years our friends in Washington DC. decide it's time to increase minimum wage, by about fifty cents an hour. With a stroke of a pen I lost approximately fifteen thousand dollars a year. Here's the math. My annual payroll was about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. ...read more


Customer Appreciation Night

Eighty percent of my sales comes from twenty percent of the households in my town. This eighty-twenty rule probably fits your operation as well. I was made aware of this phenomenon after computerizing my pizzeria several years ago. The system tracks every order by phone number. ...read more


Are you the Quarterback of your team?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present another marketing seminar. My audience was 85 percent pizza operators and 15 percent pizza wannabes. I was describing some of my guerilla tactics that have added six figure boosts to sales, but I wasn't getting a breakthrough until an owner of three pizza shops asked me, "How do you get your staff to get behind your promotions?" . ...read more


High Touch Tactics!

When's the last time you bought anything and were sincerely thanked? And I don't mean the worn out cliché "Thank you for shopping at K-Mart" phrase. What I'm looking for is a genuine, sincere, heartfelt thanks. How do your frontline people get that message across? ...read more


Let's Do Lunch

Does anyone remember how we ever got into serving lunch? Pizza was not considered a lunch option for the first thirty years of its growth. You couldn't order a pizza for lunch if your life depended on it in most of the country. The general public perceived it only as a dinner or late night/day meal. ...read more


The SPEED of Business

As I write this article I'm munching on popcorn. Not the old fashioned stovetop variety but the new fangled microwave variety. Pretty good stuff and easy on my figure. I bought the stuff in a convenience store, while shopping for toaster waffles. My boys love toaster waffles for breakfast. ...read more


Timing is EVERYTHING

Last week in Chicago I saw the unthinkable. Regular unleaded gas selling for $2.05 a gallon. I returned to my hometown and gas was selling for $1.99. It seemed that a major pipeline in southern Michigan malfunctioned and millions of gallons of gas were wasted. ...read more


Controlling the Coupon Monster

Do you ever feel like your competition is crushing you with their coupons? Do you run into price resistance from shoppers who only compare price? Do you ever get Do you ever feel like the urge to turn the tables and twist the knife in your biggest competitor's heart? ...read more


The Portion Control Profit Triangle

Quickly, tell me how much it costs to make a 14" cheese, pepperoni, ham and mushroom pizza in your store? I'm not surprised you couldn't blurt out the answer. In these times of unstable cheese pricing and invoice creep, it's easy to neglect one of the most important building blocks of profitability - food costs. ...read more


Take-N-Bake: Then Next Pizza Mega Trend

Who is your competition? The independent guy down the street? The big franchise chain operation? The grocery store freezer case? Answer: all of the above. In the past year, since I sold my shop, I've been observing the industry with a slightly different set of eyes. ...read more


Big Dave's Cheese Secrets

I know how you market in your shop. You spread out all of your competitor's flyers on your desk. You separate them into two piles. You study them and determine that your competition must be desperate to sell pizza at ridiculously low prices. ...read more


The Ultimate Pizza Guarantee

I analyze other industries all of the time. Not so long ago one of my favorite motel chains guaranteed guest satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your night's stay you don't have to pay. I believe that customers want to make purchases risk free. ...read more


Marketing Moments of Magic And Misery

Anything that touches the customer is a marketing issue. Anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, is an opportunity to form an impression. These words are from a book called Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon. ...read more


The Big Boys are Coming to Town

I remember when I first confirmed that not one, but two national pizza chains had just signed leases and were going to open almost across the street from me. For 12 years Big Dave's Pizza & Subs had enjoyed 75 percent market share and life was good. A couple of months after Pizza Today ranked my shop as the 25th busiest in the country, my life changed forever. ...read more


Marketing Take 'N' Bake: Part 2

It's almost been a year since the original article on the Take 'n' Bake phenomenon was printed. This particular story created a tremendous amount of activity on the Think Tank and requests for more information. ...read more