The Pizza Insider: July 2015

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The 5 Reasons I Kept My Job

keeping staff happy

This month I celebrated eight years with PMQ Pizza Magazine. In the past, I’ve had a record of jumping ship before the three-year mark for reasons ranging from low wages to no room for advancement.

The achievement got me thinking about the reasons behind why I’ve stayed with PMQ for so long when I struggled to do the same with other employers. In going through my list, I thought I’d share some of the factors that finally got me to stick. I’m hoping it can help an operator out there who’s struggling to keep his employees.

1. I’ve always felt a sense of ownership over my job. While I know that the owners always have the final word, they have always believed in me to make the right decisions, and have an open-door policy if I have any concerns.

2. I make a fair wage for the work I perform. Over eight years, my salary has gone up, down, and even been cut in half, depending on the work functions I’m performing at any specific time. However, there are never any surprises, and there’s always a discussion about what everyone feels is fair.

3. My ideas are heard. I have a lot of ideas, and it’s great to know that my boss is open to listening—and hearing—about the ones that can improve the company.

4. We’ve grown to feel like family. I won’t lie; in the beginning there were struggles and disagreements (like any family), but a few years in, I really started seeing the owners as an extension of my family. The company holiday party at the owner’s house feels like I’m going home for the holidays, and we even had them at our family-and-friends-only wedding last year!

5. I feel supported outside of work. My bosses have always supported my outside ventures, such as my work creating local websites, community events, and even running for political office. It feels amazing to have the support of your boss and co-workers on days when you sometimes feel like no one else cares.

It’s impossible to read the minds of your employees, but the bottom line is that most of us really just want the same things: to be heard, to be appreciated, and to feel like what we’re doing matters. None of what I mentioned above requires higher wages or too much extra effort on the part of the employer. When employees feel like they’re part of a family working toward a common goal, and that family reciprocates the support, the thought of leaving never enters their mind.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

6 Ways to Keep Your Staff Happy

keeping staff happy
It's easy to see the difference between a pizzeria filled with happy employees and one filled with disgruntled ones. When your staff is happy and feels supported, it trickles down to your customers (as does the effect of an unhappy staff member).

There are a few simple steps you can follow each day to make sure staff members feel appreciated and supported. The more support they feel, the more support they'll return to you.

1. Keep the lines of communication open, sharing your goals for the company and how your staff fits in.

2. Help give team members a sense of accomplishment through regular challenges and contests.

3. Take a genuine interest in the lives of your staff members so that they don't feel like a number.

4. Ask staff for their opinions and viewpoints.

5. Maintain staff morale with regularly scheduled team building meetings.

6. Set the bar high and consistently reward employees for a job well done.

How do you keep your staff happy? Let me know in the comments section below.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

8 Ways to Score with Fall Football

restaurant promotions
The fall football season will be here sooner than you think, which means lots of hungry fans who love convenient carry-out and delivery food. Lucky for you, pizza leads the pack!

So how can you make sure you get the most benefit from football season? First, start planning early--like now! Then, consider all of the football games--pro, college and high school--there are large fan groups for all of these. Gather schedules for all of the games and coordinate a plan of attack.

1. If your pizzeria has televisions, announce viewing parties for the games, with special deals on wings and pizza during the event.

2. Take note of what the big chains do and offer a big bundle deal for football parties (i.e., three pizzas with wings, bread sticks and soda)

3. Ask a local football player (or the whole team) to appear in your marketing in exchange for free pizza.

4. Run a Touchdown contest wherein every touchdown earns customers a dollar amount off of their next purchase.

5. Offer free football schedule souvenir cups with the purchase of a large beverage (coordinate with local schools to supply these at games as their official sponsor).

6. Promote your availability for catering/tailgating orders.

7. Run a contest for free football tickets. Everyone who spends over a certain dollar amount is entered into the contest.

8. Create your own fantasy football league with customers and award the winner with a pizza party.

Have more ideas? Let me know in the comments section below.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Mistakes You're Making on Twitter

twitter mistakes
If you're new to Twitter or haven't been growing your number of followers as quickly as you'd like, you may be making some common Twitter mistakes that are easily remedied.

1. You don't have a profile/header photo, or the one you have is outdated. Some don't realize that there are three photos associated with your account--a profile photo, background photo, and a header photo. Click on "edit profile" and make sure you have current photos or logos for all of them.

2. Your profile description is not SEO friendly. The search engines will grab your profile when looking through your site; make sure you include hashtags on words you want emphasized, such as #pizza, #pizzeria and the @ symbol before the name of your pizzeria so that people can find you more easily.

3. You haven't shared any photos or videos in a while. When you're on the home page of your account, there's a section to the left that shows photos and videos that you've shared. How old is the last one you've shared? If it's been a while, start sharing some pics and videos of new menu items and/or event videos by including them in your tweets.

4. You're including full URLs when you tweet. If you want visitors to share your tweets, leave them some room for personalizing by shortening your URLs with a service such as It's free and easy to use. Some social media dashboards, such as HootSuite, shorten the URL for you.

5. The bulk of your tweets are self centered. It's great to tell customers about your specials and what's going on at the pizzeria, but remember to mix in other helpful tips and news not related to you or the pizzeria. Your readers will enjoy going to you as a source of information.

How did you fare with the list? Are you mistake free? Let us know how you build your engagement in the comments below.