Like all other types of restaurants in the industry, the success of pizza restaurants ebbs and flows depending on current local and global events. In 2020, many restaurants struggled to stay above water due to mandatory closings and more people choosing to eat at home. However, many pizza restaurants managed to make it through 2020 relatively unscathed due to the already-established practice of pizza delivery. Throughout 2021, those familiar with the industry expect more of the same. Still, pizza restaurateurs should establish procedures and follow trends that will keep the restaurant at the top of the game.
What’s Trending in the Pizza World?
Besides keeping a solid business plan, which is essential for any type of business in any industry, staying on top of the latest pizza trends is one of the best ways to remain successful in trying times. From smart everyday business choices to clever marketing strategies, staying competitive means making creative decisions. Paying attention to trends in the pizza world and the restaurant industry, in general, can mean the difference between surviving and thriving during economic downtimes.
Make It Easy on the Customer
Retaining your current customers during times of economic turmoil may be as simple as finding ways to make ordering food from your pizza restaurant as easy as possible. Provide sufficient signage for directions on how to order if your dining room is unavailable, and consider curbside pick-up instead of only carry out, so customers don’t even have to leave the car. When the customer chooses to carry out, make the process as quick and easy as possible by allowing pre-payment online or installing a self-service kiosk for minimal contact as a safety measure during times of heightened health concerns.
Offer Contactless Delivery
Pizza delivery has always been big business in the restaurant industry, but delivering pizza in 2021 means making a few modifications to old practices. One of the easiest and most popular methods of updating delivery practices is implementing contactless delivery. Restaurants allow customers to complete the entire order online, including tips for the delivery driver, then communicate with the customer to confirm the exact arrival time. Some use an app that tracks the driver from the restaurant to the delivery location. Once the driver arrives, the customer is notified, and the food is placed at the front door. Stepping back to allow more space, the driver waits until the delivery is acknowledged before leaving.
Provide Gold Star Customer Service
Nothing keeps customers coming back like top-notch customer service. During uncertain times, excellence in customer service is even more important than usual. Making your guests feel comfortable and satisfied from start to finish is the goal of every restaurateur. Much of the quality of customer service boils down to employee training. During the training process, it’s easy to focus on the specific skills to perform the basic functions of the job, but it’s just as important to drive home the idea of gold star customer service for every guest.
Create a Memorable Experience
In especially saturated markets or areas with new options starting to pop up that may entice customers to look elsewhere, creating a memorable experience can be the ticket to repeat business or attract new business. Memorable experiences don’t have to be gimmicky. Themed nights, restaurant memorabilia, contests, or signature catchphrases are all ways to keep your business on the patrons’ minds. Sometimes even something as simple as polite, efficient, and predictable customer service can make a pizza restaurant stand out from the crowd. Try to think of the most memorable restaurants you have experienced and remember why you enjoyed your visit.
Consider New Pizza Toppings and Ideas
Many restaurants have menus that never change, but pizza restaurants have always been known for experimentation. Although restaurant owners should keep the customer favorites and staples on the menu, paying attention to trends in new pizza toppings and ideas can help cater to a wider variety of customers looking for a specific type of meal. Diet trends change over time, so creating a specialty menu or allowing certain modifications can help attract people who would otherwise write off pizza restaurants as an option.
- Gluten-free crust for those with gluten intolerance or just a gluten-free preference
- Dairy-free pizza full of toppings but without cheese as a topping or dairy in the dough recipe
- Vegetarian and vegan specials with interesting and delicious vegetable combinations
- Crustless pizza for the low-carb and keto diets that eliminate the crust altogether in favor of an abundance of toppings and cheese
- Build-your-own pizza, so customers can choose exactly the right combination to satisfy cravings
Establish Social Media Connections
Connecting with customers is more important than ever, and in 2021, any successful pizza restaurant needs to establish a strong social media presence. This is especially true when business hours and practices have been altered as required by local ordinances and are subject to change frequently. The easiest way to get the information out to the public, besides posting it on your website, is through social media. A social media presence also allows insight into what the customers are experiencing, both good and bad, so you know what corrective steps to take. Special events, discounts, and customer appreciation posts are all ways to connect with your guests long after a visit and encourage new customers to give your restaurant a try.
Simplify Your Menu Options
If your restaurant has a long, complicated menu, it can be helpful to simplify it for delivery and carry-out purposes. By choosing popular items and specials to highlight, you can streamline the experience for the customers seeking a fast and delicious meal. Some restaurant owners choose to advertise a rotation of specials only available on certain days of the week, so repeat customers know which days to order a favorite meal.
Add Outdoor Dining
If you are a sit-down pizza restaurant, understanding that some customers are uncomfortable with indoor dining at this time may help you decide to alter your normal business practices. If your property and local ordinances permit, adding an outdoor dining area can be the ticket to increasing the number of guests who frequent your business in person. This can often be accomplished at a low cost, using tables with umbrellas for sunny days and outdoor patio heaters for colder weather.
Build Community Relationships
Perhaps the most important way to stay relevant in 2021 is by building community relationships. In 2020, nearly everyone had a difficult year and discovered how important it is to stay connected with others. By sponsoring or participating in local charity events, you can show the community that you plan to be around for the long haul.
Why Choose Boss’ Pizza and Chicken?
One thing that never goes out of style is delicious food, and Boss’ Pizza and Chicken always provides the best selections for customers in Sioux Falls and surrounding areas. By staying strong for you in 2020, the Boss’ team provides an opportunity for you to keep coming back for more. To learn more about the menu and everything else that sets them apart, contact Boss’ Pizza and Chicken today.