Tips to Fight a January Sales Slump

Photo by paulwan8 (flickr)

Holiday spending is over, and for many consumers, holiday bills and thoughts of the upcoming tax season has started to set in. This can result in a slower January for many pizzeria operators. Super Bowl will provide some welcome relief in February, but what can you do now to keep your books in the black?

Offer free delivery for the month of January. Let’s face it, it’s cold out there! Many of us do not want to step outside to get the mail, much less go pick up a pizza. Let everyone know that they don’t need to go anywhere. You’ll bring it to them for free. And if you don’t currently offer delivery, consider hiring a few temporary drivers just during the slow time to see if it makes a difference for your business.

Introduce something new. We often associate the new year with fresh, new ideas and products. This goes for new menu items at our favorite restaurants as well. Show customers that you want to give them something new this year. It doesn’t have to be a revamp of the entire menu, just a few new things to excite their taste buds.

Show new dieters that the pizzeria is safe territory. January is a time for New Year’s resolutions, and while most diets don’t stick around into February, they are pretty solid in January. This may include a “no pizza” rule. Remind customers about your salads and other healthy options that they are still able to fit into a “healthy” diet.

Get people in with crazy specials. Send emails or post on Facebook crazy promos to get people to come through the doors. “First 10 customers at the pizzeria tonight get a free pizza,” or “Wear a crazy sweater and get free hot chocolate.” You get the idea.

Hold a snowman-making contest. If you live in a snowy climate, hold a snowman-making contest with the winner receiving free pizza and sodas for their group. Invite the local news out to film it and make it fun for kids and adults with hot cocoa/coffee served inside the pizzeria (and of course, a full menu available for purchase).

Take advantage of the NFL playoffs. Most of the football fans who watch the Super Bowl are also watching the playoff games that lead up to the big game. If you have TVs in your pizzeria, invite fans via Facebook, Twitter, text to watch the game. If you don’t have TVs, offer playoff game-day specials for pick-up or delivery.

Use this time to prepare.  You more than likely enjoyed a busy December, so you may be glad for the break that a somewhat slower January offers. Use this time to prepare for a busy February and start getting your books in order for tax time.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. What methods are you using to avoid a January sales slump?