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Running a Restaurant/Propelling Pizzeria, maketing ideas?


Hi David,

I own a small pizzeria in Quito, Ecuador and I am trying to grow the business at a faster rate. I´ve got a good product and this is seen when customers come back and I am frequently complemented on the quality of my pizza- so this is not the issue. What would you recommend in terms of marketing ideas, what do you think is the most effective and efficient strategy for this kind of business. My profits are yet to be significant and I am looking to increase this quickly while not spending much as my funds are very limited.

Thank you.

Hi Andrew,

I will be happy to try to help you.

Since you are on a limited budget, one of the least expensive means to reach your current and potential guests will be via digital media. To be effective, you need your guests to "opt in" to receive text messages and/or emails.  There are multiple companies that provide "turnkey" packages for one or both services.  One of the companies that I have worked with that is very good at this is  They ONLY work with restaurants and they are easy to work with.  You will typically spend less than $200 per month for programs with them.

Another very, very effective program that you can implement without help works like this:

1) Make a list of non-restaurant businesses that are within a mile or so of your location.
2) Contact one business owner/manager every morning about 9:00am.  Ask them how many employees they will have in their facility that day.
3) Tell them that you would like to bring their employees a free lunch that day.  Bring an appropriate amount of pizza, salad, breadsticks (whatever you offer) to them about 11:30 that morning.  Bring paper plates and napkins, plastic eating utensils, etc.  Leave it with them along with printed copies of your takeout menu.  Also, if you can leave them any coupons for a visit to your pizzeria, that is good (one per employee).  If you can print a little "easel" sign to go on the table or counter where you put the pizza that says, "Complements of..." with the name and address of your pizzeria on it, people will know who brought them lunch.  Do this EVERYDAY.  So if you do this for 50 weeks of the year, you will reach the employees of 250 businesses.  It is the single BEST method for building lunch business.  If your pizza is good, you will get these people in to your pizzeria!

Another idea. Do a direct mail program (there are companies that do this as well) that is sent out to residents in nearby neighborhoods.  Make it a very strong offer to entice them in for the first time.

Billboards.  If Quito allows billboards, having a very attractive billboard or two near your restaurant can be cost effective. Keep in mind that you want no more than 5-7 words on a billboard; any more and people will drive by without reading it.

Radio tradeout.  If you can, negotiate radio advertising with stations that will accept at least half of their fees in product - meaning you give them gift certificates or gift cards for half of the cost of the advertising.  They can use these for their radio giveaways.

Andrew, hopefully this will provide you with some low cost advertising/marketing ideas.  If you would like to schedule a time to visit with me, feel free to contact me at and I will be happy to schedule a free, no fee and no pressure phone call to see if we can help you with anything else.  We have worked with many, many restaurants and our fees are very reasonable.

Best of luck to you!

David Foster
Foster and Associates
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster


We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos, food court concepts, bars and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing, operational improvements, franchising etc.


I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 50 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry, QSR - a publication dedicated to quick serve and fast casual concepts.

Attended Drury University, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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