15 Pizza Marketing Ideas For Every Pizzeria Business [2024 update]

pizza marketing ideas for pizza shops

Effective Pizza Marketing Ideas for Independent Pizzeria and Small Chains Business Operators

Pizza operators are making a remarkable comeback despite economic challenges following two years of hardships, including COVID-related shutdowns, supply chain issues, and inflation, per PMQ’s 2023 Pizza Power Report. The industry witnessed a significant rise in industry-wide sales, resulting in a growth in the number of independent pizzerias. However, there was a 1.7% drop in average sales per store, attributed to declining foot traffic, likely influenced by consumer adjustments to cope with inflation.

The challenge for independent operators

Enhancing your digital marketing efforts, building a robust online presence, and improving visibility are crucial measures for customers to discover your business and make online purchases. These steps should be integrated into your pizza business model.

If you’re pondering how to grow a pizza business, a meticulously crafted pizza marketing strategy is crucial for every Italian restaurant or pizza shop. The strategy should include both proven conventional restaurant promotion ideas and newer innovative ways to market your business. A well-executed strategy has the potential to boost pizza sales and generate revenue growth in the short term, while consistently fostering long-term expansion.

I get it that you want to know: How do I sell more pizza? Achieve this through a three-step marketing strategy:

  1. Attract new customers: Enhance your online presence, maintain a stellar reputation, and offer enticing pizza online ordering and delivery deals.
  2. Engage existing customers: Utilize social, email, and mobile channels to stay top-of-mind with your current customer base.
  3. Convert online visitors to guests: Drive repeat business by implementing loyalty rewards and converting online visitors into satisfied customers.

To execute these strategies effectively, we recommend these pizza marketing ideas, one at a time, and observe your sales steadily increase. Here’s a guide on marketing your pizzeria using the top 15 pizza marketing ideas:

1. Elevate Your Food Visuals

Good quality pictures of your food resonate with customers. Mouth-watering images of pizza with melted cheese and the perfectly baked crust arouses the appetite of potential customers.

For success with social media platforms and digital channels, visual media is a must. As Facebook analytics show, posts with images and videoas have significantly higher engagement compared to text only posts. On Instagram and Tiktok, good quality images and videos are a must.

Hire a good food photographer who knows how to make your food look amazing. Using stock images is not a good idea as people identify the food and are disappointed when the image they see and the food they get from your pizzeria do not match.

Take a look at the images below.

pesto pizza
(A) Photo taken on iPhone 12
stock pizza image
(B) Stock Photo
professional pizza photo
(C) Professionally shot photo

Which photo do you think evokes a strong desire to have pizza?

The first photo (A) does not inspire due to the low quality. The second photo (B) does not relate since it is too perfect and probably nothing close to what the actual food looks like. The third photo (C) is real, it represents the actual food, looks realistic and increases desire.

Pro Tip: It is a good investment to get a professional digital shoot for your restaurant.
Reuse these images and videos on your menu, fliers, promotions, website and social media.

2. Introduce Pizza-by-the-Slice for Individuals

Your customers have multiple needs and tastes. While it’s great to get orders for several pizza and related menu items, offering pizza-by-the-slice is always a good option to have to attract customers who come by themselves.

Offering a combo of a slice of pizza and pop in the $5-10 range will attract walk-in customers during lunchtime, especially.

Selling pizza by the slice.

Most walk-in business in pizzerias consists of people looking for pizza by the slice; so do not make them buy a whole pizza.

This is a great restaurant promotion idea to implement when you are trying to attract the younger crowd who are looking for a bite, and not to carry a whole pizza home.

Pizza by the slice

To promote the pizza by the slice deal, have a neon sign in the front window that can be seen from the access road. Consider using pizza sign feather flags by the road curbside as well.

Learn more about hyper-local marketing ideas for restaurants.

3. Bundle Packages For Groups

When it comes to getting food for a group, ordering pizza is the easiest option compared to any other kind of food. Because pizza can be shared versus individual orders with Mexican, burgers etc. The person ordering the food has the simplest option with ordering pizza by just selecting a bundle package that is adequate for that group.

Create combo package deals for various group sizes in your carry out menu making it really easy for customers to order. Consider having a combo package deal for game days. Another good combo deal is targeting families of 4-5 for those weekend home movie nights and other family events.

gameday deal
family deal

Combo deals are great because the customer feels like they are getting a great deal which can turn into bulk sales.

Creating multiple combo deals can also be used to promote new items on your menu. But be careful with promotions and deals, because if you do it too much and for too long people will start demanding cheaper prices and that could affect the business bottom line.

Do you need help with designing your promotions and offers? Request Info»

4. Coupon Campaigns

Italian restaurants and pizzerias are probably the most effective in the restaurant industry when it comes to coupons and pizza online ordering and delivery deals.

The obvious question: How do I promote my pizza business?

Coupons from Italian restaurants and pizzerias (and hair salons) have continued to resonate with customers. When creating coupons deals, they should be for a limited time only. Scarcity sells. But an ongoing stream of offers should always be a part of your marketing plan.

Coupons have been a proven way to increase foot traffic to your pizzeria. If you place an incentive in a local magazine, newspaper or direct mail campaign it will cause more customers to go to your place of business than a regular advertisement without coupons.

monday madness deal

Always lay out the terms of the promotion clearly on the coupon, otherwise, some people tend to abuse them.

The 12-month marketing playbook has all the coupons and pizza online ordering and delivery deals for each week of the year. Do you have one for your business? Contact Us »

5. Boost Online Presence with Local Listings

Being found online is the most important thing when trying to attract new customers to your pizzeria. The pizza business is hyper-local.

More and more customers search on various local directories and search engines such as Yelp, Google, Facebook and other popular directories and social platforms when they are looking for new pizza places.

“Pizza near me” is one of the highly searched terms on Google.

You want to ensure that your pizzeria appears online and the basic NAP information (Name, Address Phone number) is correct for your business in the major local directories. we often see new client listings that are incomplete or incorrect. That confuses customers and the search engines, which can lower your online visibility.

See how your pizzeria appears online with a free scan. Scan Now »

Pro Tip: Most directories will allow you to upload 10 images and some videos, but most businesses don’t! This represents a huge advantage over your competitors. You can also post videos shot with an iPhone or Smartphone and then edit the videos on the phone. There are also services, like Animoto, that allows you to create videos using photos.

These help more people select your listing and get them to order online, by phone or in-house. Use the best images available, including the outside of your store and some mouth-watering pizza pix. If the owner is famous locally, we suggest you include a picture of them as well.

The pictures should support the various groups you want to sell to, from a slice of pie to a big catering order.

6. Upgrade Loyalty Programs Beyond Traditional Punch Cards

digital loyalty program

With the Millennial audience, plastic punch cards simply do not work anymore. Create a digital rewards program for your loyal customers that is simple for them to check-in at each visit, earn rewards and redeem rewards. Apart from relieving the need for customers to physically carry the cards, it is cost effective for the business by eliminating expensive plastic printing costs and maintenance.

A “custom” loyalty program branded for the restaurant is much better than marketplace loyalty programs such as Belly or Spring. And unlike 3rd-party vendors, you own the program and keep all the proceeds.

With your own custom loyalty program, you have full access to customer information that you can re-market easily. Avoid the 3rd party marketplace loyalty programs where you have restricted access to your customer information and often higher marketing costs.

Need help with developing a custom loyalty program for your business? Request Info »

7. Targeted Email Marketing Segmentation

Building a customer email list is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways for pizza shops to connect with their customers effectively and re-market to them. The key to engagement and conversion is to nurture the email list using relevant content to ensure high open rates and click-thru rates.

One of the issues with many email marketing campaigns is the lack of segmentation. They are often referred to as “email blasts” which results in poor customer engagement.

Segment your customer email list so that you can deliver relevant content and promotions for each segment. Here are some simple email segmentation ideas:

  • Online ordering customers
  • Loyalty program customers
  • Reservations guests
  • Website opt-ins
  • Local events and fundraisers

With each segment, you can deliver content and offers that resonate the most for that segment.

As an example, dine-in specials should be sent to reservations customers ideally. It may not resonate with online ordering customers; while a free delivery coupon should only be sent to online ordering customers.

The key is to send RELEVANT offers to specific target audiences.

Learn more about effective email marketing strategies for your restaurant.

8. Connect on Mobile Platforms

restaurant mobile marketing ideas

For pizzerias looking to tap into customers by engaging them on their mobile devices, there are quite a few options.

  • Text messaging
  • Mobile apps
  • Push notification
  • Social media apps
  • Email
  • Mobile-first website

Text messages are opened more often than emails, that’s why text messages are a great way to reach your market but you need to be careful not to be too invasive or your efforts will have the opposite effect and put people off.

Creating a mobile app for your business provides your loyal customers a convenient way to order and drive up repeat business. Mobile apps are also a great way to place your brand on the top spot of your customer’s mind when they think of pizza, and even when they don’t think of pizza as they look at their phone and there you are.

Push notifications are becoming increasingly relevant and a better alternative to text messaging.

Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email apps also provide effective channels where you can drive mobile engagement specifically.

The key is to have a mobile engagement “strategy” that includes an ideal mix of the various channels.

Learn how to have a solid mobile marketing strategy? Request Info »

9. Optimize Multi-channel Outreach

Multi-channel marketing refers to the strategy of interacting with customers via multiple channels, both digital and offline, in order to maximize engagement.

Digital channels including social, email and mobile are the most effective and when it comes to customer engagement while being the very cost effective compared to offline channels.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest provide a great way to engage with customers and stay on top of mind.Your customers all use different social platforms, so it is important to be on more than one.

To stay top-of-mind requires an ongoing conversation on relevant topics in addition to the regular posting of specials and pizza deals that customers see. The key is to create a following on these platforms and ensure you reach people every time you post something.

Pro Tip: Social media success depends on being a valued member of the community and follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your posts should be helpful to the community and not really about you. If Little League tryouts are announced or if the mayor makes a proclamation, you should share or re-Tweet it. Support community events by promoting them. Engage local people with large followings. The more their followers see them engage with you, the more free publicity you receive. Promote specials and new items the other 20% of the time.

The challenge is having a consistent multichannel marketing strategy requires a commitment to resources and an integrated marketing plan across all the marketing channels.

NGAZE Multi-channel Restaurant Marketing Software with the 52-Week Marketing Playbook can be used to plan and execute highly-effective multi-channel marketing campaigns for the entire year. Learn more »

10. Foster Community Engagement through Local Sponsorships

Word of mouth marketing is very effective, and increasing your perception of being a community leader gives people a reminder or reason to recommend your pizza to friends, family, and others in the community.

facebook engagement

Look for opportunities to sponsor or participate in fundraising programs at your local school, church, service organizations and sports teams. Many have “Dine and Donate” fundraiser programs, where a certain % of the dinner check is a contribution to the fundraiser program. These are great opportunities to get visibility and creating buzz. Donate pizza at such events for free for people to sample your food.

11. Align Operations with Marketing Strategies

For your pizza marketing strategy to be successful, operations has to tightly sync with marketing. You need to ensure the order-taking and order fulfillment processes are working to meet or exceed customer expectations.

For carryout and delivery, ensure phone ordering, online ordering and mobile ordering (if offered) are working well to ensure the order accuracy.

As your business grows, your kitchen staff and front desk need to have great communication and have systems in place to deal with multiple orders. Your kitchen has to be able to pump out orders quickly maintaining deliveries of consistently delicious hot pizza.

Your POS system needs to be working and able to handle peak volumes of Fridays and Saturdays. You have to be able to take credit cards, especially with online orders. Your delivery staff needs to be on call.

Without this marketing will do your pizzeria no good.

12. Enable Repeat Visits

People are creatures of habit when it comes to ordering pizza. If customers love the pizza and like the customer service, they generally become repeat customers. And they tend to refer their friends!

Pizzerias tend to get a loyal customer base once a preference has been established. Most people will find their favorite and stick with that one for a long time.

If you can deliver good quality food consistently and provide decent customer service, you will have a loyal customer base for a very long time.

The key is to get to your customers with a solid pizza marketing strategy and then just stay consistent and deliver quality pizza every time.

Need help with your pizza marketing strategy? Start Here »

13.  Manage Online Reputation Effectively

Restaurant reviews

To attract new business, your reputation is the 2nd most important thing. The first is being found online on local directories (#7). With mobile users, checking the reviews and ratings on businesses is an instant click away.

The pizza business is very local. It is dependent on a lot of word of mouth advertising. Remember that people are 2 times more likely to tell others when there was a problem than they are to tell people how great your place is.

What is even more amazing is people are 7 times more likely to tell others when they had a problem and was subsequently handled to their satisfaction than they are to tell others about a good experience with no problems. It pays to handle customer issues.

Monitor online review sites, find out what people are saying and respond to their feedback promptly. If you made a mistake with an order, offer an honest apology, offer a refund and invite them to try you again.

Sometimes it is necessary to build your online reputation. It is not necessary to have a perfect 5-star reputation, but it is important to have a rating over 4.0.

The experts at The Digital Restaurant team can share strategies where you can build your online reputation organically. Contact us »

14. Collaborate with Gaming Platforms

Work at a Pizza Place is an entertaining Roblox game for ages 6 and up. The plot of the game is working at Builder Brother’s Pizza and experience different occupations to earn money for customization of your house. The players work with different jobs in Work at a Pizza Place.

Pizzerias can create promotions to attract players of Work at a Pizza Place game. Some promotion ideas include creating a special deal for game winners. Another idea is to have a Roblex playset in a waiting game area.

Any game related instore and social media promotion ideas will help drive engagement with children who love pizza.

15. Invest in Pizza PPC Advertising

How to increase pizza sales? Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Search Ad platforms such as Google Adwords, Bing Ads and Waze Ads provide a quick way to buy traffic to your website and to your restaurant.

The key to successful pizza ads is knowing your target market well, creating enticing offers and running effective pizza advertising campaigns. Some of the popular days for pizza are game days, Halloween, Thanksgiving eve, New Years Eve.

Paid advertising provide a quick and effective way to attract new customers to your business. It is traffic-on-demand.

The team at The Digital Restaurant team runs successful advertising campaigns on Google Adwords, Facebook, Waze and other ad platforms. If you would like to get started with PPC campaigns for your restaurant, Contact us »

Pizza Marketing Ideas Summary

Hopefully, we have answered your question: How to market a pizza shop? Pizza marketing is a lot about being number one in your customer’s mind, in addition to good food and service. If you can accomplish that by using marketing ideas that put your business on top of customer’s mind, you have got the upper hand because the pizza business is one of repeat business.

Be number one in the customer’s minds and you will always succeed.

Now your turn:

Go and put these pizza marketing ideas into practice! If you found this article helpful, please leave us a comment. We would love to hear what you have to say.

General FAQs

How to grow a pizza business?

A well-designed pizza marketing strategy is the key to sales growth for every Italian restaurant or pizza shop. The strategy should include both proven conventional restaurant promotion ideas and newer innovative ways to market your business. An effective strategy can increase pizza sales and revenue growth for the pizzeria in short-term and achieve consistent long-term growth. Creating a simple yet effective marketing plan for your restaurant does not hav to be a source of overwhelming stress. Ask for help if necessary.
Learn how to create a restaurant marketing plan in under 24 hours

How can my independent pizzeria compete with big-chain marketing budgets?

Though it might seem difficult for small pizza shops to compete with traditional marketing of national pizza chains with huge budgets, it is actually easy to compete very effectively at a local level with smart digital marketing tactics with small budgets. Local SEO, Facebook and Instagram ads, organic marketing such as social, email and mobile, reputation marketing are just some ways small businesses can beat big-chains. Digital marketing levels the playing field today, with a robust digital marketing program and a bit of creativity, small businesses can not only succeed, but beat big-chain marketing in the local market place.
Learn more about how to market your pizza shop effectively on a small budget

Should I signup for GrubHub and UberEats?

Considering the 30 percent fees, run the numbers for your business. Also consider the fact that the customers are not your customers even though you get provide the food. Finally, you do not get the customer info, so you cannot re-market to drive repeat orders directly to your business.
Click to visit the online commissions calculator to instantly find out how much online delivery could cost you

How to market a pizza shop?

You can market a pizza shop effectively through multi-channel marketing – social, email and mobile. The channel you choose depends on the audience you have currently on each of those channels. Next comes a well designed marketing plan to attract, engage and drive repeat visits to your pizza shop. Using a marketing platform makes it efficient to plan, execute and track the marketing performance.
Learn more about NGAZE restaurant marketing platform

What is the biggest advantage of opening a pizza franchise?

The main benefits of starting a pizza franchise is you get the benefits of a recognized brand within the pizza industry and the power of national brand marketing. But independent pizzerias can effectively compete and thrive in the local marketplace by differentiating themselves and serving a niche with their product and service. Remember, the advantage of independents is they can build relationships more effectively and they can do nimble marketing. n
Learn more about these 15 pizza marketing ideas for every Italian restaurant and pizzeria

How do I promote my pizza business?

Coupons from Italian restaurants and pizzerias (and hair salons) have continued to resonate with customers. When creating coupons and pizza ordering and delivery deals, they should be for a limited time only. Scarcity sells. But an ongoing stream of offers should always be a part of your marketing plan.
Learn more about 15 pizza marketing ideas that your can implement in your business

How can I market my pizza shop with a small budget?

You can do a facebook ad campaign with as little as $10 per day. You can also run an effective multi-channel campaign to reach your local audience effectively via social, email and mobile very cost effectively.
Learn more about how to make your restaurant marketing more effective through multi-channel marketing

Do I need 3rd party online ordering for my pizza shop?

Absolutely no, you do not need to use GrubHub, UberEats, Doordash to grow your carryout business. First, you must build your own website and online ordering with POS integration. With your own marketing program, you can grow your carryout and delivery business very effectively without having to give away huge commissions.
Learn more about how to build your own no-commission online ordering solution

How to increase pizza sales?

You can increase pizza sales through marketing your pizza business online in addition to ensuring a good product and top customer service. One of the first things to do is to have easy to use and mobile-responsive website with online ordering capability. Then reach your potential customers on online channels via social, email and mobile to drive them to your business with offers and promotions.
Learn more about how to create and execute a kick-ass marketing program for your restaurant that will transform your business in just 6 weeks

What is the problem with signing up for GrubHub?

Many restaurants are falling for the aggressive marketing of the 3rd party online ordering companies promising additional revenues without realizing the effect to their business profitability and the impact to their website SEO, reputation and losing traffic to those platforms.
Learn more about why 3rd party delivery platforms are a problem for restaurants