Stimulating Pizza Sales during Bad Weather

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Heavy coats, snow shovels, gloves, and pizza delivery. What do these things have in common? They’re all heavily used during wintertime. With all of the snow that

When a snowstorm approaches, consumers head to the stores to stock up on essentials and non-perishables, but they also stock up on comfort foods. Consumer behavior experts have theories on why consumers tend to fill up their carts with comfort foods. As a result of the rush to get everything done at work, and then head to the store before a storm hits, anything goes once you make it into the store. Temptation runs wild and your ability to resist these temptations is reduced. For some consumers, it's about rewarding themselves for being proactive and getting necessities like bottled water or batteries.

Delivery Increases after Bad Weather

After a bad snowstorm, food delivery is more likely to increase when it becomes available. Anyone stuck at home with no power or little food is more likely to call up the closest restaurant to find a hot meal. When a blizzard blew through New York in 2015, GrubHub documented an increase in orders, tips, and the sales of cheese pizzas. Based on typical Monday orders, there was a 135% increase in cheese pizza deliveries and a 134% increase in pepperoni pizza deliveries. Chicken parmigiana and baked ziti were also ordered at a higher rate than normal.

Data on food delivery during bad weather also indicates that delivery tips increase. In New York City during the January 2015 snowstorm, tips increased by 9%. During a Boston snowstorm in February 2015, tips increased by 6%.

Weather can sometimes be an indicator of increased sales. During rainy weather, a consumer is more likely to opt for delivery or carryout after a long commute, instead of making dinner. Most store owners know that when bad weather is about to strike, they need to be prepared for increased orders.

How to Increase Pizza Sales before and after Bad Weather

For many, the winter months are all about getting new and returning customers back despite the weather.

Franchise owners may be able to increase sales by offering coupons and specialty deals. If your store has to close, consider giving out “bad weather” vouchers for those inconvenienced by the sudden closing.

Another way to increase pizza sales is simply by letting people know your doors are open. When bad weather strikes, most locals will not know what is open or closed. A simple social media message informing residents that you are open until a specific time or that you are still accepting delivery orders is a great way to let consumers know you’re open for business.