How to Fight it & Flourish

As Halloween approaches, we’re thinking a lot about our biggest fears. But today we’re not talking about ghosts or goblins or even Michael Myers. We’re talking about one of the scariest things of all to any pizza shop…complacency.

“Complacency is man’s biggest weakness. It creeps up on us when we least expect it.” – Jay Mullings

Even if you think your shop isn’t anywhere near complacency, there’s still always room to evaluate and grow. And, you may be surprised by what’s lurking behind the door of contentment. Complacency is not only bad for your shop, but good for your competition, which we’d assume will give you a bit of a fright. If employees aren’t challenged to improve, things are the way they are because it’s the “way they’ve always been”, and the shop isn’t evolving in any way, it’s definitely affecting your revenue. But don’t worry – it’s never too late to change. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the best ways to avoid pizzeria complacency and ensure you’re periodically updating and enhancing your brand, processes, practices, and marketing.

Complacency’s Cause

Complacency can sneak up on any shop without warning, shielding it from improvement and stifling creativity and innovation. Why? Because if a shop is seemingly doing “fine” and meeting its goals on paper, store owners feel no “need” or urgency for change. That’s where the biggest mistake is made, because you should really always be looking to evolve and thinking about your vision for the future. If not, ideas become stale, menu items become old and boring, employees become lazy, and eventually, the shop comes to a jarring halt without any clue of how you got there.

When everything seems to be going well, it can be difficult to cause disruption. And it may feel like the right decision to let processes and practices continue as they’ve always been rather than think about new ideas and development, but often “the riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” If you’re excited about your shop’s offerings, sharing your goals, and open to new ideas, employees will be more excited, energized, and motivated, and will stay longer and provide better customer service.

Combatting Complacency

With complacency being a bigger, scarier possibility than you may have assumed, it’s important to keep it top of mind and to make sure you’re doing your best to combat it. Start with communication of your shop’s goals. Make sure they’re clear and known. Know who you are. If you do – your employees will too, and in turn they’ll feel more connected with your shop and motivated to do well. Allow employees to see their contributions to your shop’s greater goals. They’ll care more, and as we said, likely provide better customer experiences.

After all, having a good workplace environment is key to combatting complacency and ensuring worker satisfaction. How do you improve this environment? Many ways, but the most effective tools for pizza shops are group meetings and employee appreciation. Again – make your employees feel valued, and they’ll more likely provide value.

Additionally, make sure your employees feel important and part of the greater whole. Encourage managers and employees to communicate, and make sure responsibilities are delegated and well distributed. Employees are more likely to become bored when they’re doing the same tasks over and over, so give them room to have a voice and provide new ideas for your shop.

Lastly, be prepared for whatever may come your shop’s way, and never be too afraid to challenge the status quo. If we’ve learned anything these past two years, it’s that anything can happen, and that the saying “it won’t happen to us” is just not realistic. It’s important to listen to the ideas of your employees and always be prepared for what’s to come with an open communication structure.

Refreshing Without Fear

Almost as important as your shop and its employees is your brand and marketing. Without change and evolution, your marketing can quickly become out-of-date right under your nose (causing your employees to lack pride and your audience to lose interest). But how do you know when it’s the right time to update your brand and marketing?

A sure sign (these days) of lack luster marketing is an absence of social platforms. Some would even say if you’re not online, you might as well not exist. And although we think that sounds a little spooky, we’ll admit that it holds some truth. If you’re hard to find and not posting relevant content and imagery, target customers may be choosing other pizza shops or restaurants (who are more accessible and approachable) over you.

Also important to your shop’s brand and its relevance is your website. In this day and age, it’s very easy to tell when a website has been left alone so long that it’s developing cob-webs. If you’re finding that your website traffic is down and your customers aren’t interacting with it, it’s time for an upgrade. But, before any big changes, compile data and make purposeful decisions. What is your audience looking for? What do they respond well too? How can you quickly and easily get them to have interest in your company and purchase goods?

Additionally, make sure you keep your advertising and customer communication – whether digital or physical – energized and creative. Combine direct and digital marketing to reach specific audiences and keep your shop and its pizza offerings top of mind. Don’t settle for just one medium that “seems to be working” if multiple channels of communication could bring your store more success.

Lastly, avoid complacency by focusing on helping the customer rather than selling to them. While the overall goal of most shops is pizza sales, it’s essential you show your customers that you care about their pain points and needs with things like coupons, specials, and rewards programs.

Company complacency can sneak up on you like a ghost in the night and lead to missed opportunities, poor customer service, and boring, outdated marketing. Stay aware of the possibility of contentment and make sure you’re always exploring, evolving, and rising above the rest. Change is inevitable, but complacency doesn’t have to be.

For more information on what ZaHub is and how we can help you fight complacency with direct mail 2.0, contact us today.