Sam's Pizzeria Story Continued | Strategic Business Growth Systems

The "Big Pizzeria Turnaround"

How Chef Sam turned his Pizzeria around and exploded his daily sales using some clever digital marketing strategies.

Part 1: 
The Best little "Failing" Pizzeria I've ever been to.


This is Sam.

(a cartoon version of him anyway)

Sam is an amazingly talented chef that I met a few years ago when I happened into his pizza parlor when I was on a trip for work.

I had just gotten out of a meeting and was starving and only had about 30 minutes before my next meeting was ready to start. It was around lunch time and when I walked out of my hotel I was looking for the closest thing nearby to grab something quick so that I could get some food and get back to my meeting room on time.

As I walked out the hotel, I spotted Sam's pizza spot and walked in. Considering that it was around 12:30 PM on a Thursday and there were only a few customers in the pizzeria, I was guessing that this wasn't going to be my best meal ever.

"Oh well" I thought... 

I needed food and it was either this or nothing.

I ordered a slice of the pepperoni and had it and a drink within just a few minutes. I sat down and took a bite and...


This was one of the best slices of pizza that I've ever put in mouth and I'm not exaggerating. I gobbled it in record time and quickly ordered another one (don't judge!!! you don't run into pizza like this everyday). 

As I was sitting there enjoying my second slice, I was puzzled. 

This food was amazing, but here I am at lunch on a Thursday and this place is dead. What gives? 

Being a marketer and lover of all things entrepreneurial, I went up to the person that had taken my order. I told him that this was one of the best slices of pizza I'd ever tasted, and asked how in the heck weren't they slammed with business right now?!?

It turned out that the person who took my order was Sam, the owner and chef at the pizzeria. 

He told me that he had opened up his doors about 6 months ago and while he had gained some very loyal customers over the past months, he also had made a grave error. 

When he opened the doors of his pizzeria, he hadn't correctly accounted for all the competition in the area and he was having a terrible time getting the word out to get people in the door the first time.

He was nearly in tears as our 10 minute conversation was wrapping up. He told me he was afraid he wasn't going to make it and that his restaurant felt like it was slipping from his hands.

I told him that I had to get to a meeting but that I would be back later and asked if had some time to chat later that night close to closing time. He agreed to meet me at 9 that night at the restaurant and I left and went to my meeting.

Over the next few hours, I felt myself get more and more excited. This restaurant was amazing. It just needed a little marketing push and I knew exactly what that push was because I'd helped lots of businesses like Sam's before.

Part 2: 
The clever "Google Reviews to Growth" strategy that we implemented that immediately exploded Sam's Pizzeria and skyrocketed his weekly food sales.


As promised,

I returned to Sam's Pizzeria that night around 9PM.

We sat down and I laid out the following digital marketing plan to Sam and he agreed to give it a shot over the next few weeks inside of his Pizzeria.

The Pizzeria Review Explosion Strategy

I wanted to keep things simple for Sam in the beginning so I recommended a strategy that wouldn't add additional work to his plate. This strategy leveraged the fact that his existing customers loved him and made it easy for those customers to send a ton of new people his way.

For this reason, we decided to focus entirely on getting Google Reviews from his existing customers. 

This would instantly boost his business from several angles.

A) The "Back up what I said" Psychology Trick.
Getting his best 20 customers to leave him a glowing review would open up an easy way for them to think about why they loved Sam's Pizza. Once they put it into words, it would instantly lock them in psychologically to wanting to come in more often (getting a customer to say out loud and publicly recommend a place leads to them visiting and buying more often to back up what they had said in their review).

B) The Review to Google Ranking Boost Trick.
Those reviews would be posted online instantly. Doing that would send a clear signal to Google that something important was happening at that local business. This would cue the search engine's algorithm to rank Sam's establishment higher in the rankings when people searched for important terms like "Pizza".

C) The Review to Facebook Leverage Trick.
Once we had those reviews on Google, we could instantly turn them into social media post on Facebook. Posting that kind of content would trigger Facebook to show Sam's place in the Facebook Search rankings. Most people don't even realize that Facebook is a major place that people "search" for businesses when they are in a new area. Leveraging Facebook would lead to a ton of new business once we triggered the algorithm with our new post.

D) The Review Chain Reaction Trick.
The customers that came in from those early wins would in turn be asked to review Sam's pizzeria themselves. This would trigger a chain reaction that would continue to grow exponentially.

The trick to all of this was to make it incredibly simple for Sam to ask for a review and for people to give him review without having to jump through too many hoops (this is where a lot of restaurants miss the boat.

How did we make it easy for people to leave reviews for Sam?

This is how it would work...

  • Step 1: 
    We create something called a "NFC Digital Review Card". This is a special kind of business card that a phone can hover above and in turn will lead people directly to the page where they can leave him a review on Google.

  • Step 2:
    We give Sam and all of his staff one of these cards and every time a customer has a noticeably good experience in the restaurant, they ask the customer if they would mind giving them a review online.

  • Step 3:
    When the customers agrees to give the review, they instantly pull out the cards and have the customer hold their phone above the card. 

  • Step 4:
    Instead of giving the customers a url to go to later, this puts the link right on their phone and nudges them to give the review right there in the pizzeria. We make sure that we ask them to do this before the bill comes out and right as we bring a little extra surprise to their table (usually something sweet as a free desert).

  • Step 5:
    Because we have a flood of positive reviews coming from our best and most satisfied customers every single day (because we are proactively asking for the reviews and leading them to the Google Review page instantly), we see a huge boost in online ranking activity on both Google and social media.

Part 3: 
The Results for Sam's Pizzeria


Within a few week's of Sam implementing the NFC Business cards, he started to see traffic pick up in his store from his existing customers coming back more often (and bringing more friends and family when they did).

Within four week's the Google and Facebook algorithm changes started to take effect and lots of new faces started to come through the door.

As Sam and his now growing staff repeated the NFC Business Card technique, his 4 and 5 star reviews started to explode, which compounded on top of each other.

Within a few months, Sam's pizzeria was off to the races and it's been thriving ever since.

Part 4: 
Got a Restaurant that you'd like to grow fast and want to use our "NFC Digital Review Card" trick starting as soon as next week?


My team and I love helping businesses grow and we specialize in Restaurant marketing.

The best part?
You can get started with your own set of NFC Digital Review Cards to use this strategy for around $100. 

Use the contact info below and call or text me. 
We'd be glad to hop on a call and get you set up with your own "Review Cards" and get you the same kind of results Sam got.

Don Keeting
Owner at Strategic Business Growth Systems

Call or Text me at (816) 305-5282