Pita Pal's business strategy will be to emphasize its healthy, custom food alternatives. Most of the competitors cannot compete with Pita Pal's healthy menu. Most places uses a lot of fried foods, compromising the nutritional value of their food. Additionally, no one offers the same flexibility or ability to customize the product offerings. This competitive edge will also be stressed in the marketing campaign.
As mentioned earlier, Pita Pal's marketing strategy will be distinct for each of the two market segments that it is seeking to attract.
The sales effort will be based on obtaining 100% satisfaction. Pita Pal will work hard to ensure that every customer has a wonderful experience at Pita Pal. Almost anything will be done to ensure any problems that arise are corrected.
5.1 Competitive Edge
Pita Pal has two competitive edges that will help it succeed in its business. The first edge is its healthy menu. Pita Pal takes pride in the fact that the only thing fried on the menu is falafel. Everything else is oil free, or at least free of any oils other than olive oil. In addition to the absence of oil based fats, much of its offered ingredients are vegetables, ensuring a healthy meal.
The other competitive edge that Pita Pal will leverage is customization. Customers are offered a laundry list of ingredients that they get to choose from. It is Pita Pal's goal to serve the customer in whatever capacity is needed. This takes the form of its competitive edge where it will build the patrons pita pocket any way that they want.
5.2 Marketing Strategy
Pita Pal will employ a two pronged marketing strategy in an attempt to reach potential customers within the two market segments. To reach the students, Pita Pal must use resources that are successful in reaching the students. Recognizing that the students spend the majority of their time on campus, Pita Pal will rely on print advertisements and coupons within the student publications. The print advertisements will serve to draw notice to Pita Pal, increasing the student's awareness about this new restaurant alternative. Pita Pal will emphasize its menu as a tasty, healthy alternative to the campus meal plan as well as other local food vendors. Pita Pal will also use coupons as a way drawing in students. Coupons are quite effective for students, most of them are on a fixed budget and jump at the chance to save money by using a coupon.
Print advertising will be used for the towners, however, Pita Pal will choose a different media source to reach these people. The readership levels for the local paper, The Sentinel are 67% of the targeted population. This will prove to be an effective method for reaching this group. Since the majority of this market segment work downtown, flyers will be passed around the downtown area calling attention to Pita Pal's opening. Coupons will be used, but to a lesser degree with this segment as they tend to have much lower response rates relative to the other market segment.
5.3 Sales Strategy
As previously mentioned, Pita Pal will emphasize its 100% customer satisfaction to win over customers. The fact that it advertises 100% satisfaction is far less significant relative to its actions that ensure total satisfaction. This effort is based on the philosophy that it is far cheaper to maintain a current customer than it is to attract a new customer. Additionally, it is far easier and cheaper to remedy any problems with a customer as it occurs instead of dealing with an unhappy customer. With this in mind, the organization has the firm belief that if all customers leave the store happy, there will be a significant increase in sales in the long term, directly correlated with the fact that customers are being properly taken care of.
This sales philosophy is a way of treating customers. While the service offered customers is quite important, there is a need to have a quality product, otherwise the service aspect is in vain in the long term because the customers are treated well but do not perceive value in the food that they are buying. That being said, Pita Pal must offer fresh, healthy, quality food in order to fully support its customer-centered service. The menu has been devised in order to offer a wide selection with menu items that are easy to prepare, remain fresh, and are cost effective to serve. Having both a quality product and excellent service will ensure realization of the sales forecast.
5.3.1 Sales Forecast
Pita Pal has decided to take a conservative viewpoint toward its sales forecast in order to increase the likelihood of achieving the stated goals. Pita Pal has reason to believe that the first three months of business will be fairly slow. It is forecasted that business will steadily increase over the first two years. Profitability is forecasted to be achieved toward the end of year two.
Direct Cost of Sales
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales
Pita Pal has identified four milestones that are clear in terms of the goals, and are achievable:
Business plan completion. The final version will be accomplished with in the first two months.
$50,000 in revenue. A date of expectancy has been established and it will be useful to gauge performance on whether the revenue is realized on schedule.
Profitability. Very important, it is forecasted to occur within two years.
Payback of entrepreneurship loan. While non-payment of the loan will not result in serious consequences it is a matter of pride to be able to take a loan from the College's Entrepreneurship Program and turn it into a successful business.