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Newsletter #1056: The “Lessons from a Pizza Joint” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

We first learned about Shakespeare’s Pizza in Missouri because one of their General Managers (and biggest fans) told us about it. They’re a fun company that puts their personality into everything they do, and they’ve earned some loyal fans because of it.

Here are some things to learn from them:

1. Write the way you talk
2. Create group experiences
3. Keep your fans in the loop
4. Check it out: New York City Stock Photos

1. Write the way you talk

Shakespeare’s menu and site are fun to read. It sounds like you’re reading something written by a friend, because it says things like, “We buy our pepperoni in sticks and slice it ourselves because nothing we can buy pre-sliced is thick enough,” or “We normally make [our crust] medium thickness, but you can have it extra thick or extra thin if you like, and that doesn’t change the price (flour’s cheap).”

The lesson: That kind of straightforward writing — without trying too hard or being too gimmicky — captures attention and earns trust.

Learn more: Shakespeare’s Menu

2. Create group experiences

The restaurant will also host pizza-making parties, called Shakespeariences, for you and a group of friends in one of their kitchens. They give each person a bandana, a T-shirt, and a lesson on pizza making. They also give tours of their “Secret Room” where the sauces and dough are made and access to their dish room “so you can clean up the mess you’ll no doubt make. (Optional) (No, it’s not. You need the full experience.) (Just kidding) (No, we’re not.) (Yes, we are… maybe.)”

The lesson: You can do this! Bring your customers behind the counter, give them something fun to do, give them a souvenir, take their picture.

Learn more: Shakespeariences

3. Keep your fans in the loop

Shakespeare’s downtown location is no longer on Ninth Street. The owners of their building wanted to renovate. So to make up for it, they moved into a temporary space one street over and called it Tempspeare’s Pizza. But they kept their fans in the loop every step along the way — from a video of the demolition to the new blueprints. And the owner took special care to document every aspect of the old shop so they could recreate it in the new place.

The lesson: It’s easy to forget that changes like these can be a big deal to your customers too. For Shakespeare’s Pizza, it was a matter of reassuring fans they wouldn’t change and staying true to their most loyal customers.

Learn more: Tempspeare’s Pizza

4. Check it out: New York City Stock Photos

Check out this stock-photo style collection of New York City situations, like “Woman Jaywalking with Confidence” or “Man Trying to Figure Out What Just Dripped on Him.”

Check it out: Flickr

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  1. Justin October 20, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    I’ve always advocated for writing the way you talk… when you sound too “corporate” you turn people off. No one likes when they know they’re being sold to – they want to believe that you’re their friend, so sound like it!

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