2020 was challenging to the point of utter frustration with many businesses. Many brick and mortar food establishments were forced to shutter their doors. Luckily, Fire Within was there to help.
To be in the mobile wood-fired industry, you have to be an out-of-the box thinker. There will always be dough to be made if you are willing to experiment and not always “follow the norm” of what a typical pizzeria may do. The pandemic of 2020 is a prime example of how we were all forced to change how we run businesses. There were several new local government rules and regulations that were implemented that made for some unique challenges.
Being able to be socially-distant and limit customer interactions was key to being able to continue to serve customers. We found that remote and touchless POS (Point of Sale) systems were a great way to work with government regulations. Two of our favorites were Toast and Square. Both provide a quick and easy way to limit the contact that many state regulations will require for 2021.
Another great tool for the out-of-the-box mobile entrepreneur is developing a digital menu, hosting it on a website (many are free – like Weebly and Squarespace), and using a scannable QR code on a business card for your menu. All of this can be done for very little expense and is a great way to have your menu delivered to your customers. With a little ingenuity, you could even have your clients order and pay directly from that website!
Drumming up clients can be difficult in any day and age, and was even more so in 2020. Our oven owners took to the “interwebs” and used social media to promote where they would be at any given time — updating frequently so that they were not forgotten and so those who needed to get out of the house for a quick slice of pie could find a great place to go! When you utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of the platforms out there, don’t forget to use a hashtag to get a few more extra looks at your posts.
AND NOW FOR A QUICK LESSON FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW WHAT A HASHTAG IS:
- a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify digital content on a specific topic.
“spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them”
- add a hashtag to (digital content) to identify it as concerning a specific topic.
“the athlete hashtagged his post #luckyman”
(MY favorite: “I threw some fried potatoes at my friend and yelled ‘You’re it!’ It was a #hashtag”)
All of us are here to help each other. In the food industry, we hate to see a business close. That’s why we also suggest finding a business that may be struggling, and offer your mobile wood-fired oven as a supplement to you and your income. Wineries, breweries, tap houses, and even small mom-and-pop shops in outdoor stripmalls are always looking to attract customers. Partnering with one of these businesses can help your visibility in the industry and also provide some extra income as well.