Little Red Pizza Co launched their pizza delivery service 3 weeks into lockdown.
The brainchild of Jonny Hewitt, who many knew as the Director of Fun and Chaos at Red House Farm, the business launched officially a few months ago serving customers in their home and businesses for parties and special occasions
Naturally lockdown put a stop to that so after deliberating about launch a delivery service, he did, reached 10,000 people organically in the 1st weekend and had to take on extra staff
We talk to Jonny all about the past few weeks
Q: I want to start somewhere I think is important and the foundation of your success. You put people 1st. You support other businesses, community groups and are proud of the town you live. Tell us about the values that you run your business and life by because they’re important aren’t they?
If one thing life has taught me, being visible, approachable and supporting others is something that is just part of being something that makes me feel normal. I am very proud of the living in this area and all that it offers and despite me leaving Red House Farm, I am very much attached to the area.
Q: Everyone knows you as either Director Of Fun And Chaos, fit farmer and I guess fit chef now. But you actually studied marketing as part of your degree back in the 90’s. Tech and delivery wise which marketing principles wise are the same now as it was way back then?
Marketing for me has always been about service, if you deliver a continuous consistent service and its good, people will always talk about you and buy from you. Consistency is key. The great thing about technology now is that you are able to bypass so many stages of getting your product or service directly to your customer with social media whether that is to businesses or direct to consumers. This is brilliant so the old school marketing principles of AIDA principles (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) in this instant gratification world have never been more important. Tech now makes it easier to get your message now in front of customers but and this is the big BUT you have to work harder to get your name / message / product heard amongst the noise of social media.
Q: I mentioned the values at the start for one reason. When you launched Little Red Pizza Co delivery service you reached 10,000 people organically in one weekend. That was in a big way down to local business owners and your friends supporting you with social shares. Were you surprised at how well it went or is it ever expected because of how much you help others?
I wouldn’t say surprised, I felt very humble and I still feel very humble because I never expect it . I am also so very lucky that some people recognised me from my old world and have supported me, promoted me, bought from me and regularly. I was initially thinking this will keep me busy not keeping me and 5 – 6 other people busy on a Thursday – Sunday as well.
Q: You know marketing – but you’ve worked with a lot of local businesses. Ourselves on Instagram training, Altrincham Design Studio on your logo design, The Web Studio on web design. Tell us about building your marketing team of pro’s for Little Red Pizza Co . How important is it to work with local experts?
I am very proud to say that some of the people I go to for business services have become great friends and they are local too, I make no apologies for using Altrincham Design, Altrincham HQ, The Web Studio, Dan Jones at Technology, its easy to have a catch up and they can understand what you are looking for quicker without needing endless meetings. I have also used hyper local magazines for marketing too when I need to target a specific audience such as the childrens market.(Jo Sanderson at Raring to Go) I prefer to work with local experts (as when we are allowed to go for a bite to eat and catch up) we can go into Altrincham and do that, we can bounce ideas off each other . Working for yourself is at times very lonely so its good to have a support network out there
Q: I want to touch on social – over the past few weeks which platforms have helped Little Red Pizza co and how specifically?
Facebook has been my go to for a long time, almost like a comfort blanket. I know it, like it and feel very comfortable with it. I get good results from it. Twitter I like for getting news feeds (but like less the trolling and rants) Instagram I am getting to grips with now and seeing good results. I have though struggled with it I am fortunate that one of my students who used to work for me I reached out to do the pictures of the pizzas on our Instagram and Facebook feeds, they look fantastic!
Q: I know you came to us for Instagram training. Food + Instagram = winning move. Tell us about how much you invest in Instagram time wise and what content is important to you?
I knew that content is key and so I spent a lot of time with one of my team creating some of the fantastic pictures of the pizzas. If you have a good camera, some good props (old slates which we washed) and time then you can create great content. I launched the pizza delivery business on an absolute shoestring when it comes to marketing, but professional looking pictures had to happen. This time makes you think very creatively when you have very limited resources. But the results do look great. I am very lucky that I could harness the time, energy and ideas of one of my team who is a brilliant photographer.
Q: Without giving away any trade secrets – what do you look for in a local business social media account? What makes you follow someone you’ve never met before?
If someone interacts with you regularly, whether its replies, shares etc then definitely follow. If someone buys from you, follow, if you want to do business with them, follow them and share and interact with them. I have been very fortunate to have met some great people this way
Q: Marketing only works if you get the offering right. I know I kept banging on about vegan, one of our mutual friends Angela bangs on about gluten free. And you offer both. In business how important is it to listen to your audience or do you go with your gut?
Its a mix of both, i have close friends who can only have a gluten free pizza so I spent a little time trying to find a base which works for me – one of our regular customers on a sunday night orders 4 normal pizzas and a gluten free pizza as well, that order has come in because we offer a gluten free pizza. I am delighted that the reviews for our gluten free and vegan free offerings have been really good.
Q: You’ve ran your own businesses for 18+ years now. Top 3 tips to win in business?
Listen to your customers often, they can have a great idea that can really help your business.
Have a great team around you.
Say thank you
Q: What are your plans for Little Red Pizza co after lockdown – is it back to private bookings or is takeaway long term now as well?
The customers will always dictate what happens, i think it will be a mix, I will be looking to access a bounce back loan to replace one of my ovens which I have on a trailer, I may also be at a permanent venue as well
All I can say is that life in these crazy times is never dull and I have gone in a direction I would have never have thought.
For more info and to order Little Red Pizza Co visit
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