This year, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint has seen an explosion in franchise growth. The fastest-growing fast casual pizza franchise credits their rapid development and brand recognition to a well-executed concept and an aggressive social media marketing campaign. Since January, they have seen a 125 percent increase in Facebook “likes” alone. With an active presence on every major social media outlet – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Yelp, Foursquare, and Urbanspoon – Uncle Maddio’s engages customers across the nation, without the expense and effort required by traditional marketing and advertising tactics.
Three years ago, Uncle Maddio’s launched the fast casual pizza market with the opening of its first store in Atlanta, Georgia. By the end of 2012, there will be 20 restaurant franchises open and 125 more in development throughout the Southeast. Their last two store openings in August and September were promoted almost entirely through social media – and both stores launched with lines out the door.
Social media allows Uncle Maddio’s to communicate directly with their fans and learn first-hand about in-store experiences, menu feedback, questions on gluten-free preparation, and other general feedback and praise. From January to September of this year, Uncle Maddio’s has increased customer engagement on Facebook by 260 percent. By meeting fans where they are – more than 60 percent of adults are on social media sites – Uncle Maddio’s builds a tangible internet presence that translates into customers in their stores.
“Social media is today’s ‘word-of-mouth,’” says Uncle Maddio’s Marketing Director Sherean Malekzadeh Allen, “and it spreads a lot faster and farther. Uncle Maddio’s is successful online because when our customers talk, we’re there to listen and respond – whether we’re thanking a customer for their kind words or addressing the occasional sub-par experience. Customer service doesn’t stop at the four walls anymore.”
Uncle Maddio’s marketing staff monitors customer comments daily and generally responds within one to two hours. “We maintain the same high standard of customer service online as we do in our restaurants,” says Matt Andrew, Uncle Maddio’s founder and Chief Pizza Maker. On Twitter, Uncle Maddio’s engages constantly, retweeting and thanking everyone who mentions the restaurant. On Fourqsuare, Uncle Maddio’s thanks each customer who checks in.
“While it’s become commonplace to ‘check in’ online, we don’t take it for granted,” says Andrew. “Every check in, every like, every comment – each one is a link in the chain to building our brand.”
On Facebook, Uncle Maddio’s encourages new followers to claim a free 9” pizza to encourage trial and build their customer database. Uncle Maddio’s provides the voucher through a third-party app that collects an email address for each pizza claimed. Facebook users are encouraged to share the voucher with their friends, further extending the brand.
“We induce trial through “Be Our Guest VIP Cards” knowing that once a customer tastes our food, they’ll come back as a paying customer – and tell their friends,” says Andrew. “Handing out free pizza is more effective and cost effective than any traditional mainstream media campaign.”
Franchisee David Tracht who owns the Uncle Maddio’s in Woodstock, GA, points to social media marketing as the most consistent and effective tool for promoting his store. “It gives us the opportunity to speak to our customers in a unique way,” says Tracht. “Beyond the fact that it’s easy and cheap, social media allows us to be transparent. You can’t control what customers say, and 98 percent of the time, it’s positive. But when it’s not, we don’t duck our heads (or delete a comment), we make it right – in front of the whole online world. We learn from our feedback.”
In an effort to connect with key segments of their audience, Uncle Maddio’s extended their brand to Pinterest, a social media platform known to attract women and moms. Uncle Maddio’s Pinterest boards are dedicated to topics like gluten-free and vegan recipes, the ingredient of the month, kids’ crafts and fun food creations, pizza art and food art, and kitchen interiors.
“Social media makes the world a smaller place,” says Malekzadeh-Allen. “It has the power to turn the corner pizza joint into a nationally-recognized brand.”
For people who crave homemade pizza, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint is the next generation pizza joint. Here’s why:
- Uncle Maddio’s gives customers more choices: three types of crusts, six sauces, and more than 47 fresh toppings, including gluten-free, vegan, organic, and free-range options
- We serve made-to-order, cooked-from-scratch pizza
- Customers talk directly to their pizza maker for a personalized meal that’s hot and ready in six minutes
- Homemade pizzas, toasted paninis, and gourmet salads are prepared with fresh ingredients and salad dressings that are made daily
- We offer fresh, flavorful, healthy toppings you won’t find anywhere else: free-range, hormone-free grilled chicken, Angus steak, whole wheat dough, gluten-free crust, vegan Daiya cheese, and local fresh veggies
- Meals are affordable – under $7 for a 9” pie or combo meal
Uncle Maddio’s leads the way in fast casual pizza restaurant franchising opportunities. You too can join the best pizza franchise. Here’s why:
- Uncle Maddio’s was created by the founding member and former president of Moe’s Southwest Grill. Our executive management team has over 50 years experience in the restaurant industry.
- Uncle Maddio’s is a turn-key business that’s simple to own and operate – no delivery and no drive-through
- Attractive food and labor costs, flexible store footprint, low investment, and no hidden costs
- Uncle Maddio’s is the fastest-growing fast casual pizza restaurant in the Southeast. By the end of 2012, there will be 20 Uncle Maddio’s restaurants open and 125 more in development throughout the Southeast.
To own an Uncle Maddio’s franchise business in your neighborhood, email Roger Wagerman at roger(at)unclemaddios(dot)com or visit http://www.unclemaddios.com.