Basha Pizza Café (aka Basha Bakery & Café) is a new Phillip Street business forging its identity with a special contribution to pizza fare.

After establishing the business in 2021, Mohammed Hamdan engaged with Realise Business advisors to develop ways to make the business better known and more resilient to customer traffic issues like pandemic restrictions and construction work.

When Realise Business advisor Sara Berry first met with Mohammed he was receptive to good ideas, so advisors Tim and Sue came on board as well to tailor some operations management and business marketing strategies.

Hybrid business brand awareness

The key task to tackle was the business branding issue, which came up early during the digital audit that Realise Business conducted. 

Mohammed had set up the business using the name ‘bakery and café’ but – as for many hybrid businesses – it meant the brand was experiencing something of an identity crisis and needed to be a name that reflected the Australian understanding of a Bakery vs Pizza Café. The core of the business was a dual pizza and cafe offering, so Mohammed followed the advice to change the business’s name online from Basha Bakery & Café to Basha Pizza Café. The physical signage will soon be changed as well.

This adjustment was critical to the online presence of the business. The business was not being found under the previous ‘bakery’ label when potential customers searched for pizza. Now, the SEO rankings have been improved with Basha Pizza Café positioned as a pizza specialist, rather than a general bakery. The name still retains the café aspect of the brand with a nod to their beverage offerings including a fully operational café.

Sara also created a free website on Google so the rebranded business could quickly develop its online identity. The business had an advantage in that it creates Lebanese pizzas known as ‘manoosh’ ( or ‘manaeesh’), which do not have the tomato base of traditional pizzas. The manoosh market may be smaller, but it is less competitive, so if manoosh fans connect online, they are happy to seek out the Parramatta outlet for dining in or takeaway orders.

Operational review

Tim Noye from Realise Business worked through solutions to the operational challenges with Mohammed, reviewing costs of the current operational set up and gauging effectiveness and viability of the business model to achieve a more productive business.

Café modelling software is an excellent tool that Tim was able to introduce and teach Mohammed so that the café owner could self-manage the costing and subsequent net profit side of the operation.

Clarity on net profit margins, once the entire operation is costed as a whole with an accurate overhead allocation per item sold, is indispensable. The tool and the information it reveals enables the business to refine the current menu and add new menu offerings that would best suit the business.

Tim also helped Mohammed review the physical side of the business, such as floor space and how to maximise it. “Floor space versus output is often overlooked by many cafes,” he notes. As lack of space is a common reality for establishments in popular dining districts like Parramatta’s CBD, it is vital to factor this in before creating a menu or planning a high food output.

The menu must work and coincide with all the internal or operational constraints. For example, says Tim, “These could include floor space limits – meaning less equipment and potential to turn over a higher volume of food – or the physical amount of service staff that you can fit into a production area and how that in turn may affect maximum output.”

He reviewed the actual operational workflow at the pizza restaurant café and looked into the capacity to increase productivity through drilling down on the “static maximum output potential” and considering any operational hindrances, like the layout of the floor space and actual ROI.

The café owner is now aware of maximum business output and empowered to make changes via informed decision making. Future menu offerings can be designed around what works with the limits of the floor space, equipment and staff and the maximum output achievable.

Digital presence and in-store marketing

Advisor Sue Walsh provided further support to the pizza café owner to create a solid digital presence and attract more customers with savvy marketing. After the digital audit, they focused all marketing and SEO on ‘pizzas’, especially their featured Manoosh pizzas.

Starting local, they listed the café with the City of Parramatta’s digital team for the site – which drives awareness of What’s On in the whole area and has high ranking for searching for their keywords: Pizza Parramatta. To widen the same search, they listed the café on Zomato and the Australian Good Food Guide. Their unfolding hashtag strategy will centre on growing engagement in the local area.

The new social media campaign highlights pizza eating occasions and covers both traditional and manoosh flavours and ingredients in Facebook posts. Instagram posts focus mainly on the vast range of pizzas – including some favourite manoosh and traditional flavours. The manoosh point of difference is valuable, Sue says, as it provides “a great opportunity to grab the attention of customers looking for something different”.

Mohammed was advised to keep content updated to assist with SEO.

Sue comments, “The business owner is very enthusiastic about any advice given. We have worked together on social media content and in-store promotional materials.”

For restaurant patrons there is a host of special offers to encourage multiple pizza purchases on the premises, as well as meal deals. These will also be featured on social media in the future.

Working with Realise Business

Increased digital awareness has led to stronger foot traffic.

Mohammed says, “The team at Realise Business were phenomenal in their support of our business. They were instrumental in helping our business with its digital presence. The efforts and dedication of Tim, Sara and Sue has been, and still is, invaluable to us.”

If you have a business in the Parramatta area, put your name down for an appointment today and learn how the experts at Realise Business can help bring the customers to you, for free.

Special offer

Basha Pizza Café is enticing customers to try a manoosh – or a classic pizza – with a great current offer for readers. Buy one medium margarita pizza, or a cheese or oregano manoosh, and get one of equal value free. Offer available until 30 June 2022