The Rise of Specialty Pizza

Of all the cooking tricks we love, there is nothing like the sight of a Pizzaiolo tossing a ring of unmade pizza dough high in the air with all the agility of a circus juggler. The pizza maker then adds some tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni or sausage and place it in the oven.  Today, that Pizzaiolo is as much a gourmet chef as he is a simple pie maker, catering to more educated and adventurous customers.

The world of pizza has changed. Already among the top foods we eat regularly, pizza has expanded its audience by becoming gourmet and healthy. The emphasis is on top quality ingredients and innovation – urged on by a move into more upscale serving environments.

The trend is spurred on by the burgeoning number of food television shows, celebrity chefs, as well as the desire to cater to an elite group of adventurous diners, health-conscious eaters and those looking to expand their pizza experience. (more…)

Grilled Pizza is Hot!

It’s a hot debate whether grilled pizza began in Memphis or Rhode Island. Some say, owners Johanne Killeen and George Germon served the first at Al Forno restaurant in Providence, RI. Others swear it was Coletta’s in Memphis.

Whether Northern roots or Southern, what is true is that the flavor and smokiness from grilling pizza on real charcoal cannot be beat. If you then add pepperoni on the pizza, you will double the smoky flavor of both the pizza and the pepperoni. Fire roasted bacon will also add tremendous flavor and a bacon-goodness smell to your restaurant. (more…)

All Natural and Organic Options Emerging for Pizzerias

When people picture the perfect pizza, they might imagine a deep-dish Chicago slice covered in various meats, a thin crust Margherita slice straight out of Italy, or a massive folded-over slice of Brooklyn pie. Regardless of personal preference over the ideal pizza, most consumers can agree that they’d appreciate their slice to contain quality ingredients. Which for today’s pizza lovers means natural or organic ingredients.

European consumers have always associated fresh and natural with quality; Americans are slowly learning as demand for organic products has skyrocketed in recent years. Organic food sales reached $47 billion in 2016, an increase of 8.4 percent over the previous year. Although organic food sales account for about five percent of the total U.S. food sales, the growth is very different from the stagnant 0.6 percent growth rate for the overall food market.  Recent studies indicate the market for organic foods will rise to $320 billion by 2025. (more…)

Serving Wine with Pizza Offers New Opportunities

Beer and pizza are the natural pairing served in pizzerias throughout the world. With the growing popularity of craft beers, there are even more reasons to enjoy a cold brew with any variety of pizza. But beer isn’t the only pizza-friendly drink option. For those who aren’t leveraging creative vino options as a revenue stream, it might be time to consider expanding your wine program.

With the U.S. now the no. 1 wine consuming nation in the world, restaurants can reach out to new customers, especially women, who represent nearly 60 percent of the total wine consumption. Pizzerias don’t need an extensive wine list, rather a well-chosen selection of whites, reds and pinks to serve with popular pizza types. (more…)

Kiosks – Adding Convenience and Speed to Service

Technology is growing exponentially, morphing the restaurant industry and more specifically, changing the way in which customers order their food.

The rise of fast-casual dining and popularity of online ordering has placed greater emphasis on the initial customer interaction – the process of viewing the menu offerings and selecting a meal. For years, restaurants placed more emphasis in the kitchen and less on the other side of the counter. Today’s diners want control, quality, speed – the whole enchilada. As a result, restaurants are looking at new ways to provide this efficient, balanced experience. (more…)