Preserving Pizza Memories

One of our younger staff members contributed this blog – the pizza industry would not exist with the love and support of young people. Enjoy!!

There is an undeniable connection between food and family. In my very Italian family at least, food is the constant centerpiece of every gathering. From my grandmother’s incredible Chicken Parmesan recipe to our tradition of homemade ravioli’s on Christmas Eve, meals mean more than mere sustenance. The process of shopping together for the ingredients, preparing the meal, and finally enjoying dinner is a bonding experience that is passed down from generation to generation.

Pizza has especially been a focal point for my family. When possible, Friday nights are reserved as homemade pizza night. Family and friends come together to create a variety of pizzas while sharing wine and good conversation. Everybody takes turns in decorating the pies with a seemingly endless supply of ingredients. I personally am obsessed by spicy food so my pizzas are often smothered with the hottest pepperoni, sausages, and salami. I also have no restraint when it comes to crushed red peppers as my slices are overflowing with the spicy speckles. (more…)

PEPPERONI: The Top Topping Deserves Top Treatment

Once again, pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in America. A recent Harris Poll® revealed that pepperoni continues to top the charts and pizzas all around the country.

As a pizzeria operator, you probably already know that.  However, just because it is no. 1 does not mean you should stop caring about it, promoting it, revamping it, and celebrating it.  Did Steph Curry stop shooting threes just because the Warriors team won an NBA championship? 

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Students and Their Love of Slices

From one of our Millennial teammates – With only ten minutes to purchase and eat my lunch before my next class begins, I find myself more often than not choosing pizza without even realizing I had made the same lunch decision yesterday and the day before. Between the ease and price of grabbing a quick slice, pizza has become a delicious and filling necessity for college students.

On my campus, we have a classic brick pizza oven that fills the entire cafeteria with enticing smells that attracts everyone. In fact, the pizza and pasta line is always the longest line of them all. But how did pizza emerge as the No. 1 meal for college students? (more…)

Pizza and Football Yield Big Score

In a faraway place, long, long ago (around the 1970s), there were but a few football games on television.

Monday Night Football was in full bloom yet there were still only regional Sunday professional games and a handful of college games available on Saturdays.  There was no NFL Network or Hulu or vast internet on which you could find any game anytime from anywhere.

Then consider the incredible popularity of fantasy football and sports betting that have helped catapult football into the No. 1 sport in America. (more…)

The Good in Giving Back to the Community

At Firehouse Subs®, the growing sandwich chain based in Florida, giving is as much a part of the corporate ethic as salami. Founded by brothers and former firefighters, Chris and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs has built their business on great sandwiches and public safety.

To the Sorensen’s and their many franchisees, the two ideas are inextricably connected. In a very novel but magnanimous way, they have turned their restaurants into places “with the highest quality meats and cheeses and its commitment to saving lives through the creation of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®.” On their website and in other marketing, Firehouse Subs promotes its efforts via its “Supporting First Responders” program.

The Foundation, started in 2005, provides funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Many first responders work with older equipment and struggle with limited and declining budgets. The Foundation has helped fill the gap, giving more $13 million to hometown heroes in 43 states and Puerto Rico in the past decade. These donations have benefited more than 1,000 public safety organizations in communities across the nation.

As Robin Sorensen said: “The Foundation is at the heart of Firehouse Subs, and we believe every donation is a heroic act.”

Such dedication to public service is rare in any business, but it is exactly the kind of selfless behavior that is a subtle but effective way of branding your business in your community. How can you not love a place that gives back so much to its local area? And the restaurant serves delicious food, too … it’s really a win-win.

There are a number of different approaches for businesses to share a portion of profits with charities. Ideas can range from providing money to the local sports team to supporting the local branch of a national charity to creating your own foundation. Also, you can explore online organizations, such as CharityDine, which allows customers to purchase discounts at their favorite restaurants while donating 15 percent of their purchase to a charity of their choice.

Here are five other ways restaurants can give back to their communities:

  1. What is your passion? Using Firehouse Subs as an example, you can align your restaurant with a charity, local or national, that fits your most inspiring interest. This could range from sustainable fishing to the American Lung Association. Whatever you choose, make sure to hook up with the organization so you can partner with their marketing and get the word out to your customers.
  2. Donate your time and experience by holding free cooking classes or going into local classrooms to talk to students about food, restaurants and running a business.
  3. Donate to community-wide events set up by local civic organizations. You can then receive publicity as a sponsor and promote your participation on social media or through advertising.
  4. Give to the local food bank. Hunger is a terrible thing and it permeates our society.Restaurants-Giving-Back
  5. Sponsor health awareness events or walk-a-thons that donate money to local charities. In this way you can promote health, nutrition or even the delights of gourmet cooking.

The main thing to remember is that you’re a part of your community and that if you help sustain it, it will help sustain you.