Become a Leader in the Pizza Revolution

When we drive around the country – and believe me, we get around – we see a pizza revolution. There’s a changing of the guard that has brought more pizza and pizza-like offerings to more people than ever before.

The rising dough (and we’re talking not only money, but regular and gluten-free crusts) is led by the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) with their customizable pizza places. But new pizza spots are springing up in neighborhood strip malls, gas stations and convenience stores that populate every corner of the country.

Everyone wants to include pizza in their food offering.  A gas station sees food as a profitable add-on that costs nickels to make but can sell for $2.00. C-stores have been selling pizza for years from mini-countertop ovens.  Subway® introduced an entire line of flatbread, confirming and promoting a menu item that is standard on Italian restaurant menus.

As a pizza restaurant operator, you only have to look around the corner to see your competition. Although they may sell a less expensive product that is not made from fresh dough, mass merchandisers of pizza should be seen not as a competitor, but an indicator of your future

In fact, the largest pizza chain in the country isn’t one of the names familiar from Main Street to Wall Street, such as Domino’s or Pizza Hut. It’s called Hunt Brothers Pizza, which is family owned with more than 7,000 locations in 28 states. They serve pizza in convenience stores, gas stations, country markets, sports arenas and schools. And like the pizza offerings in Wawa, Sheets, 7-11 and literally thousands of others throughout the country, Hunt Brothers has found a niche with consumers just wanting an easy way to get their “fix” of a slice of pizza.

Sure, on one hand they may be competitors, or you could look at these pizza pick-up joints as a barometer of the popularity of the product category. Either way, pizza operators should consider this an opportunity to emphasize quality – in your pizza, your customer service as well as convenience.

Here are a few basic ways for you to separate yourselves and establish your place of business as a pizza destination:

  • Be in your store – Don’t be absentee owners; show you care about everything from cleanliness to customer interaction to staffing. You can have the greatest tasting pie in the world but if you don’t show personal attention, people may not return to taste it.
  • Local restaurant marketing – Be part of the community: Sponsor teams, school events, donate to local charities. This makes a big difference in terms of how people view you.
  • Incorporate the latest technology into your marketing – 7-11 is not a social media giant but you can be.
  • Make an unforgettable delicious pie – Start with high quality ingredients – like Liguria Foods pepperoni and toppings. Also, fresh dough and specialty sauces. Make sure your customers can taste the difference.

This is the basic blocking and tackling of owning and running a successful pizzeria and most importantly distinguishing yourself from the masses.

It’s funny how the little things can make a difference.  We are not averse to grabbing a quick slice at our local gas station after going to the pump. But when it comes to having a quality meal, we always choose our favorite pizza place because we know they are committed to making the best pizza possible.

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