The Pizza Insider: July 2013

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Benefit from the Cronut Craze

A CNN video shows the popularity of cronuts in New York.
By now you've no doubt heard about the cronut craze that began in New York and is sweeping the nation.

The cronut made its debut at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City this past May. The unique treat has kept customers lined up around the block ever since for a chance to experience the croissant-donut hybrid that's filled with vanilla cream, rolled in rose sugar and covered in glaze. See a CNN interview with the inventor here.

Copycats are popping up all over the country and overseas, including in Japan, the Phillipines and even at Dunkin' Donuts in South Korea.

Why not try them out in the pizzeria as a dessert special and see how they fair? You may be pleasantly surprised at their popularity. There are recipes all over the Internet to help you mimic the style of the pastry (try this one from yumsugar.com), and I haven't heard of any pizzerias doing it yet, so you could be the first! Experiment with different fillings, such as Nutella, cream cheese, jam, fresh fruit and more.

Have you tasted a cronut yourself? Is this something you'd consider experimenting with in the pizzeria? Let us know in the comments below.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pizza Delivery Returns to Schools


You may have felt the effects of a ban on school pizza delivery in your area last year when nutritional guidelines forced some schools to stop allowing the favorite menu item in cafeterias.

According to a recent story in the Wichita Eagle, students in Wichita will now be getting pizza back one day a week, courtesy of Domino's or Pizza Hut, which will supply pizzas that are rich in whole grains in order to meet nutritional guidelines.

Have you checked with your local schools to ask about delivery to students? Do you offer, or could you create, whole-grain pizza crusts that would meet nutritional guidelines if it meant a large audience of students for your product one day a week?

If they don't have any opportunities for the cafeteria, offer your pizzas for PTA meetings, student reward pizza parties, athletic team pizza parties, gift certificate fundraisers, pizza night fundraisers, and more. Show the school the many ways that you can help them and they will be happy to help you, too.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Let Your Customers Tell Your Story

With so much information coming at us every day, it gets harder and harder to grab the attention of potential customers with traditional marketing methods.

Every piece of marketing material we receive features a company boasting about how wonderful their products are and why we should pick up the phone to buy them. If all you're doing is repeatedly saying, "Our pizza is great," it can become white noise after a while. After all, every pizzeria has great pizza, right?

So what would consumers rather see when they're looking to purchase your pizza? Well, most of us read other customer reviews of products before we by them, we scan comments that others make on social media if it concerns a topic that also concerns us, some will even visit sites such as Yelp to check out what other diners say about your pizza. So, including customer feedback and stories about your pizzeria in your marketing materials could do a lot to make someone want to try your pizzeria.

The trick here is to avoid using only testimonials from people who say, "I love your pizza, it's the best in the world." Yes, you'll want to include a couple of those, but if that's all people see, they may question the truthfulness of what you're presenting. Have a mix of outstanding and ordinary comments from your customers that will show a range of opinions.

If you need feedback, distribute forms on your tables and make sure to include a disclaimer that states that comments may be used in your marketing materials.

Have some fun with it and ask a few of your regulars if they'd be willing to be interviewed on camera; post the videos to your social media pages.

Sharing true customer stories is a great way to get your customers involved while learning more about your own pizzeria--and its customers--in the process.

Have you tried this? Let us know how it's working for you in the comments below.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Marketing Under 15 Seconds

Marketers often have difficulty fitting everything into a one-minute commercial. What if you only had 15 seconds, or six?

The introduction of Vine, launched by Twitter in January of 2013, gave users the ability to create six-second video clips--which continuously loop--with their smartphones. Consumers have created millions of videos with it, and big-brand marketers have put together some pretty creative clips to take advantage of the application as well. Check out some marketing videos created with Vine that cnet.com collected here.

Not to be outdone, Instagram (owned by Facebook) released Video on Instagram last week, giving users 15 seconds to create their videos. More than five million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours after its release. Some argue that Video on Instagram will be more popular with marketers because 67% of top brands are already using Instagram. Also, having the Facebook audience is an obvious plus (618 million active users on Facebook vs. 9.6 million active users on Twitter).

FastCompany.com talks about what companies need to know about Instagram Video here.

Considering all of this, what kind of mini video could you create to entice customers into your pizzeria? Here are a few ideas; what else can you come up with?

--Fast motion creation of one of your signature pizzas
--Your pizza makers spinning pizzas in the kitchen
--Slideshow of your most popular menu items