Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Canadian Pizza turns 25! Looking back and forward

We exist to help tell your story, to help you run your business more profitably, to report on the evolving pizza industry . . . and to be part of that industry


Brian Fray has been drawing Pizza the Pizza Man for 25 years.

History is important. It’s important on Nov. 11 to remember the fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. It’s important to learn from the mistakes of the past and celebrate the successes.

This issue marks 25 years since Canadian Pizza published its first issue – which featured a roundup of ovens, a profile of Il Fornello in Toronto, an industry overview and our first Buyers Guide.

I have been involved for most of the last 15 years – first as proofreader, then as editor. Canadian Pizza is one of many trade magazines published by our parent company Annex Business Media. Another is Bakers Journal.

We have written much about marketing, upcoming trends and what they mean to your pizzeria, managing your staff, finding ways to control costs and, more than ever, keeping up with technology that can help your pizzeria.

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Thumbing through past issues, I realized that pizzerias are not only competing with other pizza businesses. You are competing with other restaurants. You are competing with grocery stores who sell not just frozen but hot-and-ready pizza and pasta, delivery platforms that give customers a new level of convenience they are willing to pay for. That is why we aim to keep you up to speed on the food-service industry as a whole as well as sharing everything pizza-related.

By the way, learning from the past includes reviewing your pizzeria’s sales numbers from last year. Constantly looking back and forward may separate those who get by from those who thrive.

Looking ahead

2020 taught us that online presence is key to the future of pizza and other brick-and-mortar businesses. With that in mind, we will celebrate the past at canadianpizzamag.com as part of The Future of the Pizzeria through the month of December. Watch for more anniversary celebrations on social media, including #ThrowbackThursday posts featuring articles from over the years.

Andrew Hind’s look at the future of the pizzeria in this issue focuses on three important trends. Here’s a trend I believe we’ll see a lot more of: partnerships. This year of upheaval and social distancing has made us all appreciate the people around us, and, as Scott Wiener so convincingly expressed in his keynote talk at our first Virtual Canadian Pizza Summit, the pizza business is not about pizza – it’s about people. “Tell your story!” he urged pizzerias.

Telling your story is an absolute necessity to engage current and future customers. That can take many forms – and that’s where your personality, your values and your priorities can shine. One form is partnerships with and sponsorship of local online events. An example: In November Piatto Pizzeria and Enoteca in St. John’s, N.L., provided the pre-show cocktail for a virtual concert by the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and international star cellist Ofra Harnoy. During “half-time” at the concert, they demonstrated how to mix Piatto’s German Chocolate Cake cocktail and shared the recipe on the event’s program page where it stayed for 30 days. What an interesting way to promote your brand!

In another example, a local concert venue, which had switched its pop concert series to live streaming socially distanced musicians to paying guests, provided links to local eateries where patrons could order takeout to enjoy while watching the concerts.

Telling your story can be as simple as celebrating your staff on your social media page or asking followers for support in times of crisis.

We exist to help tell that story, to help you run your business more profitably, to report on the evolving pizza industry . . . and to be part of that industry. Thank you to our readers and advertisers who believe in learning and creating the sense of community we need! Here’s to 25 more years of working together!