Canadian Pizza Magazine

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From the Editor: Pizza is the perfect gift


This pizza, prepared at the School of Italian Pizza, combines healthy greens with an innovative plant-based charcoal crust.

Pizza makes a perfect gift. It meets a high standard of gift giving: many people love to receive presents that won’t gather dust. Things you can eat, do or wear. Pizza is an ideal gift because it can be all three: craveable food, an experience  such as a pizza-making class and cool promotional merchandise.

Whether it’s gift certificates (digital, gift cards or old-school paper certificates), pizza subscriptions, take-home pizza kits, online or in-person pizza classes, off-the-shelf house-made specialities or merchandise, there is plenty of potential to add a layer of profit to your pizzeria’s bottom line.

Pizza subscriptions: General Assembly Pizza are doing well with their frozen pizza “stacks” specially formulated to sell in the grocery store and by subscriptions. They are now available beyond the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario and and planned for cities in western Canada as well. This is not your grandma’s jelly-of-the-month club. It solves problems for families needing a good, fast meal and introduces Neapolitan pizza into new markets.

Take-home pizza kits: I refer you to Joes Family Pizzeria and their ever-expanding meal-kit enterprise in our Pizza Summit coverage on page 11, and to a video talk we did with Pizza Lab in Vaughan, Ont., which you’ll find at canadianpizzamag.com. Pizza kits can showcase great ingredients and appeal to new customers.

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Pizza classes: Many of your customers are eager to learn a little of the magic behind their favourite pizza and pasta dishes. Posting demonstration videos, teaching a workshop and sharing online events (something you can do on platforms like Eventbrite), can give your customers and fans a window into your world. It’s not about giving away trade secrets: it’s about building an appreciation for what goes into making great pizza, every day, consistently.

Gift cards or certificates may be the simplest way to boost sales at this busy time.

House-made specialities: Letting customers take home your signature products can promote your pizzeria’s brand. Many pizzerias sell house-made products off the shelf, including Meghan O’Dea, owner of Pi Gourmet Eatery in St. John’s, who talked with us in 2018 about selling a few signature products such as her award-winning cherry mango chutney to help out home cooks and help promote Pi. Customers can buy the chutney off the shelf or on the restaurant’s signature pizza, The Vegas Special. O’Dea explained: “It’s just a matter of making more, and bottling half and using half. It’s extra money so it’s good for my business.” 

Gift cards or certificates may be the simplest way to boost sales at this busy time. Diane Chiasson encourages operators to promote gift cards and encourage gift-giving in the latest edition of Making Dough with Diane (page 24).

Gift cards are not impersonal! They are among the most requested gifts of the season, Chiasson explains, and are particularly popular among 18- to 34-year-olds. In addition, many gift card receivers will spend more than the value of their gift card once in the store. She suggests promoting your gift cards or certificates online, displaying them next to your till and training your employees to upsell them as an easy gift to give and a pleasant one to receive.

Pizza Chef columnist Diana Cline shares her Christmas wish list and her views about running your restaurant to your own standards in what’s still a very challenging time. 

Our wish list for you includes a profitable holiday season, some relief from the stresses of running your business, happy times with your loved ones and taking your pizza business to the next level in 2022!

Our New Year’s resolution is to help you succeed – with relevant, useful industry information, money-making ideas, stories of successful pizza businesses across Canada and exciting in-person pizza industry events. On that note, we will host Canadian Pizza Summits in Burnaby, B.C., on June 6 and in Toronto, Ont., on Oct. 24. Stay tuned! | CP