Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Trends
from the editor’s desk: aprilmay 2005

Get Fast, Stay Fast


May 2, 2008
By Drew McCarthy


Topics

Get Fast, Stay Fast

Get Fast, Stay Fast

The motto of any successful Canadian pizza operation has got to be something like – “We’re not there yet!”

Smart operators know there’s no standing still. Those who aren’t constantly looking for their next great idea are falling behind.

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The popular American business writer Peter Senge puts it this way, “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”

Changing customer needs and demands are not to be ignored. And while listening to what your customers tell you about your product and services is important, understanding what they value and how they live can be even more valuable to your operation.
Understanding their needs in a broad sense will help you more than asking them how they like your new cheese blend.

New opportunities are everywhere. Finding them and acting on them is not a matter of chance; it’s a matter of attitude and a willingness to work hard.

You may have avoided the low-carb craze and just stayed out. Now you can look back and say, “I knew it wouldn’t last, I know the industry.”

Don’t ever believe it! You lose your edge as soon as you start to believe you’ve got it all figured out.

In the short term, some consumer requests are more fad than trend. You can often ignore them; they’re inconsequential. But sometimes, missed opportunities will come back to haunt you over time.

I think, for example, that anyone not responding to the move towards healthier pizza does so at great peril.

The forward-thinking Pizza Pizza recently launched a whole-wheat multigrain crust (page 9) and in the same month Saputo in collaboration with the Flippin’ Dough Co. introduced a whole-wheat dough developed especially for independent Canadian pizzerias (page24).
Experimentation should be a fact of business life. Uncovering hidden needs or offering customers something that they’ve never even thought of will keep your operation on the fast track.

For example, Sheila Jalili of Ontario’s Double Double Pizza and Chicken decided to give hamburger delivery a try. Three months later they have greatly expanded their client base and sold 50,000 all-beef hamburgers! (“Would you like a Burger with that?” page 21)
And in Moncton, the Pump House Brewery’s Kurt Wermelinger and Shaun and Lilia Fraser decided to try out the combination of on-site brewing with hand-made pizza. I’m guessing that consumers in the Moncton area had probably never asked for such a thing, but they
certainly cottoned on once it was made available to them. (“Moncton’s Pump House Brewery,” page 16)

It’s often said these days that we have moved from an era where the big devour the small to an era where the fast devour the slow.

If that’s true, then the playing field has levelled out substantially. It’s up to you to keep your wits about you – to avoid complacency. It’s time to get fast and stay fast!•


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