Business and Operations
From the Editor’s desk: June 2015
By Collen Cross
By Collen Cross
A tale well told draws everyone in.
The key to good storytelling is emotion, and in the world of food, emotion can be evoked by appealing to the senses.
Describing your pizza – the crispness of your oven-baked crust, the scent of your fresh herbs or the tanginess of your cheese – is a great way to prime people’s senses and remind them why your pie is unique. When you combine that with the journey of the family recipe through generations, you have a powerful package.
There are many ways to share the
story behind your business or products: hang family photos on your pizzeria wall, include a biography on your menu and Facebook page, post a photo of your pizza of the week – or ingredient of the week – on your website and share through social
media. The key is communication. Let customers know who you are and what you’re up to, and, ideally, do it in a creative way.
And find out what they are up to. Customers – especially the under-40 crowd – love to share details of their lives and express their personalities. You can make the most of this trait by encouraging them to do just that, as Pizza Hut did with its tongue-in-cheek campaign urging customers to leave their significant other for pizza on Valentine’s Day and share their break-up story online to win prizes.
But you don’t need a high-profile ad agency to create buzz and attention for your pizzeria. Case in point: YYC Pizza Week. Last September more than 40 of Calgary’s pizza restaurants engaged in a 10-day pizza battle, putting up their best pizza in one of three categories: thin, thick or unique. Winners were determined by an online public vote announced at a wrap party – providing yet another opportunity to put pizza in the spotlight.
Food tourism is starting to catch on in Canada and may be a good fit for your pizzeria. Our cover story, “Next stop: pizza,” on page 12, shows how a nine-stop tour of Little Italy in Vancouver’s Gastown area uses complementary foods such as spaghetti, cannoli and gelato to provide visitors with an engaging experience on an Italian theme.
“It’s all about the experience,” says Agatha Podgorski of the Ontario Culinary Tour Alliance, in Julie Fitz-Gerald’s story.
If you can provide visitors with a glimpse into your business – a look at your ovens, a cheese tasting, a dough demo or something as simple as a chat with the chef – you’ve got the makings of a pizza destination
Our columnists offer interesting perspectives on marketing. Michelle Brisebois explores how achieving and promoting a designation such as VPN can give your pizza a sense of place and your business a point of difference. Diana Cline describes her favourite direct-mail campaigns and Tom Stankiewicz gives tips on competing in contests and marketing your win.
While we’re on that subject, the Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year competition provides a unique opportunity for pizzaiolos from across the country to showcase their skills. Our annual Canadian Pizza Show, set for Oct. 19, has added to the roster three exciting new competitions: Junior Chef of the Year, the Champion of Champions Challenge for past winners and the Great Pizza Box Fold-Off. You’ll find details about the show and competitions at our redesigned and mobile-friendly website, www.canadianpizzamag.com. Online entry opens June 15, and spots are limited, so don’t delay in throwing your chef’s hat into the ring.
Sharing your recipes, skills and ideas with your Canadian pizza community is another great way to get your story out there.