Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations Marketing
From the Editor’s Desk: Summer’s heating up


We’re in the thick of backyard barbecue season with a challenging economic year well underway. The news wires have been ying and yang in their indicators of when we can expect consumers to start feeling cozy about opening their wallets again, but by most accounts we’re moving towards better times.

We’re in the thick of backyard barbecue season with a challenging
economic year well underway. The news wires have been ying and yang in
their indicators of when we can expect consumers to start feeling cozy
about opening their wallets again, but by most accounts we’re moving
towards better times.

With fewer eating out, the grocery industry seems to be doing well. For
example, Loblaw Companies in particular posted very strong sales
through the first quarter. Basic net earnings per common share of $0.40
were up 73.9 per cent. Some folks will trade dining out for eating in
and some will choose more affordable options. The economy may have
slowed down, but people’s busy lives and need to take a break from
their own kitchens hasn’t gone away.

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has
forecasted commercial foodservice sales will fall 2.6 per cent in the
second quarter of 2009 compared to last year, with a continual slide
through the third quarter before starting a slow recovery. A 0.8 per
cent growth is anticipated for the first quarter of 2010 over 2009,
although the CRFA notes the gains will be modest with high unemployment
and lower disposable income continuing to affect sales.

In a time when people are looking for a deal, it’s the steep
discounting that may eat into profits even more than a lack of
customers. The giant chains have been offering some incredible
bargains. It’s tough for mom and pop shops to beat promotions that
allow walk in customers to eat and drink for a mere two or three
dollars without the supplier buying power or marketing budgets of a
large corporate operation. But a competitive and free capitalist
marketplace is what it is, and the key is to be aware of who your
competitors are but stay focused on the core functions of your
business. What is it that makes your product unique? As Keith
Toppazzini, president of the Ontario chain Topper’s, noted in this
issue’s article on what some of the chains are doing to battle the
barbecue, “people will make choices and they will continue to eat
pizza.”

Recession or no recession, the age old question of how to get customers
to choose your pizza over the competition still reigns supreme. Pizza
is your passion and it’s important to be able to articulate why yours
is simply the best. Stores with a highly loyal niche clientele are in a
position to survive and even thrive in a recession. Pizza Patron, an
American chain, has carved out consistently rising sales by catering to
Latino customers in Hispanic neighbourhoods, reported Katherine Glover
in BNET Food Insights. The chain hires bilingual (English and Spanish)
employees and even accepts Mexican pesos.

This targeted service creates a more recession proof environment than
when everyone is your customer (even though everyone is a potential
customer).

Hot deals and discounting are the trend du jour. Recession busters is
the hot phrase. But the summer is heating up. Economic indicators are
pointing skywards. While you are doing what you can to offer customers
the packages and prices they are looking for to keep pace in today’s
market, Canadian Pizza magazine will be striving to help prepare you
for the good times ahead. Any feedback, questions or suggestions you
have for us is always appreciated. We publish this magazine for you and
want to know what you want to see in it.


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