Canadian Pizza Magazine

Making Dough with Diane: April May 2012

Diane Chiasson   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

8 ways to jazz it up

A pizza operation’s biggest sales weapon is its pizza.

A pizza operation’s biggest sales weapon is its pizza. Displaying your pies ­­and all your other menu items properly can really help increase traffic and sales. Many pizza owners do not position or present their products in the most attractive ways, and may be risking losing out on extra profits.

Here are eight display and presentation techniques to help drive traffic into your restaurant and money into your pocket.

1./ Show it off
Make use of all available counter space behind the sneeze guard to wow your customers with a large display. Fill the space with a variety of your pizzas, calzones and other menu items. Use pizza stands for the back row and display menu options at varying heights and depths.Place flat pies on an angle, so customers can see them from afar. Stack calzones high on plates. An abundant presentation of food, colours and flavours will immediately heighten interest and appetite.


2./ Highlight colours
Pizzas can be very colourful and attractive, so highlight these traits. Use fresh green basil, arugula and spinach, rich, black and green olives, bright red tomatoes, plump sausages, fresh herbs and other bold and colourful ingredients to attract your
customers’ eyes. 

3./ Refill often
Customers can’t buy anything from an empty display. Refill empty pans and displays of pizzas and other menu items often and throughout the day. Your operation should look full and abundant at all times. Keep in mind that no one will want to buy a product if there are only a few left, as it gives the impression of being old, stale and unwanted.

4./ Ensure freshness
Make sure that each and every food item you display looks fresh and enticing. Any customer who walks in the door and sees a stale pizza sitting on your countertop will immediately develop a negative image of your operation in their mind and associate stale food with your business.

5./ Use props
Depending on when your peak times occur, it may not be prudent for your operation to have 20 pizzas on display at all times. This is where props come in to fill up the extra space. Stack pizza boxes and tomato sauce cans, wheels of cheese, strings of salami and pepperoni, wooden crates filled with fresh vegetables, baskets filled with a variety of mushrooms, small planters filled with fresh herbs, or invest in a variety of fake vegetables that you can place around your counter and sneeze guard.

6./ Use your scent
The enticing scent of fresh pizza is enough to pull people into your shop. Keep something baking in the oven at all times and use a fan to blow the scent around. Steer your exhaust fan to the front of your operation so that pedestrians on the street can also smell the pizza and be drawn in.

7./ Make it rustic
Thin, handmade pizzas are all the rage today, so make your pizzas look a bit more rustic. The pizzas do not need to be perfect circles, nor do the ingredients need to be placed in perfect order. Highlight authenticity by displaying pizzas on wooden boards, pizza stones or white ceramic plates instead of aluminum trays.

8./ Use paper
Lining your pizza pans and trays with brown or parchment paper will give your products a more European and environmental feel and draw more attention to your products. You can also use paper for marketing purposes by adding paper props around your displays including mini menus or recipe cards, upcoming events, advertising or other relatable items.

You have a beautiful product so make the most of it and make more sales!

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or, or visit

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