Canadian Pizza Magazine

Making Dough with Diane: Three easy ways pizzeria owners can diversify income streams

Diane Chiasson   

Features Business and Operations

Revenue diversification means adding new food and beverage menu items, services, events or more retail products to your pizzeria to create additional sources of income and build more meaningful relationships with your customers. When diversifying, it’s crucial to stay true to your business. 

You can easily increase your income in different and unique ways, such as adding new in-store menu items; adding retail and gift sales; and hosting demonstrations, workshops and special events. Here are three easy ways to diversity your income streams.

1. Add new items
Diversifying your pizzeria product range is a strategic move that will allow your shop to tap into new markets, which will meet customer demands and generate additional cash flow. The most common way to diversify your revenue is by adding beverage and food options to your menu.

You may consider adding a few unique drinks to your menu. Simply having a variety of signature beverages for customers can help your bottom line, as drinks tend to have excellent profit margins. If you sell coffee at your pizzeria, you may complement your coffee selection with unique breakfast pizzas, freshly made breakfast sandwiches or other baked items. Your guests may purchase something else for breakfast, lunch or afternoon coffee break.


You can make mouthwatering food cooked in a pizza oven, such as a variety of healthy, chewy, yummy bread like focaccia, ciabatta and naan bread. If you have a wood-fired pizza, you could roast some delicious fresh vegetables and corn on the cob and even make your own roasted potatoes or potato chips in your oven versus your customer grabbing a bag of chips in a vending machine. Prepare some delicious wraps, paninis, calzones, artisanal sandwiches, mini pizzas, cheese and breadboards, salads, organic and gluten-free products, and yummy desserts.

2. Make space for more to-go retail and gift products
Pizza operators should also consider selling “signature” private-label branded products, adding an alternative income stream to their business profits. Expanding your assortment of products will attract a broader audience, increase the likelihood of repeat purchases and enhance a customer’s experience. Always try to introduce products that complement your existing offerings, encouraging cross-selling and boosting your revenue. If you have a great homemade sauce, consider bottling it and selling it in one of your coolers.

Pre-packaged fresh spices and other ingredients guests can take home and share with their family members and friends is another powerful revenue stream.

Boost your retail sales by selling unique branded gift merchandise such as ceramic or metal pizza stands, classic pizza cutters, cheese graters, napkins, kitchen towels, oven mitts, t-shirts and caps. The benefits of branded merchandise are twofold for your pizzeria: You will generate additional income by selling these products. At the same time, your guests will become walking billboards, building brand awareness for your pizzeria.

Customers who have one of your bottles of sauce or a special gift at home will always be reminded of how much they love your pizzeria, and tourists will also enjoy getting a souvenir to remind them of their trip. You may also consider packaging ingredients for lunch or dinner meal kits rather than cooked meals.

Add flair to your pizzeria by designing visually appealing and interactive displays that will allow customers to engage with your retail products.

3. Organize events
You can draw more traffic by hosting special events. Organize cooking demonstrations, events or pizza-making workshops related to your pizzeria products to attract foot traffic, encourage customer loyalty and build brand awareness. Consider adding local arts and crafts events or live music. It’s an excellent opportunity to get involved in your community and network with other local businesses.  

Don’t forget that participating in local events and supplying mini pizzas for charity, school fundraisers and other causes will expose your pizzeria to a new audience.

Think of running a special autumn “pizza lab” event. Charge $150 per couple, and guests will receive all the demos necessary to make delicious pizzas at home, recipes for six mini pizzas they made at your pizzeria and a DIY experience under a chef’s guidance.

Provide pizza-at-home classes teach evening or weekend classes outside your pizzeria.

You can create additional sources of income and build more meaningful relationships with your customers while staying true to your business.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 35 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing food service and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns. Contact her at 416-926-1338, send her an email at, or visit

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