From the Editor’s Desk: Summer’s heating up

Laura Aiken
July 15, 2009
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.

Add comment

Security code

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

Montreal Pizza Fest
September 11-24, 2019
YYZ Pizza Week
September 20-29, 2019
Canadian Coffee and Tea Show
September 22-23, 2019
Toronto Franchise Show
October 5-6, 2019

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.