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Professional Pizza Roundtable: Pizza Trends

A video roundtable discussion explores trends in pizza making, shifts in consumer demand and business operations with innovative and successful pizza entrepreneurs



What are the big trends in the pizza industry in Canada right now? Helping us explore what’s going on in the industry in Canada are two very special guests and highly successful entrepreneurs in the pizza industry: Domenic Primucci, president of Ontario pizza chain Pizza Nova, and Ali Khan Lalani, founder and CEO of General Assembly Pizza. We can’t think of two more exciting people to be talking to about trends today.

Domenic and Ali will share their take on top trends in pizza making, consumer demand and business operations. We’ll also touch on their individual approaches to acting on the trends they discover.

The goal here is to get you thinking about ideas to take away to your own pizza operation – and, more importantly, ways to take the trends you’re seeing and make them work for your business. Click the link below to watch this compelling talk.

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Meet our panellists

Domenic Primucci was born to immigrant parents from the region of Basilicata in Italy. Back in 1963 his father and uncles opened one small, corner pizzeria called Pizza Nova in Toronto. Today, Domenic is the president of Pizza Nova, which is still a Toronto-based family owned and operated business. A business that now has 150 locations throughout southern Ontario.

The chain is known for sourcing the freshest, locally grown ingredients and using the best recipes and traditional preparation methods.

Domenic has received numerous honours over the years. Among these, in 2012, under his leadership, Pizza Nova won the Grand Prize Award of Excellence in Franchising which is the Canadian Franchise Association’s highest honour, and consistently wins Bronze, Silver or Gold in its category year over year.

Domenic has been the lead in Pizza Nova’s charitable fundraisers, events and ongoing pizza and monetary donations to many organizations. Two of the charities closest to his heart are Villa Charities Foundation and Variety Village, The Children’s Charity.

Domenic was inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame which honours citizens who have made extraordinary contributions to their community. If that we’re enough, in 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the business community and his philanthropic dedication to supporting social, cultural and community organizations.

Ali Khan Lalani is founder and CEO of General Assembly Pizza. After opening the popular restaurant specializing in naturally leavened pizza in Toronto in 2017, Ali deftly steered the GA Pizza brand through the first stages of the pandemic with strategic pivots, developing a chef-driven premium, ready-to-eat frozen pizza line for grocery and consumer packaged goods, and later, adding on a direct to consumer line and pizza subscription service.

His career started as a restaurateur in Guelph, Ontario, where he became one of the youngest franchisees in Swiss Chalet history, moving next to Woodstock, and turning both locations into exemplars for the corporate office where he became advisor for national media campaigns, restaurant and menu design.

Ali is a certified pizzaiolo and has received his Level 2 Master Sommelier accreditation.

Ali’s goals are to disrupt the pizza industry as we know it and to help lead the quality pizza movement. In February, GA Pizza closed an oversubscribed $13 million Series A investment round as it plans to scale up its pizza subscription service across Canada. The funding round far exceeded the company’s $3.5 million target.

In this video, we answer the questions:

  • What trends in the pizza industry – consumer habits, menu demands, operational or otherwise – have been at play over the past year?
  • Which trends you were watching pre-pandemic and have they gone on the back burner or pick up steam since then?
  • How does recognizing, thinking about and acting on a trend relate to being a strong business leader?
  • What are some of the ways you discover trends and make them work for your business?
  • Where do you see the pizza industry going in future?

Visit canadianpizzamag.com to see more Professional Pizza Roundtables, including Managing Your Pizza Team, and for more pizza industry features, podcasts, products and news you can use.