Canadian Pizza Magazine

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The Pizza Dude: No love over stolen hearts

No love over stolen hearts


March 25, 2008
By Roberto Vergalito

Topics

In the last issue of Canadian Pizza Magazine, one of the
Pizza Bites spoke about Boston Pizza and their heart-shaped
pizzas. Now, it’s nice to know that this corporation raised good money
for a good cause with the sale of these pizzas.

In the last issue of Canadian Pizza Magazine, one of the Pizza Bites spoke about Boston Pizza and their heart-shaped pizzas. Now, it’s nice to know that this corporation raised good money for a good cause with the sale of these pizzas. I really admire any business that raises money for charity, but what gets on my nerves is that this corporate giant advertised this heart-shaped pizza as their exclusive product.

Let me tell you this: I was making heart-shaped pizzas over seven years ago for my customers and have been doing it ever since. I don’t sell hundreds of them, but I do sell quite a bit around February 14. To me, nothing says “I love you” like a heart-shaped pizza.

My question is, who are these guys to market this idea as their own exclusive offer? In their promotional material sent out prior to Valentine’s Day, the company clearly states, “heart-shaped pizzas are available ‘exclusively’ on February 14 at Boston Pizza restaurants across Canada.”

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Maybe they’re saying that’s the only day to get a heart-shaped pizza at their chain, or maybe they’re trying to slip the idea into the customers’ minds that this is the only place to get one. Either way, it comes across like a big slap in the face to all of us independents who have put together great ideas with almost no marketing budget.

Across this great country are some very talented pizzaiolos doing some wonderful, new and innovative things with their pizza. So when a major corporation with a huge marketing budget comes along and uses this kind of twist in their advertising, it really ticks me off.

Anybody can travel around on someone else’s dime and steal ideas, but how about coming up with your own ideas? Just because we independents don’t have a million-dollar budget to spend on advertising, it doesn’t mean we should have our ideas taken from us and marketed by a company as, “exclusively theirs.”

And it’s not just this one. I’m sure each of you can come up with examples of how your efforts have been short-changed by the big chains and the power of their dollar.

I, for one, wish I had that kind of budget for advertising. In my mind, I think if these major corporations are going to take my ideas, or any one of my fellow pizzaiolos’, and slap an “exclusive” label on it, they should at least compensate us.

Instead of paying top salaries to these university grads with marketing degrees, why don’t they hire an independent pizzaiolo who knows what the score is to come up with ideas for the company? They might just save some money and end up with new innovative products that will get people through the doors. 

I say to these big companies, I’ll give you a degree if you give me one of these high-priced executives for a month and see if he/she can handle the pressure on the front lines. If not, let’s send them home and hire some people that know the pizzeria business and stop stealing our ideas.

The government won’t let us trademark or copyright our products and recipes. I think this should be changed so that innovative pizzaiolos who work hard, night and day, to come up with ways to better their business will get their just desserts. You want my ideas?
You have to pay for them, and that’s the bottom line, cause the Pizza Dude says so.•