Canadian Pizza Magazine

The Pizza Dude: Stacking Up

By Roberto Vergalito   

Features In the Kitchen Tools of the Trade

Stacking Up

The NHL playoffs have arrived, BBQ’s are getting cleaned, Nascar is burning up the tracks and spring is finally here.

The NHL playoffs have arrived, BBQ’s are getting cleaned, Nascar is burning up the tracks and spring is finally here.

What a great year it has been for both weather and business. Yeah, we all had a bit of winter here and there, but overall it wasn’t nearly as bad as some years.

And now that we are all getting ready for the spring cleanup, that means a lot of pizza will be sold because people will be out in the yard all day and won’t want to cook.


It’s also a good time to do a little spring cleaning in the pizzeria too.

It’s also good to remember that with the arrival of spring time, some of us are going to enjoy the benefits of moving day. It might be worthwhile to rethink some of your marketing techniques to take advantage of new people moving into our neighbourhoods. Are you dusting off last year’s tricks, or is there something new up your sleeve?

And while I’m thinking of some of the ways we all work at trying to stand out from the competition, I’m reminded of this guy I met last year at one of the food shows.
Some of you may have already seen his product, but it’s called Funstax.

And maybe some of you are wondering what a Funstax is. Some call it a pizza stop – you know the little Barbie table we put in the middle of a pizza so the pizza box doesn’t come into contact with the top of the pizza. The difference is that these come in a variety of different molds.

This little marketing adventure has the potential to make your pizza a little more desirable for your customers and their children.

For example, if you have a shop in an area with a lot of golfers, these guys have golf tees and ball marker as a pizza stop. For hockey fanatics, there’s another designed as a net that comes with a hockey stick and puck. Talk to your pizza box company and see if you can screen print the hockey rink on the top of the box.

I think this little gimmick is brilliant. Not only is your customer getting great food, but their kids get to play with the box. It’s just like the prize your children get when you order a Happy Meal at McDonalds, or the prize at the bottom of the cereal box.

And anyone with kids will know they have a lot of influence on where that food is coming from: the pizzeria with just a box, or the pizzeria with the hockey box.

A little promotional tool like this can help you market your business in many ways – personalizing them with your pizzeria name and phone number is great on the golf tees and ball marker, your clientele can also start collecting NHL teams, etc.

Whatever the season, there is something that will help your pizzeria standout from the competition.

Remember, pizza has been made for centuries and it is our business to attract people to our pizzerias. Maybe we can’t reinvent the wheel but we can surely make that wheel more desirable.

What is it that makes your place more desirable?

Good Luck to all my fellow pizzaiolos this spring and summer, make lots of money and remember, “Make pizza, not war.”

I’m the Pizza Dude.•

Roberto Vergalito is “the Pizza Dude”. He owns and operates Roberto’s Pizza in St. Catharines, Ont. Comments and questions for Roberto should be sent to him c/o Canadian Pizza Magazine, P.O. Box 530, 105 Donly Dr. S.,  Simcoe, ON, N3Y 4N5; Fax: 1-888-404-1129 or by e-mail to

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