Pizza Energy Report 2023: Are Independents Making a Comeback?

By Rick Hynum

If you’re forged within the “villain” position on a actuality TV relationship present, haters, as they are saying, gonna hate. However riled-up romance followers are the least of Peter Izzo’s issues. The co-owner of Peter’s Pizzeria, with two places in South Florida, and forged member of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette, has different worries on his thoughts—particularly inflation. “That’s actually what retains me up at night time,” Izzo mentioned. “Meals prices are persevering with to skyrocket. It doesn’t seem to be there will likely be any aid anytime quickly. And it’s placing us in a troublesome state of affairs.”

Though Izzo is thought to thousands and thousands as a brash Italian stallion searching for love on all of the improper TV exhibits, he’s, in actual life, an earnest—and likable—pizzeria operator going by means of the identical struggles as most PMQ readers. “Will we proceed to maintain our high quality the identical and lift our costs, pushing the prices on to our prospects who’ve been loyal to us?” Izzo mentioned. “Or will we decrease our high quality and hold our costs the identical, however now our prospects aren’t going to get that product they count on anymore?”

Peter Izzo (Peter’s Pizzeria)

Izzo and his brother/enterprise accomplice, Bobby Pokora, lastly decided: They raised their costs so they might hold utilizing top-shelf elements like Grande cheese, San Marzano DOP tomatoes and Caputo flour. “We’ve gotten some pushback from our prospects,” Izzo mentioned. “We inform them we’re simply as upset as they’re. We don’t need to do that simply as a lot as they don’t need us to do it. We don’t have a alternative.”

Learn extra about Peter Izzo and Peter’s Pizzeria at

Inflation has been the story of the yr for the pizzeria trade. As meals prices hold hovering, menu value hikes have been a should to remain afloat. However we’ve uncovered one other, extra promising story for 2022: Regardless of a difficult financial system, unbiased pizzerias like Peter’s are making a comeback not like any we’ve seen in years. And the chains? Properly, total, they didn’t fare fairly as effectively, however they’re holding their very own.

After two years of nearly every thing going improper—COVID-related shutdowns, provide chain points, inflation, the so-called Nice Resignation—one thing went surprisingly proper for unbiased operators because the pandemic eased over the previous yr. Business-wide gross sales rose considerably for independents, and there are extra unbiased pizzerias now than we’ve seen prior to now 10 years. However the excellent news comes with caveats: After a slight uptick in 2021, common gross sales per retailer for independents dropped by 1.7% this yr, more than likely because of declining foot visitors as customers tightened their belts to deal with inflation. And better menu costs pushed by inflation doubtless account for a giant chunk of independents’ total increased income.

For the document, the chains took a much bigger hit in common gross sales per retailer, with a decline of almost 2.2%. Which brings us to the query posed on this month’s cowl: How did your gross sales examine to the typical gross sales of one of many large chain shops? you’re curious, so try the chart on web page 41 to gauge how effectively you’re competing with that Domino’s or Papa Johns location down the road. Then come on again and let’s dive into the general trade numbers.

Eating places that supply on-line ordering mentioned a median of 34% of their income comes from these channels. Fifty-four p.c added or expanded choices to simply accept on-line orders over the previous yr.
—Sq.’s Way forward for Eating places 2022

A Mini-Increase for Independents

Typically talking, the pizza trade has bounced again after a tough patch, in line with analysis agency CHD Professional. From October 2021 by means of September 2022, complete U.S. pizza gross sales—for each independents and chains—climbed 3.08% to a complete of $46,988,006,871. That’s one thing to cheer about, contemplating we noticed an total gross sales decline of about 1.6% from October 2020 by means of September 2021.

Unbiased pizzerias carried lots of the load this yr, logging an total 10.24% soar in gross sales, from $17,940,959,384 final yr to $19,777,571,275 this yr. The chains (firms with greater than 10 items) noticed a slight drop of 1.5% of their complete gross sales, from $27,645,018,457 between October 2020 by means of September 2021 to $27,210,435,596 in the identical interval of the previous yr.

So what occurred? Independents added much more items in comparison with the chains throughout that interval. The variety of unbiased pizzerias rose from 39,808 final yr to 44,644 this yr—that’s 12.15% development in complete items. The chains, then again, noticed comparatively flat development by way of items, from 35,309 final yr to 35,531 in 2022, a rise of simply 0.63%. In different phrases, we noticed a mini-boom in openings of unbiased pizzerias. Greater than 4,800 new unbiased shops opened, in comparison with simply 222 new chain items.

Click on picture to enlarge

It appears many of us needed to get into the pizza enterprise over the previous yr. In fact, a few of that development might be accounted for by multiunit independents (these with lower than 10 items) opening new shops. What’s clear is that the chains added comparatively few new items in comparison with the so-called “little guys.”

Do these company chains know one thing the independents don’t know? Are they closing much less worthwhile shops in anticipation of a recession? And might these new independents survive in a saturated U.S. pizza market? There’s some motive for concern. In accordance with a November 2022 report by Alignable, a web-based community for small enterprise homeowners, 49% of small restaurant companies within the U.S. couldn’t pay their hire in full and on time in October. That compares to a 36% hire delinquency charge in September. (Editor’s notice: Restaurateurs’ hire woes improved in November, as reported right here.)

A late July report by the NPD Group would possibly shed a bit of gentle on eating places’ hire drawback. That report discovered that bodily and on-line restaurant visitors declined by 2% within the second quarter of 2022 versus one yr earlier, and by 6% from the identical (pre-pandemic) quarter in 2019. “Shoppers proceed to take care of rising inflation and better costs,” famous David Portalin, the NPD Group’s meals trade advisor. “They commerce all the way down to lower-priced gadgets, in the reduction of on the variety of gadgets ordered, or cut back restaurant visits altogether.”

Pizza chains noticed flat gross sales development in 2022, whereas unbiased gross sales climbed increased. (Domino’s Pizza)


The Value-Hike Restrict
Thad Value (picture courtesy Talroo)

Look, prospects know what’s occurring. In accordance with Bluedot’s September 2022 “State of What Feeds Us” report, 91% of customers have seen value will increase at eating places. They usually aren’t improper. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Client Value Index, food-away-from-home (restaurant) costs elevated 8% from August 2021 to August 2022. Most restaurant chains raised costs a minimum of as soon as over the previous yr, reported Nation’s Restaurant Information (NRN), significantly fast-food chains like Burger King, Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

In response, the Bluedot report discovered, 83% of customers are slicing again on restaurant visits, and 73% are ordering off worth menus to economize. They’re trying different locations for offers, too. Fifty-one p.c are utilizing restaurant apps, which ought to inform you one thing. In actual fact, almost 7 out of 10 customers are downloading extra apps or becoming a member of extra loyalty applications for reductions and freebies. Moreover, 43% are trying out these coupons that come within the mail, and 29% wish to social media for high-value presents.

See also  Pizza Tomorrow: Get Prepared for a Courageous New World

Do you have got an ordering app but? Have you ever fine-tuned your loyalty program these days? What are you ready for?

In accordance with Portalin, restaurateurs should ship worth and top-quality meals for the inflated costs they’re compelled to cost. However, he added, they need to additionally do not forget that “worth doesn’t at all times translate to the bottom value.”

So, in relation to value will increase, how a lot is an excessive amount of? Analyzing value share will increase and the way they correlate with visitors, Restaurant Administration Companies (RMS), a shopper conduct agency, made an fascinating discovery. “When value will increase went past 10% to 13%, visitors began to severely decline, negating some or the entire internet gross sales advantages,” Scott Foxworth, RMS’s director of consulting providers, instructed NRN.

Most eating places have held the road at value hikes round 9% to 10%, NRN says. That’s a great factor—if it’s sufficient to maintain your doorways open. However hitting that “candy spot” on pricing, coupled with labor woes, will proceed to be a difficult problem in 2023.

Click on picture to enlarge


Talking of Labor Woes…

When one of many nation’s most acclaimed pizzaioli has to chop his eating places’ hours because of lack of staff, issues have gotten out of whack. Chris Bianco, proprietor of the six-store Arizona chain Pizzeria Bianco, introduced decreased hours for his shops in an Instagram put up on October 18. He famous that “a minimum of one among our eating places will likely be open” Sunday by means of Saturday, however some shops could be closed for 2 days every week as he and his staff appeared for methods “to regulate to the world we now dwell in.”

Bianco acquired the 2022 James Beard Award for Excellent Restaurateur, a profession excessive level, to make sure. However that wasn’t sufficient to maintain his pizzerias absolutely staffed. “It breaks my coronary heart to chop hours, however overworking the nice individuals we’ve got will not be a long-term resolution,” Bianco acknowledged on Instagram. “With rising price of products and paying good wages, placing individuals deep into extra time can be not sustainable.”

In accordance with Sq.’s 2022 Way forward for Eating places report, 73% of eating places mentioned they’re coping with a labor scarcity, and 21% of restaurant positions have been unfilled. “Throughout the trade, staffing continues to be the No. 1 problem eating places face,” mentioned Bryan Photo voltaic, basic supervisor of Sq. for Eating places. Worse, this might be the brand new regular for the trade, at the same time as states proceed to lift the minimal wage.

Click on picture to enlarge

Merely put, workers need higher jobs than that they had earlier than the pandemic. And, no, that doesn’t imply they’re lazy. “First, put your self within the thoughts of your candidate,” Thad Value, CEO of Talroo, an organization that helps companies discover the correct job candidates, wrote in an October article for “What do they need? What are their considerations? Some considerations embody high quality pay and job safety as inflation turns into a rising drawback in as we speak’s market. Staff are searching for jobs with flexibility, development and safety to settle the rating of a teeter-tottering financial system.”

And the trade is making strides. A January 2022 survey by the Unbiased Restaurant Coalition discovered that 84% of all eating places reported elevating wages, and 37% reported including paid sick depart for workers. Twenty-one p.c additionally started providing paid trip for his or her workers.

“Wage isn’t the one piece of the pie,” Value famous. “Addressing points like childcare, medical insurance and tuition chips away on the disparity that hourly staff have confronted for years. Embody these added advantages and you’ll far surpass the competitors by recognizing the wants of your hourly workers.”

That’s simpler mentioned than executed, as each restaurateur is aware of. However Photo voltaic agrees it’s the most effective method. “Which means that labor prices could go up, and eating places might have to search out methods to function with extra environment friendly labor,” he mentioned. “That is the place we imagine eating places can lean on tech—to assist them higher make the most of their current workers, handle their labor prices and keep pleasant buyer experiences.”


(Picture courtesy Serve Robotics)

Is Automation the Future?

To ease her workers’s workload, Linda Black, co-owner of Tilda’s Pizzeria in Rochester, Minnesota, is leaning on BellaBot, a robotic meals runner from Pudu Robotics. BellaBot began at Tilda’s in early 2022 and has freed up servers to spend extra time with their prospects as a substitute of hustling meals and drinks to tables in a well timed method.

“Sixteen thousand {dollars} is lots, and [Bella] might have been a bust,” Black instructed the Put up Bulletin in early November. “However I’d have quite tried it out with little success and realized from the expertise than by no means.” Black couldn’t quantify the associated fee distinction between buying a robotic and hiring one other part-time particular person, however BellaBot is successful together with her prospects. “Individuals love being served by Bella,” she mentioned. “Youngsters run as much as give her a hug when nothing is being carried….Generally individuals are a bit of unhappy once they don’t get served by her, however nonetheless have a great time interacting [with the robot].”

Robots are nonetheless removed from the norm in eating places, however automation made headway within the pizza trade this yr. The Slice Manufacturing facility, with 12 places within the Chicago space, plans to put in an automatic chef/kitchen known as Pizzaiola at its new shops and has an aggressive enlargement plan constructed across the tech from Nala Robotics. Pizzaiola, which could be leased for $7,000 a month, reportedly makes as much as 50 pies an hour in quite a lot of types, together with Slice Manufacturing facility’s specialty jumbo pizzas. “This partnership…will assist us enhance manufacturing exponentially as we broaden places and repair areas,” Slice Manufacturing facility founder/president Dom DiDiana mentioned in July. “What’s actually thrilling is that we now have the aptitude to run absolutely autonomous pizzeria-style eating places with a lot of menu gadgets” whereas sustaining consistency in any respect places.

Bellabot, a robotic meals runner at Tilda’s Pizzeria. (Picture courtesy Tilda’s Pizzeria)

PizzaHQ in Totowa, New Jersey, has even grander ambitions. It’s at the moment only a one-store operation with human pizza makers working alongside an automatic pizza station from Picnic. However co-founder Jason Udrija mentioned Picnic will turn out to be PizzaHQ’s “automation spine” as extra places open within the area. With the Picnic system, Udrija mentioned, “we will automate pizza meeting and unlock our workers to do essential jobs across the kitchen whereas specializing in the shopper expertise.”

PizzaForno, a pizza merchandising machine producer, is taking a unique method. In cities like New Orleans and Houston, PizzaForno’s licensees have been positioning these automated pizzerias in high-traffic areas akin to school campuses, hospitals and leisure complexes, PizzaForno cofounder Les Tomlin mentioned. “There are such a lot of nice locations for a PizzaForno [machine], as a result of there are three choices, from the smallest unit (60 sq. ft) that’s in regards to the dimension of an ATM—excellent so as to add to an current enterprise—to an indoor kiosk (75 sq. ft), which is ideal for eating halls, cafeterias, hospitals and dorms, to the outside cellular unit (80 sq. ft) that’s nearly indestructible and could be positioned completely anyplace outdoor and be moved with a flatbed truck.”

See also  L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Arrives in New York Metropolis
(Picture courtesy PizzaForno)

True, many old-school pizzaioli provides you with a unclean look if you happen to point out crafting pizzas with a machine. “Change is difficult for some individuals,” Tomlin mentioned. “With most improvements, you have got early adapters, like people who wait in line for the most recent iPhone. Then, there will likely be people who purchase in later as they see the [growing] success. And also you’ll at all times have the nice ol’ mom-and-pop pizzeria and, I’m positive, people who assume an automatic pizzeria is sacrilegious.” Even so, Tomlin provides, “We’re seeing variations of automation getting into the bigger chains, so the evolution has begun.”

What are some great benefits of pizza merchandising machines? Take a look at our Q&A with Les Tomlin of PizzaForno at 


Stephanie Swane and Alexandra Mortati (Picture courtesy Alexandra Mortati)

Girls in Pizza

On the human aspect of the equation, we’re additionally seeing girls transferring to the forefront of the pizza trade—each within the main chains and amongst independents. And it’s about time. For just a few examples, take a look at fast-casual chain Blaze Pizza, headed up by CEO Mandy Shaw, or Little Caesars, the place Paula Vissing has risen to chief working officer. At Papa Johns, Amanda Clark serves as chief improvement officer, whereas Jane Grote Abell runs the complete present at Donatos as chair of the board.

For many years, males have been celebrated as the most effective cooks on the earth. But male pizzaioli usually credit score their moms and grandmothers for his or her recipes. Alexandra Mortati, co-founder of the Girls in Pizza motion—which incorporates a web site spotlighting feminine entrepreneurs within the pizza enterprise, a powerful presence at main trade occasions and greater than 5,100 followers on Instagram—wish to see extra girls in management roles. “Girls in Pizza is a motion that empowers girls within the pizza trade to share their tales, show their abilities, encourage improvements, and join with each other and the world,” Mortati mentioned. “Whether or not you’re a pizza maker, supervisor, proprietor, distributor, producer or importer, you’re a girl in pizza, and your position is essential. Our objective is to present a voice to the underrepresented feminine section of the trade and to encourage extra girls to comply with their pizza ardour.”

Mortati, who’s additionally the inventive director at Orlando Meals Gross sales in New York Metropolis, is aware of girls have at all times performed an important position within the pizza trade. “Simply because they could not have been the particular person you noticed behind the counter doesn’t imply they haven’t been part of the trade,” she mentioned. “Many ladies have labored behind the scenes and are the rationale companies have stored their doorways open. They’ve been the inspirations and other people behind the recipes for generations.”

Leah Scurto, proprietor of PizzaLeah in Windsor, California (Picture courtesy Hulu)

“I feel that girls are sick of being pushed apart and are very happy to place their elbows up and combat for his or her well-deserved spot alongside their pizzaiolo allies,” agreed Stephanie Swane, writer and editorial director at Modernist Delicacies, which launched the three-volume Modernist Pizza earlier this yr. “Girls are actually in a position to get small-business loans and have the backers to create capital to open their very own companies. COVID-19 created a brand new paradigm for many individuals to shift from what they have been doing within the company world to self-employment, particularly if you happen to take a look at what number of start-ups started from [the owners’] properties and ventured into pop-ups, take a look at kitchens and meals vehicles. Girls are discovering methods to construct a enterprise mannequin that works whereas juggling household duties, too.”

One other vivid signal: Girls took heart stage in a number of episodes of Hulu’s 2022 pizza making competitors collection, Greatest in Dough. They included U.S. Pizza Crew member Leah Scurto, co-owner of PizzaLeah in Windsor, California; Shealyn Model Coniglio of Coniglio’s in Morristown, New Jersey; pop-up entrepreneurs Miriam Weiskind of The Za Report in New York and Jhy Coulter of Devoured in Kansas Metropolis; fine-dining chef Amanda Morris of Spago in Las Vegas; and sushi chef Yoko Hasebe of Morihiro in Los Angeles. Among the many judges presiding over the competitors: famend New York chef Millie Peartree.

Be taught extra in regards to the Girls in Pizza motion, together with Q&As with Alexandra Mortati and Stephanie Swane, at

Fittingly, the Greatest in Dough collection kicked off with a trio of Italian grandmothers slinging dough and making basic pizzas from the Outdated World. “Nonnas are the most effective pizza makers,” competitor Nonna Carmela mentioned within the episode’s opening. “Even on a foul day, nonnas know finest.”

Italian mamas and nonnas have been a driving power behind the U.S. pizza trade because the early twentieth century. Now, as extra girls—together with a lot of colour—step ahead as pizzeria homeowners and chain executives, Swane makes positive they get seen with an Instagram Dwell streamcast known as “Girls in Pizza.” These pizzaioli will affect future generations, Swane believes. “Males are different present feminine pizzaioli as inspiration,” she mentioned. “I don’t hear girls saying that their recipes are from their fathers or grandfathers; as a substitute, girls establish within the current with inspiration.”

Home of the Dragon

No much less an authority than Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Excursions has hailed Final Dragon Pizza in Queens, New York, as “each pizza lover’s dream.” Proprietor Nicole Russell acquired the inspiration for her pizzeria from the 1985 kung fu flick The Final Dragon, which featured a pizzeria owned by a black household. Russell, a advertising and marketing skilled, began making pies at dwelling after Hurricane Sandy and handing out free slices to associates and neighbors. They have been such successful, native development staff needed to pay for entire pies. By 2016, Russell was delivery her frozen pizzas to 48 states. Since founding Final Dragon Pizza—a web-based pizzeria for pickup orders solely—she has been profiled in The New York Instances and different information retailers. As a pizzaiola, Russell borrows flavors from throughout the planet for pies just like the Kiss Mi Converse (spicy jerk rooster), the seventh Heaven (tandoori rooster) and the Sho ’Nuff (Philly cheesesteak). “I’m on a quest to be the grasp of pizza,” she instructed Essence in 2021. “Like Bruce Leroy [in The Last Dragon] was on a quest to succeed in the ultimate degree, I’m on a quest to succeed in the ultimate degree of pizza.”


Youthful individuals now use TikTok as a search engine to find new eating places. (Getty Pictures)

Make Time for TikTok

Is your social media technique all about Fb? Not that way back, Fb was the dominant social media power. It nonetheless is, however the platform has been bleeding youthful customers for years. The place have they gone? TikTok, largely, though Instagram retains going sturdy, thanks largely to its short-form movies, known as Reels, that are modeled after—you guessed it—the TikTok format.

In accordance with Brandastic, a Costa Mesa, California-based advertising and marketing company, TikTok was the most well-liked app downloaded worldwide in 2020 and 2021. Its customers are youthful—60% are between the ages of 16 and 24, and virtually 50% are below 34—and plenty of discover the platform downright addictive.

See also  Report: Restaurant Gross sales Inch Again Towards Pre-Pandemic Ranges

And right here’s the factor: They flip to TikTok as a search engine, as The New York Instances reported in September 2022. Extra importantly to pizza entrepreneurs, they’re usually looking for good locations to eat. “In our research, one thing like virtually 40% of younger individuals, once they’re searching for a spot for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” a Google government mentioned at a July know-how convention, per the Instances. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

Which means TikTok is turning into a key software for restaurant advertising and marketing. In case your pizzeria doesn’t have a TikTok technique, it’s time to present it some cautious thought. Invite TikTok micro-influencers in your market to dine with you, and shoot your personal movies that includes glad prospects at your restaurant. Create video campaigns centered on new menu gadgets and particular worth offers that might enchantment to the youthful crowd. And don’t overlook to share behind-the-scenes clips and interviews together with your staff members. Like Instagram Reels, TikTok presents an ideal alternative to present your pizzeria a face and a persona. Simply hold it genuine!

What Clients Need

32% are searching for extra pizza offers/specials.

25% need extra eating places/pizzerias to supply vegetarian pizzas.

21% need extra eating places/pizzerias to supply vegan pizzas.

28% would favor to order pizza from an organization that makes use of sustainable packaging.

21% are prepared to spend extra for pizza delivered in eco-friendly, sustainable packaging.

42% desire a pizza supply on-line ordering system that lets them observe their order.

Supply: Technomic 2022 Pizza Client Pattern Report

Click on picture to enlarge


Brooklyn Pizza in Birmingham, Michigan, is testing supply robots from Magna Worldwide. (Picture courtesy Brooklyn Pizza)

Supply Dilemma

Lastly, let’s discuss supply. To ship your personal pizza or to not ship your personal pizza? That’s the query. And if Hamlet have been a pizzeria operator, he’d probably agonize over the reply, too. Third-party platforms pose an more and more vexing dilemma for the pizza trade. In accordance with Technomic’s 2022 Pizza Client Pattern Report, 24% of pizza supply orders have been positioned through third-party platforms versus the restaurant itself in 2021—that’s up from 16% in 2020.

Outsourcing supply could be costly—and dangerous. However dependable staff aren’t precisely lining up outdoors your door lately. Aye, there’s the rub. In an ideal world, pizzerias might afford to take care of an in-house supply staff and absolutely management the supply expertise. However third-party supply, coupled with elevated demand for supply of all kinds of meals through the pandemic, modified every thing. Due to third-party platforms, prospects now have extra supply choices—tacos, burgers, you identify it. Sadly, restaurant homeowners utilizing third-party supply would possibly lose management over when and the way their meals will get into the shopper’s arms. And that’s problematic.

In accordance with Service Administration Group, a buyer expertise administration platform, a buyer who has a poor third-party expertise will usually blame the restaurant, whose on-line evaluate scores can decline by as a lot as 1.5 stars. It’s your fame that’s on the road, not DoorDash’s. Furthermore, the Sq. report discovered that 68% of consumers would quite order supply by means of a restaurant’s personal web site or app, not through third events.

So what’s a struggling pizzeria operator to do? Creating your personal app would assist. Partnering with a neighborhood restaurant supply service (RDS) is one other resolution. The important thing phrase right here is “partnering.” Sit down together with your native RDS and hammer out a deal. Negotiate commissions and charges, lay down some floor guidelines for the way your model can and can’t be marketed on-line, and be certain that your native supply accomplice has a staff that may rapidly reply to buyer complaints. And defend your buyer information! With in-house supply, all of that priceless information is yours and yours alone, to do with as you’ll. If somebody orders out of your restaurant by means of a third-party accomplice, you need that information to your POS system so you’ll be able to market on to the shopper, provide specials, encourage dine-in visits and management your branding message.

Associated: How unbiased pizzerias and native supply providers can be part of forces

Earlier than you select a third-party accomplice, check out their service a number of occasions on totally different nights—gradual weeknights and busy Fridays or Saturdays—whereas looking for goal enter from associates or members of the family who’ve used it. Was the supply driver courteous, immediate {and professional}, or did he look sloppy and harried? Did your meals arrive scorching and recent? What occurs in the event that they get the order improper—who does the shopper name, and can somebody reply the cellphone?

In case your neighborhood doesn’t have a neighborhood RDS, you’ll be able to nonetheless attempt to lower a take care of a nationwide service. However when each the restaurant and the RDS are deeply embedded of their neighborhood, cross-promotional alternatives abound. You scratch their again, they’ll scratch yours.

Click on picture to enlarge


(Getty Pictures)

Meals for Thought

Wanting ahead to 2023, one factor’s for sure: Not a lot is for sure. Will there be a recession? Will inflation ease off or hold hovering? Will the labor market lastly cool down? Will all of these new unbiased pizzerias survive and thrive? We don’t know. However we do know this: Pizza is perennially golden. Technomic experiences that 83% of customers ate pizza a minimum of as soon as a month this yr, and 24% ate it greater than as soon as every week.

In a 2022 survey performed by Censuswide for Deliverect, which makes a speciality of on-line meals supply administration, 47% of customers mentioned they’d order pizza anytime, no matter inflation. To steer them to order it from you, hold the following pointers in thoughts:

  • Polish your on-line ordering recreation. Make on-line ordering as clean and seamless as attainable. Use your ordering system to create buyer profiles, seize their preferences, upsell them and provide them offers. Get them out and in quick—with out errors.
  • Follow video on social media. We’ve already talked about TikTok, however Instagram Reels remains to be scorching, too. And YouTube. And, to a lesser extent, Fb. Work out the platforms which might be working finest for you and lean exhausting on video advertising and marketing to point out off your wonderful meals, servers, cooks and company. Including a video to your web site may even enhance your Search engine marketing rating—simply ensure that it’s Search engine marketing-optimized, with captions and descriptions that use key phrases related to the content material.
  • Deal with your workers in addition to you deal with your prospects. Simply ask Michael Lastoria, CEO of the fast-growing Washington, D.C., chain &pizza. For years now, he has been one thing of a prophet, calling on restaurateurs to implement people-first insurance policies that embody increased wages and higher advantages. And guess what? Not solely has &pizza cracked Technomic’s checklist of the highest 50 pizza chains for the primary time, the corporate additionally ranked No. 18 in common gross sales per retailer (see web page 41). We’ve quoted Lastoria earlier than, and we’ll quote him once more: “I imagine that if you happen to deal with staff with dignity, they are going to be extra invested within the success of the corporate. A glad workforce is the important thing to a profitable enterprise, as a result of in the event that they really feel their work is valued, they’ll put extra into the job, which leads to happier prospects and a powerful sense of brand name.”  

Rick Hynum is PMQ’s editor in chief.