• New Mazzio's promo goes 'hot and heavy' on the cheese

TULSA, Okla. -- Continued low and stable cheese prices have motivated Mazzio's to mound up the mozzarella on some new pizzas.

According to Nation's Restaurant News, the 210-unit Tulsa-based chain notched a 6.9-percent same-store sales increase for this year's first quarter on the heels of the launch of its ad campaign for its Hot and Heavy pizzas. Each pie contains nearly a pound of cheese; a large fetches $9.99.

Greg Lippert, senior vice president of marketing, research and development at Mazzio's, attributed the sales increase to the company's renewed focus on its products rather than on bargain prices.

"Our product is known for quality," Lippert told NRN. "In the pizza business it's easy to get into a price-discount war, and that's a war you're not traditionally going to win" against chains larger than Mazzio's.

The Hot and Heavy pizzas are getting the support of both TV and print advertising, however Lippert declined to discuss how much the company is spending on the campaign or how long the promotion will run.

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