Media Kit

Fb Share

As the newly named editor of PizzaMarketPlace.com, I was looking forward to attending my first Pizza Executive Summit. I was sure the experience, set in Chicago, would be the perfect place for me to sink my teeth into the pizza industry. I was not disappointed.

The tour's first stop was Pizano's.

The event started this past Sunday with a trolley tour of three Chi Town pizzerias: Pizano's, Coalfire Pizza and Bella Bacino's. There was a group of about 40 operators, event speakers and sponsors on the tour discussing various aspects of the restaurant industry as we ate our way through deep dish, thin and stuffed crust pies. Discussions ranged from which of the three restaurants the operators preferred – Coalfire Pizza came out on top for nearly everyone on the tour – to the types of dough and toppings used and whether styles were similar to tour attendees' own recipes.

Although the pizza tour was eye opening, the real meat of the summit was the sessions and speakers Monday and Tuesday.

Keynote speaker Gerry O'Brion led off Monday as he addressed the importance of branding and how pizzerias need to better market their areas of expertise and show consumers what makes them different from competitors. The former marketing executive for Coors Light cited the company's successful launch of its "frost brewed liner can" as an example.

A chef at a Coal Fire prepares pizza for the tour.

He pointed out that every aluminum beer can on the market already had the liner. His company simply turned it blue and launched a marketing campaign around it; can sales went up 5 percent.

Another highlight was Kathleen Wood's presentation, "Make More Dough: The Secret Sauce to Building Sales with Zero Marketing Dollars." Wood's high-energy was contagious as she fired up the room and offered attendees 30 specific ways for restaurant executives to increase productivity and sales without spending a dime.

One of the hottest topics at the summit was the use of social media. Although some operators were already using Facebook and Twitter to grow their businesses, others needed convincing. Michael Atkinson of FohBoh, Scott Baitinger of Streetza Pizza and Asif Khan of the Location Based Marketing Association, did just that in their session titled "Pizzerias and the Social Web."

Stuffed cheese at Bella Bacino's.

Many operators left the room chatting about their future plans for Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

Other Summit sessions covered the new workforce, menu labeling, franchise growth and financing and the possibility of new laws and regulations that will affect the industry.

 
 

I left Chicago with not only the same info operators received, but also with a new respect for how much goes into running a successful restaurant. My No. 1 goal as the site's editor is to deliver interesting stories on those topics. Feel free to email me at cbutler@networldalliance.com if you have story ideas or comments on what you think PizzaMarketPlace.com should feature.

And I look forward to meeting you at next year's event.

Related Content

User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Edward Zimmerman
    87692838
    Cherryh,

    Welcome to the pizza industry, it is a wonderful segment of the restaurant world, filled with solid and sincere people, I look forward to working together.
Products & Services

FireFly Point-of-Sale

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4282.png

4282/FireFly-Point-of-Sale

Restaurant Digital Signage Advertising Network

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6691.png

6691/Restaurant-Digital-Signage-Advertising-Network

Call Center Ordering

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/5939.png

5939/Call-Center-Ordering

Group Purchasing Services

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6403.png

6403/Group-Purchasing-Services

See the latest in restaurant POS

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/1926.png

1926/See-the-latest-in-restaurant-POS

Standard coffee

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6963.png

6963/Standard-coffee

Operations Support

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6409.png

6409/Operations-Support

PeopleMatter HIREā„¢

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4625.png

4625/PeopleMatter-HIRE

Dual Core Menu Board Media Player - $99

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6677.png

6677/Dual-Core-Menu-Board-Media-Player-99

Restaurant technology news, trends & best practices

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/5079.png

5079/Restaurant-technology-news-trends-best-practices

Restaurant News, Insights & Trends

Latest posts by Cherryh Butler
Cherryh Butler
Cherryh Butler has been a reporter for nearly 10 years, writing on a variety of topics ranging from the restaurant industry to business and health and fitness news. Before joining FastCasual.com as editor, she oversaw KioskMarketplace.com and PizzaMarketplace.com and contributed to RetailCustomerExperience.com. She's also written for several daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine.
Digital Menu Boards and ROI
Request Information From Suppliers
Save time looking for suppliers. Complete this form to submit a Request for Information to our entire network of partners.