&pizza, Rotolo's, Pie Five with the whys behind Pi Day

| by S.A. Whitehead
&pizza, Rotolo's, Pie Five with the whys behind Pi Day

We're here at last: March 14 — Pi day. Pizza's day in the sun, which really has nothing to do with pizza at all, except that some pizzas are round, and pi is the ratio of the length around circular things compared with the length across them, which comes out to 3.14. I think.

In fact, pi is a Greek word used to represent this mathematical constant that 99.9 percent of us probably don't know much about, or for that matter, care. In that respect then — at least here in the U.S —   it's pretty much like any other holiday for which we've long since forgotten the meaning. But, if it means we can eat a lot of pizza, well, then, that's okay with us. 

Basically though, for the pizza world, this is the highest holy day of the year marked by brands far and wide celebrating the day that one San Francisco physicist invented in 1988 to make the number, 3.14 (plus about a million more digits), memorable. The ratio of pi, however, was first found written about nearly 4,000 years ago, before pizza was even a "glimmer" in some chef's eye. 

Yeah. So, enough of that.

On to the fun that pizza brands are stirring up all over the place to mark this nerdy-gone-cool holiday. At Pizza Marketplace, most of the brands we interviewed said their promotions revolved mostly around pizza specials that play around with that 3.14 ratio.

Rotolo's, based in Louisiana, is offering $3.14 off large pizzas, for example, while Blaze, Pie Five and Villa Italian Kitchen are each offering certain pizzas for $3.14. 

&pizza is taking Pi Day a bit more seriously by hosting weddings in its restaurants. The brand is transforming select shops into pop-up wedding chapels and offering complimentary ceremonies, complete with pizza, champagne, celebratory décor, flowers and wedding officiation. 

Of course, Pizza Marketplace had to know more, not just about &pizza's recognition of the day, but also about other brands that might be able to offer some insights on how this one quirky holiday morphed into one great opportunity for pizza brands to gain traffic, customers to get deals and everyone to have fun. 

Here then, are a few of the responses from &Pizza Marketing Director Rachel McLaughlin, as well as Rotolo's Senior Vice President Christina M. Bourg and Pie Five's Christina Cot that reveal a little more about the "why" behind the "pi."

Q: Why do you think this obscure holiday has gotten such a strong pickup with consumers for pizza restaurateurs other than the obvious name connection with pi and Pie?

&pizza:Pizza and Pi have more in common than you'd think. Pi is the magical mathematical constant: It appears as an infinitely repeating fraction and no matter how big or small a circle is, the ratio of Pi stays the same. 
Done right, pizza offers a similar consistency in quality, flavor and downright deliciousness. We see Pi Day as a chance to do something special for our guests, providing them with a unique way to say "I Do" that speaks to our commitment to celebrating unity and oneness.

Rotolo's: Our guests like to celebrate and love pizza! it's a fun excuse to enjoy more pizza. Many Rotolo's locations are offering $3.14 off all large pizzas. Several elementary schools in our area make a day of it and have entire lessons devoted to all things pi.  We receive several orders for schools each year.
Pie Five:I honestly believe that people get bored with the usual holidays, so when a random holiday comes up, they find a way to celebrate it. [eg] May the 4th be with you.  

Q: Do you think many of those partaking in Pi Day even could say what the equivalent of "pi" is and why it's important? In fact — and no cheating — can you?

Rotolo's:The circumference of a circle? (don't quote me on that.) I do remember A=pi r squared! 

&pizza:I think most people can at least get to 3.14, which makes remembering your anniversary easy if you're one of the &pizza Pi Day couples! 

Pie Five: You don't need to explain an equation to partake in the Pi Day fun. We love any excuse to bring people together to celebrate, and it isn't a party without pizza. 

Q: If you had to explain how "pi" plays a role in the pizza "pie" how would you? Or, if you'd rather, can you use the words "pi" and "pie" in a sentence about pizza restaurateurs with the number 3.14
&pizza: 
Traditionally, pizza pies have been circular in shape, thus creating the distance around a circle or Pi. While we appreciate the traditional, we like to think differently, which is why &pizza pies are oblong-shaped. Like our pies, our Pi Day celebrations are one-of-a-kind, just the way we like it. 
Rotolo's: Celebrating Pi with pizza pi is good (3.1)4 your soul.
 

Photos: Courtesy &pizza


Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Customer Service / Experience, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, PCI Compliance, Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit, Social Responsibility, Sustainability



S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.


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