I rarely dine out without ordering an appetizer. Typically, I’m pretty hungry when I arrive at a restaurant. Not only do I want to get something in my stomach ASAP, but I also know the appetizer menu is the best introduction to the restaurant’s kitchen. The starters set the stage for everything else to come.
Sadly, for many pizzerias the appetizer menu either doesn’t exist or is limited to breadsticks and wings. Don’t get me wrong — I think you’re crazy if you don’t offer a variation of both of those. I also think you’re missing out if you don’t branch out. Appetizers are not only popular — they’re also profitable. Most starters carry a low cost of production and offer high margins.
Most of them are simple to make. From toasted ravioli to fried calamari to Caprese flatbread, the right number and mix of appetizers can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line each year.
In this issue, you’ll find a host of articles on appetizers. From recipes to sales tactics, we’re looking at appetizers like never before. Here’s hoping you’ll do the same.
On another note, International Pizza Expo 2010 is just around the corner. I hope you’ll join me, the collective staff of Pizza Today and Pizza Expo and approximately 10,000 of our pizza industry friends at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 2-4. The show promises to have much to offer, as always. For a closer look at what’s in store, check out Mandy Wolf Detwiler’s preview on page 77.
If you do make it to the show, please stop by the Pizza Today booth to say hello and let us know what’s on your mind. See you in Vegas!
Jeremy White, editor-in-chief