2010 September: Commentary

Last September, we produced our 09.09.09 Event in Print. It was a massive — and innovative — undertaking. We promoted the issue via e-mail, direct mail, Twitter, etc. We lined up key industry personalities and translated the magic of International Pizza Expo into print. We also made it a multi-media event by incorporating blogs, video and social media tie-ins. When all was said and done, over 10,000 pizzeria operators watched the videos that corresponded to the issue. And, much to our excitement, the issue was named one of the Top 25 Single Issues of 2009 by Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and won a TABBIE Award.

With all that going for us, how could we not do it again? This year, our September “Event in Print” again offers a plethora of priceless advice. Some of my favorite takes from this issue include:

• George Hadjis (page 12) explaining the steps he took prior to the recession to prepare for it. Then, like any good leader, Hadjis has continued to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of his company. Not one to sit back idly, Hadjis and his family continue to push Oggi’s forward.
•Big Dave’s suggestion that every pizzeria in America should promote National Pizza Month (page 18). October brings us Halloween, one of the industry’s fi ve most important sales days. Imagine how successful your October could be if every pizzeria in the nation encouraged consumers to eat more pizza during National Pizza Month.
•Pat Bruno, a food critic himself, explaining first-hand what a food critic looks for when walking into a restaurant (page 22). It’s interesting to see which things earn points and which miscues get them deducted. A bad review can break a restaurant’s back, but a good one can catapult business to the stars.
• The different answers to the same questions in our Beer & Bull in Print (page 64). It’s interesting to read that some operators believe the recession is nearing an end, while others are far less optimistic. Additionally, the different takes on the effectiveness of social media mirror a debate that I imagine pizzeria owners will continue at the real Beer & Bull at International Pizza Expo 2011 in Las Vegas.
• Sean Brauser’s assertion that he would rather explain his prices to a customer than have to apologize to that customer for his food quality (page 76).

Cheers,

Jeremy White editor-in-chief
jwhite@pizzatoday.com