2011 October: Commentary

I’m not hard to please when it comes to a pizzeria menu … I don’t think. When I take my family out for pizza, there are just a few things I really want to see available to me (aside from the pizza, of course): wings, a children’s menu and milk. I know the last one may sound a little crazy, so let me start there. I have a two-year-old. He likes milk. His body needs milk. I want you to have it when I dine in your pizza shop. Pretty simple, right? Maybe not. Maybe I’m the only one who orders milk. Maybe it isn’t worth your time to inventory it. I’m interested to hear from you on this topic. E-mail me and let me know.

As for the children’s menu …

Yes, most little ones love pizza. In fact, I get a cheese pizza for the kids and my two boys are happy. However, on occasion, my six-year-old decides he wants spaghetti when we go out for pizza. At times, my two-year-old wants mac-and-cheese instead. If those aren’t available, we don’t walk out — we tell the kids to suck it up and eat the pizza. But the place that gets our repeat business most often happens to offer a great children’s menu. It’s no coincidence that we frequent this shop.

And let’s not forget the wings, please. To me, this is a no-brainer for the appetizer section. I typically order breadsticks, because I flat-out love them. But I also love wings, and I never pass on them when they’re available. Have them on your menu and enjoy the incremental sales — at least from me, anyway.

Finally, there’s pizza. As much as I love some really off-the-wall pizzas, the fact is that I’m a creature of habit. About 40 percent of the time I opt for nothing more fancy than pepperoni. About 40 percent of the time I order a “supreme.” The remaining 20 percent I split between BBQ Chicken, Thai pizza or any other interesting combination that catches my attention. Of course, everyone is different. Our Man on the Street, Scott Weiner, tells you on page 20 what he wants to see, as a consumer, when he walks into your pizzeria. Unlike me, he doesn’t have to take children into the equation when he dines out. Like me, though, he really isn’t that hard to please.

Your customers know what they want. The success of your business hinges on whether or not you can give them what they want. Keep that in mind when you plan your next menu.

SLICE OF HOPE:
Lastly, Slice of Hope is this month. Though we finish the bike ride on October 7th, there’s still plenty of time to join the fight and make a donation to the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. If you can, please pledge a percentage of your sales from October 7th. If you’re reading this after the 7th — no problem. The Foundation can take your tax-deductible donation in any amount at any time. So whether your pizzeria has $50 or $5,000 to give to a great cause, visit PizzaToday.com and click on the Slice of Hope icon. There, you’ll be able to fill out a donation form or purchase t-shirts.

Best,

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

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