As editors of the No. 1 national pizza magazine, one of the best parts of our jobs is getting to travel and visit pizzerias. One of the most common sights we see? Brag walls filled with clippings, photographs, awards and notes from customers. It makes for interesting reading while you’re waiting for takeout or a table, but it serves a greater purpose. You’re letting your customers know that you have reached award-winning levels of awesomeness. Sure you know you have the best pizza in town, but now you’ve got the chops to back it up.
This was the theme of our April 2009 issue, and today it is more important than ever. You’re not only competing with other pizzerias and full-service operations, but also with fast-casual shops and food trucks that have flooded the market as well.
Most towns have “Best Of” competitions through local newspapers, magazines or television stations. There are annual cook-offs for everything from cakes to chili and –– here in our hometown of Louisville, KY –– even Bloody Marys. If you’re not participating, you’re missing out on more than just the ability to hang a certificate on your wall. You should be shouting it from the rooftops via social media, requesting write-ups in print media and using it extensively in your advertising and on your menus. Let folks know your awards on your pizza boxes. If you don’t want to have new ones printed up, simply get some stickers printed up and use them on your boxes until your available stock runs out. It’s up to you to blow your own horn.
One side note I want to mention. Some weeks back, Perinton Pizza asked us this question via Twitter: our local town asked us to not participate in annual pizza poll…we have won 9 of last 11. Is this right? Our response was an emphatic “no.” The contest was a blind taste test. Perinton Pizza opted to participate anyway. Guess who won — again?