Pizza Marketing Tips

Know your strength, and don't be afraid to flaunt them for the best pizza marketing.Pizza is a top favorite dish and relatively easy to prepare, which may be why so many venues offer it on their menus. From street fare to pizza shops to fine dining venues, pizza has reached every nook and cranny of the food world. The commonality of pizza on menus emphasizes the importance of advertising and marketing in order to draw in customers and convince them that your pizza is worth a try. Here are some of our pizza marketing tips.

Know Your Crowd

Targeting the right customers is the key to drawing in business, building customer loyalty, and shaping marketing strategies in any type of business or service. Pizza is often thought of as a simple, fast food option. However, a pizza complete with pesto and well-aged cheeses, or pizza with Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce, mushrooms, truffle oil, and high quality parmesan can easily grace the fanciest menus. Depending on the type of pizza and the type of venue, the target customer group will change. The customer group you are trying to reach should shape your marketing plan. For example, if you are advertising a high end venue, you may consider purchasing an ad in a local paper and focusing on the restaurant itself, rather than the pizza specifically. On the other hand, if you have a casual pizza restaurant, you may consider purchasing a radio ad and creating a jingle, in order to make your number memorable for customers looking to order out. Since high end restaurants usually don’t advertise one main food item, the rest of the tips in this article will be geared towards pizza restaurants.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Out of sight, out of mind is such a common and cliché phrase because it is true. Think about the last time you decided to order takeout food from a pizza parlor just because you happened to notice their new, clean, brick oven as you were driving past the venue? For most people, the answer to this question is probably never. The truth is, when you are looking to order some take-out food to pick up or be delivered, you are probably most attracted to the most hassle-free solution. That hassle-free solution will naturally be the pizza shop which makes it easiest for you to see the menu and place your order. What this means for businesses is that offering menu handouts and business magnets can define the profit margin which the venue can potentially reach. It can place the business at the forefront of customer’s minds and dining choices. Ads on the radio with catchy jingles has been proven to enable listeners to remember the ad better, as well as the phone number sung at the end of the jingle. Placing advertisements in the local newspaper can help get the name and number of the restaurant out to potential customers as well. Even sponsoring local sports events with free pizza, while handing out a brochure with each slice, can get the name of the venue out there. Finding multiple outlets to be in potential customers’ faces as often as possible can have huge effects on the amount of business a venue receives.

Know your strengths

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It’s not enough to just target your most-likely customer group and be in-your-face about your business. You must also know how to advertise and market your business to put an emphasis on your strengths and be as honest, yet attractive to potential customers, as possible. For example, if you use especially delicious homemade tomato sauce, flaunt it! If you have unique and varied toppings, make sure everyone knows it. Boast about your unconventional qualities as a business, while seeking ways to draw attention by thinking out of the box. Not so creative but offer great deals? That’s a great thing to show off as well! Having special deals such as giving away a free bottle of soda with each order of a family sized pie can be a great way to draw business. Throughout high school, my friends and I would always go to this one pizza place that had the best pizza offered at the lowest price bracket. It was always packed, simply because they offered decent food and a great deal.

Marketing your pizza is all about making yourself stand out among the more than 60,000 pizzerias in the United States. Yes, that number may be an exaggeration since the typical pizza restaurant is only up against similar venues within a certain radius from it, but the numbers do hint at cutthroat competition that can break a business. Though the would-be restaurant owner entrepreneur may dream of offering the highest quality food possible, the market sector has shown time and time again that it is often worth compromising partially on ingredient quality in order to invest the money in marketing. The best restaurant is worth nothing without loyal and new customers creating a steady cash flow, and the best way to get that restaurant traffic is through thoughtful and pointed marketing. Thinking about the target customer group, the advantages of your business over similar ones in the area, and making sure that your name and number are constantly out there and available to customers, will help make your marketing successful and beneficial to your business.

Catering a Great Brunch Within Any Budget

Cater a Fabulous Brunch to Impress Your Clients and Their Guests

Catering a Fabulous Brunch – An Impossible Task?

For most of us, brunch – that blissful meal that combines breakfast and lunch – has been around forever; so long, that it’s impossible to imagine a world without this important meal. Everyone loves brunch… except, perhaps, chefs and caterers. While there is a plethora of brunch-appropriate dishes to choose from, the fact is that it’s not so simple to get this meal together on a Sunday morning, in time to lay out the spread of your client’s dreams by 11:00 (start later than that and it’s lunch), and have it continue for four or five hours – until mid-afternoon. For a caterer, the very thing that people love about brunch – its flexibility and lack of structure – is what makes it hard. The challenge is finding the right combination of breakfast foods and lunch foods (and miscellaneous intriguing additional dishes) and always keeping it interesting. A daunting task, perhaps, but by no means impossible.

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Great Food Photography is the Key to Advertising Your Restaurant

Using Food Photography to Highlight Your Business

Why Food Photography is Vital for Your Restaurant or Catering Business

In today’s world of social media, restaurants owners and caterers have no choice but to market through the Internet and social media. To stay relevant, you have to put your food on a pedestal for all the world to see. Your menu is your calling card; in a sense, it is who you are. When potential customers hear of your restaurant or business, chances are that the first thing they will want to do is see your menu – so they can start planning and dreaming about the perfect meal or event. But what can make even more of an impact – what can transcend place and language – are photographs. Food photography adds a dimension that words cannot. A picture adds color and depth, and nothing beats photos for conveying everything that is wonderful about your food.

Clichés are clichés because they are generally true and this certainly goes for the saying: “We eat with our eyes.” People love to see what they’ll be eating before they dig in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a waiter on the way to another table with a luscious-looking  (…Read More…)

Endless Uses for the Zesty Lemons in Summer Recipes

Lemons: The Refreshing Addition to Summer Dishes

Lemons are the Perfect Addition to a Summer Menu

As temperatures rise and the novelty of the summer heat starts to wear off, the search for lighter foods becomes all consuming. Cold soups and salads are summer staples but, for me, if a dish isn’t lemony, it isn’t summery. From lemonade to lemon meringue pie, from lemon-based salad dressing to lemon-flavored Italian ices, the tart, unique, refreshing taste of lemons is synonymous with summer, and a cooking prerequisite for the hot summer months.

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Social Media is a Marketing Tool for Your Restaurant

Successfully Market Your Restaurant Using the Internet and Social Media

Establishing an Internet and Social Media Presence to Market Your Restaurant

When it comes to marketing a restaurant or catering business the bottom line is: You can never rest on your laurels. You must always assume that the new kid on the block will usurp your place at the top of the heap, or that your loyal customer base is not a devoted as you think, and that they will desert you in a heartbeat to try out the next best thing. In other words, even if you are at the summit of the industry, you cannot assume that it will all continue – unless you give your business a continuous boost.

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More Than Just Panini: 6 unusual ways to use your Panini press

With Panini sandwiches’ texture and look, it’s no wonder they are wildly popular in the United States.Imagine taking a bite out of a smoking hot, crisp, perfectly grilled Panini oozing with all kinds of cheeses. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, America thinks so too. Paninis have become one of the choice sandwiches in the past 15 years, and seem to boast promising income potential for venues around the country. But Panini makers can be expensive and bulky, which may deter some venues from purchasing them. However, once they realize the full scope of uses for which Panini presses can be employed, they may be convinced of the worthiness of the appliance. Here are six unconventional ingredients which can be prepared with a panini press.

1. Potatoes

Potatoes are the top vegetable crop in the United States. They are an integral part of our diets, making up French fries, hash browns, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and more. They can be boiled, baked, fried, roasted, grilled, microwaved….or prepared in a Panini press. Hash browns can be browned to perfection in a Panini maker, while being pressed into a uniform shape for even cooking. Smashed, grilled potatoes become a no-brainer when made in this machine as well.

2. Chicken

Customers usually expect grilled chicken to be served adorned with those beautiful grill marks. However, it can be hard to get those marks on both sides of the chicken without overcooking it, when using a regular grill. Panini makers can solve the problem by quickly and efficiently getting the chicken marked while cooking it evenly from both sides, allowing better control of the doneness without worrying about the grill marks. This benefit goes beyond chicken: meat, fish, and tofu can be conveniently “grilled” this way as well.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

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Grilled vegetables make for delicious pizza toppings, sides, sandwich fillers, and salads. Though most restaurant kitchens have a grill top or grill pan which can be used for preparing grilled veggies, Panini presses can speed up the process by blasting the vegetables with heat from both sides. Smoked goose breast or bacon wrapped around asparagus can be grilled deliciously using a Panini press.
Fruits can also be grilled in a Panini maker. Nectarines, peaches, apples, grapes, pineapple, and pears are just some of the fruits that can transform a dessert or a salad when grilled. Herbs and spices can be added as well, creating a one-step easy preparation.

Flatbreads

Though Panini makers are usually used to toast already made bread, they can also be used to cook bread dough. Flatbread prepared in a Panini press can be used as a base for focaccia, pizza, and garlic bread. It can be topped with salads or meat, soaking up the flavor and adding a unique component to the dish. Flatbreads can make up appetizers, main courses, or bread baskets to offer with salads or at the beginning of a meal. The weight from the Panini press will ensure the flatness of the dough during cooking, by preventing it from rising. If the dough is sweet, a dessert or breakfast similar to waffles or homemade ice cream cones can be made.

5. Polenta

Polenta can be served soft or hard. Soft polenta is the polenta as it is right out of the pot, but if allowed to cool, it hardens to the point where it can be sliced and grilled. Soft polenta can be delicious with grilled corn mixed in, and as you probably guessed, corn kernels can be grilled in a Panini maker. Hard polenta can be grilled in a Panini maker to get a crisp outer texture and, of course, grill marks. Thin layers of hard polenta can even be layered with cheeses, and vegetables before grilling to create an unusual polenta appetizer or main course.

6. Cheese

Panini presses offer a simple way to make cheese crisps. Choose the cheese or mixture of cheeses, and just place them on the press. Herbs and spices can be added as well, giving an interesting look and varied color to the crisps. The wavy shape can form the cheese crisps into an impressive garnish. Halloumi cheese can also be grilled on the press for use in salads and sandwiches. Grilled halloumi has an aesthetic golden crust, and gets a soft, but slightly chewy texture on the inside.

As you may have been convinced, Panini presses are a versatile tool for both commercial and home kitchens. Especially in small spaces, multipurpose appliances are extremely convenient. Aside from creating the extremely popular Panini sandwiches, Panini presses can make it easy to prepare a wide assortment of other foods as well, making it a key tool for the kitchen.

Guidelines for Food Safety During Catered Events

Good sanitation, proper food storage, and the right equipment are the keys to food safety during catered events.Food safety is a concern that every food business has heard about. Strict legislation has been passed on the topic, and the public has taken note of the damage which can be wreaked when food safety is compromised. Catered events pose a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to food safety, due to the nature of food service at such events. Many additional measures must be taken when handling and serving food at a catered event, as opposed to a regular restaurant. Catering businesses should map out the process from the time the raw ingredients are received, to the time to food reaches their diners, and pinpoint critical control points where food safety may be compromised. These points are often at the transitions between heating and cooling, where there are optimal conditions for harmful bacteria to grow. When analyzing the items and conditions which present a hazard to food safety, as a general rule of thumb, bacteria like what we do: all types of food, at room temperature to body temperature, and, like us, they also require water to grow. When applying this rule, it becomes clear that dry croutons are less of a risk for bacterial contamination than rice, for example.

Food Transportation

Catered events are occasionally located in a venue with the proper accommodations for preparing food from start to end. However, oftentimes this is not the case, and caterers must transport the food to the event and reheat it right before service. Food transportation can be (…Read More…)

A Short Guide to Bakeware

Ramekins are bakeware items that can be used to prepare soufflés and coddled eggs, among other dishes.Bakeware is a necessity for venues offering homemade baked goods such as breads, muffins, pies, and cakes. Such venues can use their bakeware for preparing and serving both baked goods and other foods. Even venues not focusing on baked products can make use of various types of bakeware in order to serve foods in unusual ways. Below are some ideas for how to make the most of various bakeware items.

Cookie Sheets

Cookie sheets are similar to baking pans, but very flat. The flat surface allows oven heat to efficiently reach all sides of the food and offers an easy to work with platform for bakers and chefs to craft dishes containing multiple components. As hinted by their name, cookie sheets are ideal for preparing cookies, but are the best option for French macarons and jelly rolls cakes as well. They can also be used for preparing both sweet and savory tuiles and crackers.

Muffin Tins

Muffin tins are typically the bakeware of choice for muffins and small bread rolls, but can also be used to prepare cinnamon buns, mini tostada-style appetizers, frittatas, small quiches and tarts, mini lasagnas, and perfectly shaped, baked, potato fritters. Miniature dishes and dishes presented in a creative ways are all the rage in event catering as well as sit-down restaurants. Since muffin tins are perfect for this purpose, they can be a great, versatile multipurpose piece of bakeware for a commercial kitchen. (…Read More…)