To market your pizzeria in challenging times, you have to start putting yourself out there.

Katie Collier, owner of Katie’s Pizza & Pasta in St. Louis, puts her money where her marketing is, and her investment pays big dividends.

Daniel Perea


I’ve said this a lot lately—to anyone at the PMQ office who will listen to me (admittedly, a short list)—and I’ll keep saying it: Katie Collier, owner of Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria in St. Louis and this month’s cover subject (“Katie’s Kitchen,” page 34), does pretty much everything right in the marketing of her restaurant. I say “pretty much” because, who knows, maybe I missed something. But if I had to name a young restaurateur who has mastered pizzeria marketing in the digital era, Collier would top the list.

Collier puts her money where her marketing is, from online cooking videos with network TV-level production values to an outstanding website and social media presence that pull you in with gorgeous food photography. I didn’t ask about her marketing budget, but it’s likely substantial—and that investment pays big dividends. All too often, single-unit operators tell me they rely mostly on word-of-mouth for marketing and then complain, off the record, about how difficult it is to build up slow nights and keep the lights on during the dreary winter months. Year-round, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria serves 500 people on a typical weekday and upwards of 1,000 on a Friday or Saturday (not to mention a brisk carryout business). And that’s in part because Collier knows word-of-mouth is never enough.

Her personal story—she grew up bussing tables and washing dishes before falling in love with Italian cuisine during a visit to Florence—is fairly typical. But it feels extraordinary when Collier tells it because she sells herself in every customer interaction, every video, every TV appearance, not just with her winning personality and easy laugh—which make her approachable—but with her strength of character, passion for cooking and depth of culinary knowledge.

“The more you put yourself out there and tell your story, people will notice you,” Collier says. “Because not everybody does that. A lot of people just focus on their restaurant and stay inside, and they’re cooking all day and night and forgetting about the big picture. You have to get yourself out there in all types of ways, and opportunities will come.”

I wish more restaurateurs thought like that. Like I said, Katie Collier does pretty much everything right.

Rick Hynum
PMQ Editor-in-Chief

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Make the most out of your pizza boxes with these tips from operators

Pizza boxes offer up prime marketing space for operators—but are you using yours to its full potential?

True Greek pizza isn't just olives and feta cheese.

PMQ explores Greek-style pizza’s characteristics and history in the United States.

The Dough Doctor tackles effective dough management strategies

If your pizzas aren’t coming out right, here’s how to put your finger on the problem.

What's Your Story? Vets2Success

An Iraq War veteran is using the culinary arts to transform the lives of fellow vets seeking a new start in life.

Recipe of the Month: Get the gluten out with DeIorio's Fresh Prosciutto Gluten-Free Pizza

Serve your customers this prime pie made with fresh prosciutto, garlic and DeIorio's gluten-free pizza shells.

Is your pizzeria geared up for National Pizza Month?

New managing editor Bill DeJournett runs down the upcoming marketing frenzy.

Let your fingers do the talking with text blasts

Think Tankers weigh in on using text blast programs with your market base.

Some Italians Jumping Ship on True Neapolitan Pizza

Italian consumers today demand a healthier product, which has pizzaioli experimenting with different kinds of flour and reviving ancient techniques.

Product Spotlight: September 2018

Pizza box knives, speedier pans and more.

Idea Zone: Custom Cheese Shakers Make for a Fun & Exciting Functional Promotional Item

Make a statement with these branded cheese shakers from
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags