For cheese lovers, National Cheese Lovers Day brings up evocative images of fine cheeses and maybe a glass of wine. But for passionate pizza people, it’s also the daywhen we celebrate the perfect marriage of gooey mozzarella and chewy crust.
Why not combine our food obsessions with some especially cheesy pizza marketing ideas to set aside January 20, Cheese Lovers Day, as a truly epic event?
#1 – Here’s an idea we call the Big Cheese. Why not fan the flame of cheese love with a deep discount on a cheese pizza? A $2 cheese pizza for two?
(image from American Cheese society)
#2 – The American Cheese Society recommends creating a special pizza menu for the day featuring locally produced cheeses. Invite local cheese-maker(s) to come to your restaurant for a meet-and-greet with diners.
“Cheese-maker(s) can speak with diners about their craft, and answer questions from diners,” said Rebecca Sherman Orozco, Marketing & Communications Director for the American Cheese Society. “This could be marketed as a special ticketed event, with proceeds supporting a cheese-related philanthropic organization, such as the American Cheese Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization (ACS’s sister organization) that supports cheese-maker education and scholarships.” (www.cheesefoundation.org.)
#3 Offer special pizzas on Cheese Lover’s Day featuring less common cheeses great on pizza, the American Cheese Society suggests. How about artisan goat cheese, cheddar, burrata, or even a blue cheese?
“Top these pies with items that would pair well with each cheese on a cheese plate. For instance, a savory pizza might be topped with blue cheese, walnuts, and arugula, or a sweeter pie might be topped with chevre, honey and fresh figs,” Orozco said.
#4 The American Cheese Society also recommends going all-American for the national holiday.
“Source all cheeses for a pizzeria’s menu (mozzarellas, ricottas, parmesan-style cheeses, etc) exclusively from American producers on Cheese Lover’s Day, with a special eye toward artisan and specialty producers,” Orozco said. “ACS can help to identify these producers for pizzerias.”
#5 – Host a gourmet cheese-tasting at your pizzeria. Here’s your chance to pair up cheeses with the most complementary wines on your menu. Another creative and fun option might be a mozzarella-making class. PMQ highly recommends this Serious Eat’s cheat sheeton how to pair wines and cheese.
#6 – Try a new cheese pizza recipe to celebrate. Here is a recipe from the PMQ Recipe Bank that features 10 delicious cheeses. Yes we said 10!
“Creating special cheese-focused pies—Quattro Formaggi suggests something with Roquefort or other cheeses not typically associated with pizza—is a great way to celebrate the day and elevate your pizzeria brand. Or simply offering a deal onunadorned cheese pizza demonstrates what a miraculous culinary gem can be madefrom just dough, sauce and cheese. Plus, Cheese Lovers Day lends itself to an endless assortment of promotions to bump sales during the week!” said Gary Kolling Director of Marketing, Lactalis Culinary.
One such promotion idea is to work with local radio stations or morning TV shows. Kolling recommends sending free cheese slices to local stations while communicating a blurb about Cheese Lovers Day and offering free pizzas for call-in contests.
#7 Lactalis Culinary suggests making heart-shaped cheese pizzas. For every 10th order, customers receive a free heart-shaped cheese pizza or one at a reduced price.
#8 Free Cheese Slices, adds Kolling with Lactalis Culinary.
Pizzerias may want to offer dining-in or carryout patrons a free cheese slice with any pizza order or offer free cheese slices at the counter to carryout customers or to all customers during certain hours.
#9 John R. Ellis, who is a retired pizza maker, suggests, in reply to our question on Google+, that operators make extra cheese free for the day or offer a free cheese platter/sampler on the counter.
#10 The decadent folks at Wicked Cheesyin Tewksbury, Massachusetts, plan to roll out the “worlds cheesiest pizza” with five pounds of cheese blend on January 20. They’re also rolling out a new cheese selection for their pizzas, wraps, subs, salads and desserts. The selection includes: asiago, Monterey jack, yellow cheddar, swiss, goat cheese, gorgonzola, crumbled bleu cheese, fresh mozzarella and ricotta. As a bonus, they’re featuring homemade cheesecake to celebrate the holiday.