- National Pizza Month offers an opportunity for pizzerias to find creative ways to boost traffic and sales during October.
- One possibility: Devote the entire month to raising funds for a local animal shelter and encouraging pet adoptions.
Every month is pizza month for most food-loving Americans, but October is special – it’s National Pizza Month. And that creates a unique opportunity for pizzerias willing to get creative and have a little fun while boosting traffic to their restaurants, especially in the pandemic era.
Many chains have already kicked off the celebration. Grotto Pizza, headquartered in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, today unveiled three new specialty pies created just for National Pizza Month. Letizia’s Pizza in Norwalk, Connecticut, has brought back its annual Gertie’s Pie of Hope, featuring macaroni and cheese, bacon and bread crumbs, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In an interview with Patch.com, Letizia’s co-owner Danny Segers said he and his team “decided to create a crazy pizza – something special, something different, something we’d never done” to celebrate the month-long food holiday.
Here are some promotional ideas to help you turn National Pizza Month into four straight weeks of fun and profit:
1. “Have a Free Slice Day”—Create a “Have a Free Slice Day” coupon. Let customers download and print it from your website and redeem it on a given day in October. Make sure to promote it in social media!
2. Ramp up your online orders—Offer delivery/carryout specials exclusively for online orders throughout October. If you have a smartphone app, offer special immediate deals to customers who download it.
3. Show your love for animals—Devote the entire month to raising funds for a local animal shelter and encouraging pet adoptions. Post photos of dogs, cats and other critters in need of adoption on your social media.
4. Create weekly social media contests—Ask customers to comment on, tweet about or post Instagram photos of their favorite menu items with a designated hashtag. Award a $25 gift certificate to a random winner each week.
5. Host a pizza box art contest—Invite kids to turn your pizza boxes into works of art all month long. Give away a free pizza party to the winner and create an in-house gallery featuring all entries.
6. Win back lost customers—Use your loyalty software to create a list of customers who haven’t been in for a while. Send them bounce-back certificates—redeemable in October only—to regain their business.
7. Throw pop-up pizza lunches—Choose local businesses or nonprofits making a difference in the community and “pop up” at their offices bearing free pizza and drinks. Post photos of the lunch parties on social media.
8. Partner with the police—Let police officers hand out “tickets”—good for free pizza at your store—to citizens for good behavior (i.e., using crosswalks or wearing helmets while riding bikes).
9. Host a Halloween costume party—All kids in costume get free slices of pizza—plus candy for trick-or-treating—from 6 to 7 p.m. With parents’ permission, shoot and post photos of the kiddies on social media.
10. Hold a “Pitch a Pizza” contest—Ask customers to submit their own “dream pizza” recipes on Facebook. Followers vote on their favorites, and your staff chooses a winner at the end of the month. The winning entry earns a spot on your menu in November and a $100 gift certificate to your store.
11. Create videos for TikTok—Don’t forget this popular social media app. Shoot quick videos with members of your waitstaff or kitchen staff talking up your food, showing off a unique talent, joking around, etc. Funny videos perform especially well on TikTok, so put your team’s sense of humor to work!