- To draw in the family crowd, host a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny or an Easter egg-decorating contest.
- Traditional pizzas don’t always lend themselves to an Easter theme, but dessert pizzas topped with Easter candy is a different story.
Easter remains one of the most profitable days in the calendar year for restaurants. According to research from the National Restaurant Association, Easter ranks as the fourth biggest restaurant holiday, following Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
Granted, pizzerias and Easter promotions do not a perfect match make. When most people think of Easter, they picture brunch or fancy, sit-down, multicourse dinners. They probably don’t envision family pizzas and Italian food. But why can’t pizzerias get in on the fun and enjoy some extra holiday sales? Why can’t dine-in and fast-casual pizza joints celebrate Easter?
You just have to get creative. Celebrate Easter at your pizzeria, but maybe with a more laid-back feel and tone. Unsure of how to do it? Here are some ideas.
1. Bring in the Easter Bunny
Parents love to introduce their little ones to the Easter Bunny, and some pizzerias have been known to host meet-and-greets with the most famous rabbit in Christendom. Create flyers and social media posts advertising the Easter Bunny’s visit to your pizza shop and encourage the kiddos to get their picture taken with this kid-friendly character. Or dress up a willing staff member in a bunny costume and send that person outside to wave at passing cars. It’s a great way to call attention to your pizza shop during the Easter weekend or even throughout Easter week. In the days leading up to the holiday, also think about hosting an Easter egg-decorating contest for children (or adults, if you like), which makes for great social media posts.
2. Offer an Eggs-cellent Dessert Pizza
Traditional pizzas don’t always lend themselves to festive Easter twists. You could offer a lamb pizza, perhaps, or a pie topped with eggs, but other Easter staples like candied carrots and asparagus don’t belong anywhere near a pizza. Easter and pizza are not a match made in heaven. But dessert pizzas? That’s a whole different story. If you’ve never offered a dessert pizza before, the concept is pretty simple: Whereas normal pizzas swing savory, dessert pizzas swing sweet. They also lend themselves to Easter themes. Here are some ideas:
Easter Egg Cookie Pizza: Make it with a cream cheese, chocolate or Nutella base and top it with chopped candy Easter eggs or other goodies.
Easter Egg Fruit Pizza: This slightly healthier variation also uses a cream cheese, Nutella or chocolate base. Instead of loading it up with candy, however, you add a medley of fruits and berries to the base.
3. Fire Up Some Festive Cocktails
Cocktails are typically some of the highest-margin items on your menu. If your pizzeria has a bar, why not spice up your offerings for Easter with some boozy-bunny delights? After all, Jesus was a pretty big wine guy, sometimes even at the expense of staying hydrated (that’s a water-to-wine joke). So it seems fitting to pour up in honor of his ascension to heaven. If you don’t mind getting a tad irreverent, here are some ideas to get you started:
The Corpse Reviver: Initially intended as a hangover remedy, this drink can easily be transitioned into a little tongue-in-cheek Easter fun. Check out this recipe and give it a shot.
A Bloody Mary (Magdalene): Celebrate the original working lady with a beverage in her honor. Actually, this one might be in poor taste. I don’t know. After COVID-19 isolation, I can’t even tell anymore.
Bottomless Mimosas: Not specific to Easter, but it’s a great excuse for customers to come join you for a boozy Sunday lunch to commemorate the holiday.
4. Try an Easter Prix Fixe Menu
This one applies to pizzerias with a more extensive menu that goes beyond just pizza, but it can work well for straight-up pizza joints as well.
If you offer a wide variety of entrée options, consider crafting an elevated prix fixe menu to make the meal special. Prix fixe meals are a great way to entice new customers and reward old ones with something new. They also tend to be very cost-effective for restaurants because you can accurately forecast and set higher margins for more in-demand items.
If the primary thing you offer is pizza, you can have fun with some prix-fixe menu promotional mashups. Instead of offering a preset multicourse meal, go with a more dynamic one. For a single price, customers can choose a slice of their favorite pizza, a fun Easter cocktail (see above), and a piece of your Easter dessert pizza (also see above—there’s a lot going on up there).
If you really want to have fun with your prix fixe menu, you can set out a whole new menu design to make the meal feel special. Menu template services offer thousands of free menu designs, including festive Easter menu templates, to help you get started.
5. Offer an Easter Buffet
Buffets are a staple of the Easter restaurant experience. This is especially true for brunch and breakfast (a little less so for dinner, but some places still do it). Good news! This one actually lines up nicely for pizzerias, especially the ones that already offer pizza lunch buffets.
If you already offer a lunch buffet, consider giving it some Easter tweaks and staying the course. If you don’t, Easter is a great time to try out something new and special for your guests. This can be especially fun for pizzerias that don’t normally offer a buffet, because it feels more like a can’t-miss-opportunity for loyal customers. Their favorite pizza, all-you-can-eat? Sounds like a win.
At the end of the day, Easter remains an important day for restaurants and customers alike. If you find yourself wanting to celebrate at your pizzeria, you totally can. You just might have to get a little creative.
Mark Plumlee is a freelance writer whose articles have been published in Full Service Restaurant, Modern Restaurant Management, Quick Service Restaurant, Hospitality Tech, That Oregon Life, The San Francisco Examiner, Blazersedge and other blogs. As a copywriter, he has helped restaurants and small businesses grow and define their brand for more than five years.