I love this month’s cover for many reasons, not the least of which is that it features the stars of two of my favorite food shows, The Cooking Channel’s Pizza Masters and Pizza Cuz. Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, the savvy, straight-talking New Yorkers behind the Artichoke Basille’s Pizza chain, are cousins, best friends and business partners who parlayed their talent for pizza into television fame, a marketing strategy that costs them next to nothing and puts their brand on display to a nationwide audience of foodies.
In this month’s cover profile of the cousins’ growing pizza empire (“All ’Choked Up,” page 46), written by Tracy Morin, you won’t get the usual tips about social media or direct mail, yet there is so much to learn, from Fran and Sal’s no-nonsense business motto (“Keep it stupid-simple”) to their commitment to supporting the community’s nightlife and their willingness to learn from other operators featured on their TV shows.
Sure, Fran and Sal have the advantage of being located in one of the world’s most glamorous and celebrity-filled cities, and megastars like Miley Cyrus, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber probably won’t pop into your pizzeria anytime soon. But every town has a TV station nearby with news anchors and local programming hosts. If you knock on that station manager’s office door with an armful of fresh, hot pizzas and an offer to make pies on the air, you can become a hometown celebrity in your own right. You’ve got to start somewhere!
Meanwhile, you’ll note that this month’s issue—both our cover and the magazine’s interior pages—boasts a new, cleaner and more streamlined look for 2018. If I had a cool hat like Fran Garcia’s, I’d tip it to our design staff, Eric Summers and Sarah Beth Wiley, for reimagining the look and feel of PMQ while keeping the focus squarely on content.
For this revamped design, Eric and Sarah Beth pored over numerous consumer publications aimed at a variety of audiences—from literary and lifestyle to culinary—and incorporated subtle but effective thematic elements that are carried from the cover through the inside pages. It’s a more contemporary, higher-impact presentation that will make PMQ an even better read.
Finally, you’ll also note that our print articles now point you to more online video content at PMQ.com and PizzaTV.com. We’ve said it again and again, and we’ll keep on saying it—video is a powerful marketing tool, and we’re taking our own advice, working with our advertising clients as well as our cover subjects and article sources to take full advantage of the internet’s multimedia capabilities. We look forward to better serving our readers through online video while continuing to provide superior print content with one overriding goal in mind: helping pizzeria operators like you sell more pizza and make more money!