PMQ’s Think Tank (thinktank.pmq.com) is the only pizza industry forum on the Web, with 2,500 members who meet online regularly to discuss the pizza business. In this new column, we’ll introduce you to some of the Tank’s seasoned members who can show you the ropes and lend insights into how the forum has benefited their businesses.
Think Tank username: Rockstar Pizza
Real Name: Ron Mathews
Date Joined: June 27, 2006
Number of Posts: 1,400
Pizzeria: Rockstar Pizza (rockstarpizza.net), Brownsburg, IN
PMQ: How many years have you been in the pizza business?
Rockstar Pizza (Ron): Technically, I started in the business delivering for Domino’s right after high school back in 1986. I continued on in college, delivering for Papa John’s. I opened the first restaurant of my own in 1997.
When did you first start using the Think Tank, and do you remember why you joined?
I started using the Think Tank way back in 2006. I remember that I was having issues with my dough and needed the right formula.
Why have you continued to return to the Think Tank over the years?
I think every owner that uses the Think Tank understands that in the pizza world we all go through the trial-and-error phase—and that the more errors we can eliminate, the better we are. Our world is truly changing, thanks to text marketing, online ordering, EDDM, Facebook, Twitter, VOIP phone systems, mobile apps and anything tech-related. It’s hard for one person to master everything, so tapping into a collective group of people is the best way to stay relevant and informed!
Can you share an example of a business tip, or tips, you picked up in the Tank that helped your business?
There are a lot. The latest is the new “Smart Snacks in School” program (the USDA’s revision of nutritional standards for snacks sold in schools). You would not believe how hard it is to get whole-wheat flour to mix with regular flour, but with the help of some friends in our Think Tank group, I have successfully submitted our bid.
What should a newbie know when first entering the Think Tank?
I think that the most important thing is to read the FAQ post. There may be questions you did not even think of, plus it’s a wealth of information. Second, do not be afraid to ask questions; we all started out small, and there really are no bad questions.