- Make 2022 the best year ever for National Pizza Month by getting creative both in the kitchen and in your marketing strategy.
- Start by reaching out to your local TV news team and arranging to make a pizza on-air or host a battle of the TV news anchors at your restaurant.
Related: Legendary Totonno’s has a new business plan: frozen pizzas
Make 2022 the year you take full advantage of National Pizza Month in October. Nearly everyone loves pizza, and October gives them an excuse to eat a lot of it. Here are nine promotional possibilities for your pizzeria:
1. Make some news! Your local TV reporter is always looking for some lighter news to report. Your plans for National Pizza Month could be just what the reporter is looking for. First, you’ve got to reach out to the station—don’t just expect them to hear about your plans through word-of-mouth. Take the initiative. Call the reporter or station manager and offer to drop off some free pizzas. Once you’ve hooked up with the right person, ask if you can make a pizza live on the air. Or invite the anchors to join you at your restaurant for a pizza-making class. Another possibility: If you’re in a major TV market with multiple TV stations, challenge the news, sports and weather anchors to a celebrity cook-off for National Pizza Month!
Getting featured on local TV news is easier than you think. Just make sure to show up for the shoot fully prepared, with all the ingredients you’ll need to make your pizza and a brief but memorable spiel about why your pies are the best in town.
2. Get creative with your giveaways. Near the end of September, announce that you’ll be randomly giving away a pizza every day in October to someone who has signed up for your loyalty program. It’s a great way to bring in more orders, build up your rewards program and gather customer info. You can also advertise a pizza party giveaway on social media. Pizza Pizza, a Canadian chain, celebrated its 50th anniversary in October 2017 with a gonzo Facebook contest that generated 635 reactions, 709 comments and 202 shares. To win a $150 gift card for a pizza party, fans had to tag five friends they would invite to the blowout and describe the pizzas they would order. For your giveaway contest, create a hashtag to boost your exposure and choose high-quality photos and video footage to draw eyeballs to your post.
3. Be cool to your schools. School has started back all over the country by now. And many teachers are looking for field trip opportunities that are both fun and enlightening. There’s a lot you can do for young field trippers. Let them make their own simple pies, for starters, and offer some educational info about how the key ingredients are grown. For younger groups, provide them with materials for a pizza art contest, choose a winner and feature all of their artwork on your pizzeria’s walls. This would also be a good time to announce another promotion: a free small pizza for every kid who gets all As on their report cards! If you go this route, make sure to take photos when the kids come in and post the pics on social media (with the parents’ permission, of course).
4. Post a new video every day. It doesn’t have to be super-polished; in fact, the more “real” it feels, the better. You can feature your employees and let them talk about their hobbies, their kids, why they love their job or why your pizza is the best. You can also show the steps of making one of your most popular (or profitable) pizzas—show it being made, going into the oven and coming out of the oven. Post these videos on your TikTok account or as an Instagram Reel—and there’s no law that says you can’t do both! Frankly, you should!
5. Offer pizza/wine pairings for the grownups. If you’re not all that wine-savvy, here’s an idea: pair certain pies with Sauvignon Blanc. Tomato sauce and cheese lie at the heart of pizza’s scrumptious flavors, and Sauvignon Blanc complements both. Sauvignon Blanc’s forward fruit/herb character enhances the herb-infused flavors of tomato sauce, while its crisp acidity serves as a foil to the richness of the cheese. But choose your pizzas carefully. A simple tomato, basil and cheese Margherita pizza is heavenly with Sauvignon Blanc, as is a pineapple and ham-topped Hawaiian pizza. A veggie pizza is also spectacular, and one topped with goat cheese is an experience to savor. But there are a few pizzas for which Sauvignon Blanc simply isn’t a good match. A pizza with a spicy topping like sausage, pepperoni or barbecued chicken can overwhelm Sauvignon Blanc, while one that features a sweet tomato sauce makes Sauvignon Blanc taste sour. For the latter cases, consider a nice Zinfandel.
6. Hold a recipe contest. Using the social media platform(s) of your choice, invite customers to describe their dream pie and the ingredients that would go on it. Narrow down the entries to the top three or top five finalists and offer those pizzas throughout the month. The pizza that gets the most orders makes the permanent menu or can be featured as a recurring LTO. Think about using the winner’s name as the pizza’s name—as in the Lisa Smith or the John Taylor. Everyone who knows that person will want to order it.
7. Showcase your locally grown ingredients. Here’s one of our favorite promotions in this vein: Back in October 2017, Smoky Mountain Pizzeria & Grill milked National Pizza Month for all it’s worth by celebrating local dairy farmers. For select pizza deliveries, dairy farmer Clint Jackson showed up on customers’ doorsteps in Eagle, Idaho, with a 500-pound jersey heifer named Josie. Since Smoky Mountain uses only Idaho cheese on its pies, it was a headline-grabbing way to honor local suppliers while also generating incredible word-of-mouth. If you can’t borrow somebody’s cow, you can still collaborate with your local growers to come up with some fun ideas. Make sure to promote their meats, cheeses and produce in your social media posts and feature them in videos to raise their local profile!
8. 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. If the weather’s not too cold in your part of the country and you offer outdoor dining, also think about hosting a Pups on the Patio event. Offer treats for your customers’ pets and special deals for the two-legged types.
9. Host a Halloween costume party. You don’t have to wait for Halloween night to celebrate this kid favorite. You’ll be plenty busy that night anyway. Instead, plan it for mid-October or one week before the holiday, when the children are already getting excited about the holiday. Give away free slices to every kid who shows up in costume, plus free candy. Make it a costume contest and give away a prize, such as a free pizza party, to the winner. Offer pumpkin-carving contests, too! Ask parents for permission to feature all the cute kids’ pictures on your social media platform, and shoot videos as well.