Learn Chicago-Style Pizza from the Masters at the National Pizza Show

Learning opportunities abound at the August 23-25 event, including a certification program in Chicago-style pizza.

  • The National Pizza & Pasta Show, to be held August 23-25, offers unique educational opportunities, including a boot camp and certification program in Chicago’s three pizza styles.
  • Seminars and workshops will help you build a multimillion-dollar family-run restaurant, overcome labor challenges, better handle delivery logistics and more.

Pizza continues to be America’s favorite food, and the pizza industry continues to grow in size and sophistication. To aid operators in running the best possible restaurants, the National Pizza and Pasta Show comes to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in suburban Rosemont, Illinois, adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, from Tuesday, August 23, through Thursday, August 25.

Tuesday, August 23, will be for seminars only. Wednesday and Thursday will include seminars and the exhibits. Early bird attendee registration is $50 before July 1 and after that date, the registration fee is $100. Complete information can be found at www.nationalpizzashow.com.

The event also offers unique educational programming, including topics such as building a multimillion-dollar family-run pizzeria operation, as well as a boot camp for making the three styles of pizza for which Chicago is famous: deep-dish, stuffed-crust and tavern-style.

“We’re bringing together some of the biggest names in the business,” said Drew Axelrod, Show Manager at Expo Media, Inc., the show’s producer. “We want to help restaurant operators find their niche and succeed beyond their expectations. This event pulls together the right people, both operators and manufacturers, to make crucial connections that will help them innovate in their businesses. What could be more fun than to build relationships with peers who share the same passion for all styles of pizza?”

The show will feature 300 diversified exhibits, plus 30 educational seminars, live demonstrations, 10 expert workshops, a deep-dish and tavern-style pizza certification program, a new product showcase and multiple Pizza City U.S.A. guided bus tours.

Encompassing three days of quality educational and networking opportunities, attendees will learn how they can “make some dough in Chicago” in this competitive arena. They will strengthen their knowledge of cutting-edge marketing and sales strategies, improvements in ingredients, and ways to build a more efficient operation.

A sampling of the educational seminar topics includes:

  • Combating Labor Shortages
  • Using Call Centers for Higher Volume
  • What’s Next for the Pizza Industry
  • Avoiding Insurance Claims
  • Improving Sales with Craft Beer and Specialty Wines
  • Managing Multiple Styles of Pizza Crust
  • Where’s My Money?

The intensive workshops also will cover a lot of ground, including such topics as:

  • Digital Advertising for Increased Recognition, Volume and Sales
  • Successfully Operating a Ghost Kitchen
  • Streamlined Delivery Logistics and Reaching New Customers
  • Reaching for a Multi-Million Dollar Family-Run Pizzeria Operation
  • Boot Camp for Deep-Dish, Stuffed and Tavern-Style Pizzas

Want to broaden the variety or improve the quality of your pizza offerings? The show will include live demonstrations of how to make various styles of pizza. There also will be live demonstrations on how to develop and prepare signature sandwiches and pasta specialties.

“Chicago is the perfect destination to host a pizza convention,” said Axelrod. “Most people associate Chicago with Chicago-style pizza—deep-dish or stuffed pizza. Although Chicago is known for inventing these styles of pizza, it is so much more—we think it is the best pizza city in the country—a proverbial magnet for pizza lovers. As a top culinary center, Chicago has embraced both mainstream and artisan pizza in virtually every style found in Italy and the United States. It is a fabulous pizza destination!”

As a special treat for convention-goers and to showcase Chicago’s prowess in pizza making, noted food journalist and Chicago pizza expert Steve Dolinsky, a winner of numerous James Beard Foundation journalism awards and owner of Pizza City USA/Chicago Pizza Tours, will lead pizza tours during the trade show. Dolinsky is author of the new book, Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide, and has a been a popular Chicago TV food reporter for many years. The first 100 restaurant operators to pre-register for the show will receive a free copy of his book.