Hometown pizzerias and small chains like Village Idiot Pizza in Columbia, South Carolina, will get 1/3 of the pizza business during National Pizza Day and Super Bowl weekend this year.

Forrest Clonts / Village Idiot Pizza

Survey: What Customers Want from Local Pizzerias This Weekend

A HungerRush survey found that 1/3 of diners will order from a local pizzeria on National Pizza Day and for the Super Bowl. Are you fully prepared?

Are you prepared for one of your busiest weekends of 2024? According to a national dining survey from POS provider HungerRush, 32% of diners plan to order pizza from a local chain or independent pizzeria—instead of a major pizza chain—for either National Pizza Day (February 9), the Super Bowl (February 11) or both. So what do they expect from you?

Altogether, HungerRush found that a whopping 72% of diners will order pizza for these events. And no doubt chains like Domino’s and Papa Johns will bombard them with ads in programming leading up to the Super Bowl as well as during the game. But with 1/3 of those diners preferring local pizza, operators have a big opportunity to not only capture that business throughout the coming weekend but to keep those customers coming back again and again afterwards.

Here’s what your customers expect from local pizzerias for these events, according to the HungerRush survey:

1. Superior taste and quality: Fifty-six percent of diners said overall quality and taste matter most when choosing a restaurant to order pizza from. You’ve probably got this one covered. Just make sure to convey to your staff that consistency is crucial, even during rush periods as the orders start pouring in.

2. Special deals and fast delivery: The best available coupon and fastest delivery time tied for second place with better taste and quality. Offering special Big Game Day and National Pizza Day coupons that highlight speedy delivery and quality ahead of time can help maximize your pizzeria’s orders. Normally, 42% of diners expect their pizza to arrive within 30 minutes. For busy pizza days like the Super Bowl and National Pizza Day, that expectation eases a bit. For example, during The Big Game, 33% of millennials and 31% of Gen X expect their pizza delivery to arrive within 45 minutes.

3. The basics are better: These diners likely won’t be opting for fancy specialty pies topped with broccoli rabe or crab meat. According to the survey, the most popular pizza types will be pepperoni (63%), cheese (56%) and meat lovers (51%). Make sure you’ve got plenty of those toppings on-hand so you don’t run out in the rush!

4. Flexibility on complex orders: Forty-three percent of the diners surveyed said they make somewhat complex to very complex changes to their pizza orders. So a high-functioning POS system and your staff’s ability to manage order complexity will be paramount. A failure to handle complex orders with speed and accuracy can damage the customer experience for almost half of customers and lead to lost business.