We traveled all over the place in 2003 looking for the best ideas at trade shows across the United States and in Australia. We've been to Los Angeles, New York, Columbus, Chicago, Orlando, Indiana, New Orleans, Toledo and Sydney. Through hours of conversations and product demonstrations at all of the shows, we've put together a list of new and innovative products that are sure to be profitable for us in the pizza industry. Some of the products showcased here are existing products making an expansion to the pizza market. Some are great new inventions geared specifically at pizza. Take a look at these great finds. We will also have an extensive list of products we discovered at 2003 tradeshows at www.pmq.com. And now for the best of the best!

International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York

Takeaway Menus
One thing that can tilt the odds in your favor when customers are trying to decide on where to order is having a menu in their hands. Sure it's easy when they are in the restaurant, but what about when they are at home? One thing you can do is have affordable menus placed outside your restaurant, near the exits, at the register or give them away with delivery orders. Your menu will be there not only as a menu, but as constant advertising every time they look at it.
Takeout Printing

Impress Customers with Logo-Impressed Crusts
Looking for a way to WOW! customers? How about having your pizzeria's name or logo impressed into each crust. This is one of the cooler ideas we saw. This tool allows you to roll your name or logo around the crust prior to baking. Customers will be amazed and word of mouth about this little "trick" is sure to spread. You can also press your name or logo into breadsticks, calzones, cakes, butter or any other impressionable food.
Gourmet Impressions

National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) in Chicago, Illinois

Bendable Neon?
Not quite, but close. Here is a cool, bendable, neon-like material that is a great idea for highlighting menus, outlining your bar or simply using for interior or exterior decorating. The product can be used in the dining area, to light hallways or on patios. It only uses about 70 percent of the energy of normal lighting, is resistant to high temperatures and comes in various colors. A great way to draw attention to specials boards or simply add a unique twist to your unique restaurant.
ILight Technologies • 847-328-7800 • info@ilight-tech.comwww.ilight-tech.com

Retractable Patio Covers
If you have a patio or outdoor dining area, the last thing you want is bad weather. But, if weather does roll up, roll out the roof. This company started out making rollaway pool covers, but they can also be used for outdoor dining areas. This a great product for those areas where smoking has been banned indoors. Now you can have an outdoor dining area that is open to the stars or covered for protection. It can also be locked at night
Roll-A-Cover • 866-393-7292 • rollacovermike@aol.comwww.roll-a-cover.com

Rolling Along
Do you hate having to get a new banner printed all the time for events and promotions with just a simple logo? Well, we discovered a cost-effective way to promote without the hassle. Roll-A-Sign is a 1,000-foot roll of polyethylene in widths from 18 to 36 inches and printed in up to four colors. Reef Industries can get up to 330 images per roll. These banners can be used inside or out.
Reef Industries • 713-507-4200 • www.reefindustries.com

Have the Time?
We discovered a great customized clock – n a pizza replica. Fax Foods can make a custom clock like this one for your store with your choice of toppings. An interesting conversation piece, it's sure to add charm to your restaurant. They also offer a great line of pizza and other food replicas.
Fax Foods • 1-800-929-1189 • www.faxfoods.cominfo@faxfoods.com

Florida Restaurant Show in Orlando, Florida

Portable Wireless Transactions
The TranAKT is capable of supporting multiple wireless transactions, credit cards, debit cards, phone cards and other magnetic strip-related cards. These handheld devices can be used for at-the-table transactions, making your operation run more efficiently because the waitstaff doesn't have to take the card, go to the terminal and return with the ticket – it can all be done at the table or the device can be used for delivery orders. It can also be used in conjunction with magnetic loyalty cards.
TranAkt • 574-532-9216 • p.stefanos@comcast.netwww.transaktcorp.com

Easy Takeout
Drake Corporation's Pizza Bag is a new concept of a carrier bag with a lateral opening. They keep pizza boxes horizontally and let a free hand conventionally carry drinks, handle car keys, and open doors with ease. They are ideal in the summertime when carrying a hot pizza box close to your body is a burning nightmare!! A new item that is a must in every pizzeria.
Drake Corporation • 732-254-1530 • www.drakecorp.cominfo@drakecorp.com

Interactive Ordering
The Order Buddy is a wireless handheld POS system we found for use by servers for tableside ordering. The server is able to interact more with customers and save time by entering the order at the table instead of writing it down and then going to a wait station POS system.
CSI Hospitality Systems • Phone: 1-800-275-4274

Mid-America Pizza Show

(now NAPICS) in Columbus, Ohio

Heat Up Deliveries
Here is a new twist to an old bag. These disk can be heated and inserted into your existing pizza delivery bags to ensure customers are getting a hot product with deliveries. They fit into nearly every existing pizza bag out there. This is a good way to make sure the quality of your delivered product is maintained.
PGE • 800-669-4443 • mterova@pgegroup.com

Equipment Auction
If you have used equipment you need to sell or are looking for good used equipment to buy, we found a company that may be able to help. The Michael Angelo Auction Company provides full service auction to the foodservice industry on a local and national level. They conduct auctions of surplus equipment, operating locations and complete closed locations.
The Michael Angelo Auction Company

N. American Assn. of Foodservice Equip. Mfg. (NAFEM) Show in New Orleans, Louisana

Oven with Options
APW Wyott had a portable conveyor oven that does it all. The X*WAV™ Conveyor oven offers a quick way to offer toasted sandwiches, heat up appetizers, and heat individual slices of pizza. This conveyor oven can melt cheese on a sub in under a minute.
APW Wyott • Phone: 1-800-527-2100 • www.APWwyott.com

Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in Los Angeles, California

Sausage Alternative
With the recent craze in healthier pizzas, we found an innovation from the Mexican food supplier, El Burrito. Soyrizo is a soy sausage topping for pizzas developed from the traditional Mexican sausage chorizo. Soyrizo is made with 100 percent soybeans, Canola oil and the traditional chorizo spices. It offers a sausage topping with 46 percent fewer calories and 57 percent fewer calories from fat. If you are interested in offering a healthier sausage topping, to your pizza menu contact:
El Burrito

Want to Offer Online Gift Certificates?
The Gift Tracker was an idea we discovered that offers online management of gift certificates for restaurants. Gift Tracker plugs into your website through a simple link. It's a great way for customers to get last-minute gifts. You can even track gift certificate sales, run reports and verify gift certificates online.
Phone: 1-888-430-GIFT

Sofo Foods Show in Toledo, Ohio

Greek Twist on Sandwiches
The Pita Classics by Kronos Products were featured at the Sofo Foods Expo. These pitas can offer a new twist on sandwiches currently on your menu. These pitas are very versatile and can be a refreshing option for your customers. For recipes and information on Kronos Pita Classics, contact:
Kronos Products
Phone: 1-800-621-0099

Presto Foods Show in Indiana

Catchy Decoration
World Division Printing has a neat idea for banner printing – a pizza flag banner. This is something great to put up at a grand opening or outside on a patio. It might even be used inside as a decoration over the front counter. We had one made for the U.S. Pizza Team trials.
World Division Printing
Phone: 1-800-433-9843


Fine Food Show in Sydney, Australia


The Round Pizza Box
Still trying to fit a round peg into a square hole? They built a better pizza box. Gralex Inc. Hydraulic Thermoforming Process has developed a corrugated, two-piece take-away "box" in the same shape as the pizza – round. Pre-formed bases and lids stack in a nest and reduce the space required to store boxes. Other advantages are: a rigid lid "shoulder" design that keeps the lid off the pizza and breather holes in the lid.
Amcor Cartons
61 2 9394 0555

Pizza News