The pizza industry, it seems, is a sucker for best-of lists. They keep popping up everywhere, and, admittedly, we keep reporting on them. The latest comes from The Daily Meal, which recently asked its readers to choose their favorites from a list of 100 pizzeria chains nationwide. Nearly 1,000 people voted, and Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen, which specializes in California-style pizza, emerged as the winner, beating out No. 2 Domino's. But it's No. 3 that may surprise some industry observers: Ledo Pizza, a primarily regional chain with 100 franchise locations, nearly all of them in Virginia and Maryland. Known for its square pies and strong community involvement, Ledo also announced this past summer that it was leading the pizza industry in Instagram with 7,900 followers, so the company has plenty to brag about these days. Rounding out the top 5 were Pizza Hut at No. 4 and Uno Chicago Grill at No. 5.
Pretzel bread is everywhere right now, with independents and chains getting in the game with pretzel buns, bread sticks and more. So why not a pretzel crust pizza? Imagine the dipping possibilities! The Pizza Insider went to Tom "The Dough Doctor" Lehmann to see if pretzel crust pizza was possible…
With more than 150 million active users (nearly half the U.S. population), Instagram is a social media gold mine for promoting your pizzeria. It's super-efficient, easy to use and extremely popular with younger customers. PMQ's Slice of Life blogger Melanie Addington asked Sue B. Zimmerman, a.k.a. the Instagram Gal, for some advice on marketing to Instagram users. Here are three of her 10 tips: 1) Post photos of happy customers enjoying their experience at your pizzeria; 2) Offer behind-the-scene glimpses of your pizzeria in action – show how you create the pizzas they love; and 3) Show your personality – customers prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust.
Some unknown customer must have left New Park Pizza, a landmark restaurant in Howard Beach, New York, in a disgruntled mood recently, judging by the graffiti that appeared on the storefront. In huge spraypainted letters, a vandal scribbled the words "Worst Service Ever" across the shop's windows. An employee told the New York Daily News that security cameras captured footage of the incident, but the tagger could not be identified. Fortunately, as photos of the graffiti spread via Instagram, customers quickly rose to New Park's defense. "That's completely wrong," one regular told the Daily News. "It's the best service ever. They're really nice in there, and the service is wonderful."
Pizzeria operators around the world are learning from the architecture of skyscrapers and building their pizzas vertically. McDonald's in India created the Pizza McPuff, a handheld calzone served in a rectangular box-it's deep-fried and stuffed with beans, carrots, bell peppers and peas, along with cheese and sauce. Meanwhile, an Italian chain called Konopizza developed the pizza cone and recently brought that concept to New Jersey, with plans to open more locations in California soon.
Klavon's Pizzeria & Pub in Jackson, Michigan awarded 100% of its sales from Tuesday, December 10, back to its 50-plus employees as a special holiday bonus. As reported by MLive.com, owner Justin Klavon said he was hoping for a record-setting sales day. "I know the reason behind our success is our great employees," he told MLive.com. "Passing on all of the proceeds from a full day's sales is a unique and meaningful way to show our appreciation for all they do." The promotion garnered positive coverage from local websites, newspapers and TV news outlets.