January 2024 Vol. 29, No. 1



  • Trends To Bank On
  • Football Season Success


The Great Mozzarella Showdown Recipe Contest

The International Pizza Expo

Vantaggio D'Oro

Featured Product:

Bellissimo Chicken Wings

Click the video to see why Operators prefer Bellissimo chicken wings.
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Trends To Bank On - By Sally Phonthachack, BFC

“Buy local” is a term many large companies are using today to foster a sense of community and image of freshness. Finding ways to support and engage your local community is one of the best ways to increase your business and bottom line. Local marketing ideas come in many forms, but there are some proven success patterns that you can use to increase your revenue and profits. Here are a few top trends to engage your local community:

Consistency is extremely import but often ignored. This factor is one of the reasons why chains with mediocre products are able to exist. Customers have many choices, and the price and food quality value can be different for each. But loyal (repeat) customers are critical to independent restaurants and consistency of a quality experience is a “must do” to stay in business.

Reach out to different groups in your community. To build a business, you must develop a product and service strategy that appeals to the population in your demographic. Most of your customers live or work within 3 miles. What is the neighborhood income strata, and ethnic breakout? Who are the competitors within this area, and which ones are both successful and struggling?

Adapt to trends in menu offerings. In an extended economic malaise like we’re now in, growth will come from adapting to trends in the market and changing consumer habits. Even frequent repeat customers will appreciate the addition of new items to try and a refreshed approach.

  • Chicken is viewed as a healthy meat option, and can be flavored spicy or with specific ethnic flavors e.g. Thai, Mexican
  • Artisan pizzas are popular and profitable, enabling operators to offer both variety and an upscale image. Items like specialty cheese, fresh basil, char-grilled vegetables.
  • Offering healthy alternatives like gluten free to appeal to a growing segment of the population.
  • Offer additional side accompaniments like fresh salads as meals, flavored wings, and desserts. Different flavors and dressings are an easy way to offer options, expanding both your consumer and time of day appeal.
  • Fun pizzas can also be popular especially with Gen X; an example is macaroni and cheese pizza.

Broaden your offering where it makes sense. Perhaps the lowest cost and least risky initial approach is to not change the base operation but rather to improve in some of the underutilized asset areas. Proven successes include:

  • Time of day marketing: Make better use of your restaurant during periods when you are least busy, like lunchtime. Offer promotions, direct sell to group functions, cater to business meetings, etc.
  • Appeal to different cultures: Examine the different ethnic or social groups for potential customers within your marketing area and think of ways to reach them. Adding a new menu item or finding a way to reach different ethnic groups can generate a lot of new business.

Fast Casual is a rapidly growing segment with restaurants like Chipotle and “In-N-Out” offering quality ingredients made to order. These formats take advantage of offering a limited but clean, casual environment for eat-in sit down dining as well as carry out.

How to Prioritize? Ask yourself, “Why do customers come to our restaurant?” “What are our advantages?” A recent focus group of successful restaurant operators convened to discuss what was important to them about their distributor. Many distributors would probably guess that “price” was the #1 on the list of important factors for restaurant owners. To our surprise, “service”, “product selection” and “complete orders” were all ahead of “price” in terms of priority to our panel of successful restaurateurs. Similarly, we find that restaurant patrons want a quality and fun dining experience, not necessarily a cheap one. Especially during this time of economic stress, people will eat out less frequently and spend money where they are appreciated and where they receive value for their dining experience. 

Your advantage and point of differentiation should create a unique experience. At Bellissimo Foods, we believe that the independent pizzeria can best advantage themselves via their food products, and by developing some unique aspects to their service and dining experience. Contact your local distributor for assistance in menu options and product variety today.  



The Gold Standard in Premium Italian-style Mozzarella Cheese

Vantaggio D'Oro is a premium Mozzarella Cheese specifically crafted for the specialty Italian Pizzaiolo using time-honored cheese making techniques and the freshest ingredients.

Football Season Success - By Matt Catherincchia, BFC

The football playoffs are upon us, and with it comes an opportunity for huge sales increases. Football season brings people together and puts them in front of the TV almost every Thursday night, all day Sunday, and Monday night. Most football fans don’t want to cook during the big play and will opt for a quicker and easier alternative.... PIZZA! But unlike the massive chains who can play their commercials during each game, the independent pizzeria has to dedicate its marketing to keeping their name on the minds of their consumers. 

Most football fans consider pizza a top choice during a football game. Pizza is easy to eat, easy to clean up, can be taken anywhere, and is delicious. In fact, pizza is a top choice every week for a football game meal. Your job is to make sure that the consumer has all the tools necessary to order quickly and effectively if they choose pizza. Here are a couple of ideas on how to manage the football season and help make it a winning success for you.

Choose 4-5 of your signature pies and use them as your focus football menu. Next, combine them with several other items in unique ways to create your football season specials. For example, a large pie, 12 Mozzarella sticks, and 2 large sodas or 2 Large pies, 12 wings, and 12 Mozzarella sticks. Or 3 large pies, and 6 Cannoli’s. Be creative, and combine smaller margin items with larger margin items, such as wings, fried appetizers, soda, salad, etc. 

Now use those specials to drive your marketing – print or digital outlets. Create a special in-house tabletop menu for them. Make sure the customer knows where to get the special, how to order, and what is included. Make it easy for them to choose - “Can I get a number 1 with extra pepperoni”?

A key to success is to make sure your restaurant is always on the customers’ mind. Send specials via e-mail or post ads through social media. Repeat marketing strategy weekly to keep in contact and engage with your customers regularly. A well thought out social media strategy will help keep your customers engaged and return customers coming in, as well as bring in new customers. 

It should also be noted that if you have a dine-in operation, make sure you have a TV and the NFL package ordered, as well as some good beer on top, happy hour, and drink specials. 

Regardless of the team you’re playing for this season, these strategies will help you grow your business. Contact your local Bellissimo Distributor for the best products to help you succeed during game days.   

Visit our website to find a authorized Bellissimo brand distributor near you!

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