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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

5 Tips for Overcoming the Dog Days of Summer

Summertime is not really Pizza time.

In the summer, we head outdoors for picnics and barbecues. We look for shade where we can relax while enjoying sandwiches, salads, fruit and a cold beverage.  We go to the ballgame, the beach and the park and a little less often to the pizza parlor.

In case you’re wondering, the biggest days for pizza are: Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, the night before Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day.  There is not a summer day or night among them, although every Friday night is the best occasion for pizza.

So what’s a pizza operator to do on a hot summer day?  Shutter up and head for the beach?  Or hunker down and come up with some cool marketing ideas (literally).

Here are 5 Tips for overcoming those Pizza Dog Days of Summer:

  1. Beer and Pizza – It just so happens that three of the best days of the year for beer sales are Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July. And what is better than an ice cold beer and a slice? So, create a Summer beer and pizzaPizza and Beer Night that promotes the best of both worlds.  Get your beer distributor involved so you can get some signage or promotional dollars.  Maybe even come up with a Summer pizza flavor that incorporates spicy pepperoni and cool pineapple or fresh tomatoes.
  1. Get Cool – It’s hot in the summer in Italy and Mediterranean menus often include some very cool foods like Antipasto, stuffed grape leaves and olives and a variety of salads and fruit. Be creative and try to use ingredients you already stock. Use summer to show how cool you can be and promote these seasonal menu ideas through your social media and in-store advertising.
  2. Giveaways – Buy some baseball tickets and give them away to customers via contests and promotions. You can go even farther by tapping into summer events like camping or going to the beach and have drawings for tents, sleeping bags and coolers or even free passes to the theme park near you. Turn Summer into a season of fun and drive volume by promoting your contests.
  3. The Cold Sandwich –Italian Subs are perfect on a hot day. Liguria makes a variety of deli meats including Genoa Salami, Hard Salami, Deli Pepperoni and Capicola. Create your own signature sub sandwich and add it to a picnic basket idea that customers can take on their next outing.
  4. Host your own BBQ – Turn Saturday Night into a family BBQ Night. Then add menu items like barbecued chicken and cheeseburgers; take it a step further and create a Cheese Burger Pizza or BBQ Chicken Pizza. BBQ Pizzas are fun and delicious.  Promote heavily, get a live band or put on some great summer music and turn your place into a summertime event. Then advertise: “Don’t Grill Tonight, Have a BBQ with US!”

Whatever methods you choose, don’t give up on the Summer as a great time promote your business and drive sales.

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