Go big for National Pizza Month within COVID19 restrictions
The world may have changed, but there is one constant. October will always be National Pizza Month. For the past month, we’ve shared how you can make the most of the designation at PizzaToday.com and our social networks.
While, yes, every month is National Pizza Month for pizza people, October holds a point of distinction. Pizza Today’s founder, Gerry Durnell, created the National Pizza Month observance in 1984 to mark the debut of the first issue of Pizza Today magazine. The U.S. Congress officially designated October as National Pizza Month in 1987.
Though Italian in origin, pizza has a treasured history in this country and Americans have made it their own from the first pizzeria. In 1905, Lombardi’s in New York City became the first officially licensed pizzeria in the United States. The Connecticut town of New Haven followed by putting its unique twist on pizza. Then in the early 1940s Chicago deep dish was born. Growth of pizzerias around the country surged after American soldiers returned from Europe after World War II. The interest has only intensified to become America’s favorite food.
There is no better time to celebrate pizza than right now. People love pizza in good times and in bad times. As many restaurants still face COVID-19 restrictions, it’s time to once again get creative in how you celebrate National Pizza Month.
Don’t forget to visit the National Pizza Month Pizzeria Toolkit to download the official logo, graphics and customizable press releases.
This year, it’s time to pull out all the stops for your community. The pizzeria industry as a whole has fared better than other restaurant colleagues. Whatever you do to celebrate National Pizza Month, find a way to say, “thank you” to your patrons, your community and the people who have helped your area get through this crisis.
We may not be able to throw a huge party this year, but there are so many ways to mark the occasion. We’ve put together a list of low-cost to no-cost marketing ideas for your pizzeria to make the most of National Pizza Month. They include:
- Start by spreading the word with the hashtag #nationalpizzamonth
- Make sure you tag @PizzaToday so we can be a part of your celebration.
- Original pricing from when the pizzeria opened for a day or daypart, delivery only.
- Create your own giveaway.
- Partner with another pizzeria for a charity challenge. Whoever sells the most pizza wins a “trophy” or something until the next year.
- Host a “Made-at-home Pizza Challenge”. If you sell pizza kits, hold a contest to see who makes it best at home. Give them some guidance on what you need to see in the photo/video and have them post their masterpieces on social and tag your pizzeria. Winners receive ____ (whatever you choose).
- Virtual eating challenge. Get entrants to compete for t-shirts or other swag. Do a wall of fame.
- Create a Bingo card for things that customers have experienced at your pizzeria. (Think menu items, limited specials, special events hosted, swag worn, etc.) Bingo cards have been very popular on social during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- GET ON TV! Do pizza for local news stations in the morning. Then do a promotion for that day.
- Host a Virtual Pizza History Trivia Night.
- Run a customer recipe promotion. Invite your patrons to create your next big hit! Have customers submit recipes for topping combinations, etc. Winner gets the pizza named after them on your menu or free pizza for a year or a $500 gift card, etc.
- Tie in other unique October observances, like National Disability Employment Awareness Month or Halloween.
- Offer a National Pizza Month one-of-a-kind offer to your loyalty club members. Think swag, secret menu item, etc.
- Go for a local, regional, national or world record. Guinness World Records offers several pizza-related opportunities.
- Create games with a drawing where the winner receives free item or offer. (Think small games, like guess the number of pepperonis on a pizza; guess the ingredient; answer questions related to your pizzeria; photo with a specific item social contest, etc.)
- Crown an Ultimate Pizza Fan by inviting customers to submit on social media why they should be the winner.
- Ask customers to send you video submissions stating why they LOVE your pizza. Push these videos out to social media platforms — free marketing!
- Challenge a pizzeria owner in another city to a duel. Whoever sells the most X pies in a week gets to pick a charity and the “loser” donates $X to said charity.
- Host a virtual Halloween party for little ones.
- Let an employee take over your social media account to share your pizzeria’s story.
- Host a live steam pizza-making workshop to let customers stretch and top pizza.
- Create a video to share with your pizzeria’s social followers on who you are and why you founded the pizzeria. Go further and create another video going behind-the-scenes to show how you make the pizza.
- Order some custom pizza swag. Get creative. Think about what your customers would wear often. Hoodies, fitted comfort t-shirts, flex-fit hats, skull caps, patches, buttons, koozies, or temporary tattoos (design real tattoos if that’s your audience).