The Pizza Expo is an event for pizzeria owners, some just starting out and some that have decades of experience, that all come to the Expo for the latest information on everything related to pizza. It’s held at the Las Vegas convention center annually. While we limited our day’s visit to the Expo floor many of the attendees attended four days of seminars for education and demonstrations on everything from employee retention to the newest products.
Marketing, the perfect pizza, top trends, menu development, pizza crust boot camp, what customers want in the pandemic, logistics of offering multiple pizza styles, fighting complacency, understanding cheese prices, working with family, using video to grow, cleaning procedures, building a beverage program, the pizza box, history, delivery and carryout – were just a few of the seminar topics. Speakers included pizza restaurant owners, consultants, business experts and culinary schoolteachers.
In the magazine program there were two pages of new products being shown at the Expo, a page of new exhibitors, and the alphabetical listing of all of the exhibitors was at least eight pages long. A category listing, again multi-pages, makes it easier to locate the vendor that sells what you may be looking for. These are just some of the categories: advertising, artichokes, automated systems, banners, bar equipment, beef toppings, bread, calamari, cannoli, cash systems, cheese alternatives, condiments, consultants, chicken wings, coffee, cookware, dinnerware, cutlery, cups, delivery bags, dough proofers, entertainment, flour, frozen products, Italian food and drink, marinades, meat alternatives, menu boards, mixers, oils, olives, onions, ovens, peppers, Philadelphia steaks, pizza cutters, pasta, non-meat pizza toppings, promotional items, barbeque sauce, hot sauce, salami, sandwiches, salad, tomato sauce, seafood, security equipment, slicers and dicers, table tents, soups and stews, tomatoes, vegetables and web development.
From my social media, “So much to see, learn and taste at yesterday’s Pizza Expo! From the grids you can see some of our favorites that included Dole for pineapple on pizza, Nutella for dessert, Eau Galle Cheese is so tasty, Vero Gelato for something cool, Bel Gioioso Cheese has always been a favorite of mine, Tomate San Marzano tastes so fresh I can’t believe it’s canned, Turano Bread is yum-worthy, Killer Brownie looked amazing, Bill’s Lemonade really is so good frozen, Peroni beer had a popular booth, Fire Within Pizza ovens look like something a firefighter would definitely want, Melinda’s Foods hot sauce for pizza, and Ooni Pizza Ovens for pizza at home! (Click this to see three photo grids. Photo credits: Ed Bushman.)
Pizzeria Industry 2019 Trends (From Pizza Today website)
If you want to get an idea of how much the pizzeria industry has changed, find a beautiful photo of pizza today and compare it to a comparable shot 6 – 8 years ago. Pizza is maturing as a cuisine.
Some of the key trends to watch for:
1. Third-party delivery seems to be an answer to many owners delivery problems, Grub Hub, Lyft, Uber and Amazon are all in the food delivery business. The key is agreeing to a contract that benefits both the pizzeria and the delivery service.
2. Online ordering and smartphone appsare critical revenue-generating tools for pizzeria chains and growing in popularity amongst independent operators as well.
3. The introduction of regional styleshas dominated the scene for the last three years. Where there was one style of pizza in most pizzerias, the current trend is to add an additional style or two. Pan pizzas, such as Detroit, Grandma and Roman seem to be the most popular right now.
4. Dome-top ovensdefinitely have the “look” pizzerias are searching for, traditionally fired with coal and wood, BUT gas and electric fired ovens are regaining popularity.
5. The use of Mobile pizzerias is growingfaster than we expected! Food trucks and trailers continue to become more advanced and efficient. Today they’re attracting not only weekend pizzaiolos, but many brick and mortar pizzeria owners are seeing the benefits to adding a mobile unit to their business.
6. Gluten Free pizzais here to stay. Flour millers now have GF flours that would satisfy even the most knowledgeable consumers.
As the industry’s leading source of Pizzeria Business Information, Pizza Today & International Pizza Expo look to accomplish two primary goals:
- To increase the success rate of independent and multi-unit pizzerias over and above any other type of food service operation.
- To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of pizzeria industry suppliers’ marketing & advertising budgets through the use of Pizza Today, Pizza Expo and our other related services
Those have been our primary goals for the last 38 years and they’ll continue to be for at least another 38 years!
Hot 100 Independents by the Numbers
- 17% have a buffet
- 34% offer take-n-bake
- 49% sell spirits
- 49% offer online ordering
- 50% sell slices
- 63% serve pasta
- 74% have a gluten-friendly menu
- 75% cater events
- 77% serve beer
- 79% serve wine
- 81% serve sandwiches
- 89% serve appetizers
- 97% serve salad
- 99% use a POS system
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.