Pizza Today - June 2024 - 29

seamlessly place an order. He calls that
convenience and accessibility " critical. "
Giliah Librach, director of merchandising
operations at ezCater, a
popular corporate catering matchmaker,
says catering customers " adore
bundles because they make it much
easier to order for large groups. "
Stewart has discovered as much as
Isabella's, where standardized catering
packages provide clarity and streamline
ordering. In addition, Isabella's
delivers and sets up every catering
order, which further simplifies the
process.
" Catering customers love easy, "
Stewart says.
Second, think beyond pizza.
As Stewart built Isabella's catering
program, he surveyed the market,
reviewed competitors and considered
the capabilities of his own operation,
from manpower to sourcing ingredients
to the limits of his wood-fired
oven. If he wanted to thrive with
catering, Stewart determined he had
to diversify his offerings beyond pizza
to attract business. Today, Isabella's
catering menu includes sandwiches,
salads, pastas and desserts.
" With pizzas alone, you're really
limiting yourself, " Stewart says.
For as much as pizza remains a
beloved staple of the American diet,
many successful pizzeria-based catering
operations tout varied menus as
essential to overcoming veto votes and
ensuring satisfaction. This includes
offering vegetarian, vegan and glutenfree
options given the dietary restrictions
(or preferences) often found in
large groups.
According to ezCater's Librach,
providing a wide range of options
helps customers build complete meals
for their groups. It also helps pizzerias
increase their check sizes and profitability.
To
wit, Mellow Mushroom's catering
menu pairs traditional, gluten-free
and vegan pizzas with various salads,
sandwich trays and munchies like
pretzel bites and wings. Russo's, meanwhile,
presents a compelling menu
mix including sandwiches, salads and
classic Italian dishes like lasagna and
chicken Parmesan.
" We wanted to evolve and build
sales with catering and revamping our
menu was one path to this, " Russo
says.
Finally, deliver on promises.
As Mellow Mushroom, a 50-yearold
brand with more than 160 stores
across 18 states, looks to build its
catering business in 2024, senior vice
president of brand development Anne
Mejia knows hitting customer expectations
is vital to driving that book of
business.
" All people love good food, but
catering orders love good food on
time, " Mejia says. " Orderers will go to
the same place time and again if that
trust is there. "
To Mejia's point, the on-time
delivery of a business catering
order was the single highest customer
priority according to ezCater's 2023
Feeding the Workplace report.
" It's annoying if your pizza is late
on a Friday night, but if lunch is late
for 400 employees or for an important
sales meeting, it can be catastrophic, "
Librach says.
To avoid mistakes, Stewart prioritizes
communication at Isabella's,
especially with new customers and
larger, complicated orders. He will text
the day of to confirm details and troubleshoot
any potential issues. Later, he
follows up to ensure guest satisfaction
and invite a future order.
Russo's, meanwhile, employs its
own drivers who are trained to handle
food and execute brand standards for
timing and set up, which he considers
crucial to hitting customer expectations,
cultivating trust and earning
repeat business.
" Service is how you build your business
in catering, " Russo says. " There's
no way around that. "
How to promote your
catering business
Use packaging as a promotional tool.
Branded boxes generate awareness,
but restaurants can do even more
with packaging. A stamp on Isabella's
catering boxes, for instance, features
a QR code leading to the restaurant's
catering menu. Each week, Isabella's
owner Dan Stewart says " 5-6 orders
catering orders come directly from
that code. "
Hit the pavement. In addition to
leveraging digital marketing tools like
Google Ads, Russo's team members
also visit office administrators located
within 3-5 miles of their stores to
cultivate personal relationships. " It
helps when they have a face and a
name and know who you are, " Russo's
CEO Anthony Russo says of corporate
customers.
Team up with high-impact partners.
Corporate food catering platforms
like ezCater, Feedr and Fooda connect
restaurants with catering clients. In
March, Isabella's catering revenue was
up 6 percent year over year, a jump
fueled by a nearly 20 percent jump in
ezCater orders.
Discover opportunities in the data.
While Mellow Mushroom promotes
catering offerings during obvious
times, such as the holiday season and
spring's moms, dads and grads crowd,
internal data showed a surprising uptick
in catering orders during October.
Leadership responded by devoting
marketing dollars to fall
catering promotions to better seize
that unexpected opportunity.
DANIEL P. SMITH Chicago-based
writer has covered business issues and best
practices for a variety of trade publications,
newspapers, and magazines.

Pizza Today - June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - June 2024

Pizza Today - June 2024 - CT1
Pizza Today - June 2024 - CT2
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover1
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover2
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 3
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 4
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 5
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 6
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 7
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 8
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 9
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 10
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 11
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 12
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 13
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 14
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 15
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 16
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 17
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 18
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 19
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 20
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 21
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 22
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 23
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 24
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 25
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 26
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 27
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 28
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 29
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 30
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 31
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 32
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 33
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 34
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 35
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 36
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 37
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 38
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 39
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 40
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 41
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 42
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 43
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 44
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 45
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 46
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 47
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 48
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 49
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 50
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover3
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202407
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202406
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202405
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202404
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202403
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202402
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202401
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202312
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202311
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202310
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202309
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202308
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202307
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202306
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202305
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202304
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202303
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202302
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202301
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202212
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202211
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202210
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202209
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202208
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202207
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202206
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202205
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202204
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202203
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202202
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202201
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202112
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/pizzatoday/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/expo_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201507
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com