Pizza Today - December 2019 - 16

Man on the Street
SCOTT WIENER

"The Power of Words"

I

'm done with the word "good." I hear
it every time I ask people what kind
of pizza they like. They say things
like "I want a good sauce," and "I like
a really good crust," but I have no idea
what they mean. Everybody has an idealized version of the pizza they like, but
unless you can read minds you'll never
know what defines "good" to a customer.
That's why I'm proposing we actively
expand the vocabulary of pizza consumers as a method of increasing the likelihood they'll love your food.
Believe it or not, normal people
don't understand physics. When you
brag about the incredible heat of your
wood-fired oven the uninitiated expect
their pizza to be thin and crispy, exactly
the opposite of the soft crust they'll get.
If you're making Neapolitan pizza or
something like it, you might want to pair
impressive stats about your oven's
extreme temperatures with words like
1 6 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9

soft, charred, chewy, pliant, pillowy,
supple, and gentle. Don't let your customers be disappointed just because their
expectations weren't met. Set accurate
expectations for them.
Printing "Best Sauce in Town" on
your menu doesn't help anybody know
what flavors to expect. Using words
like savory, zesty, robust, herby, chunky,
simple and fresh gives your customers
a better idea of what to expect. Dani's
House of Pizza in Queens is loud and
proud about their sweet sauce, going so
far as to print "#sweetsauce" on the back
of their t-shirts. If someone hates sweet
sauce, they'll have ample warning. If you
communicate your product properly,
you'll have fewer people writing negative
online reviews about something they dislike that you see as a feature.
One word I've been seeing a lot lately,
particularly at Neapolitan and Roman
pizzerias, is "digestible." Ignoring the

science behind the claim that one
pizzeria's dough is more digestible than another, it's a word that
confuses pizzeria customers. I
see it printed on pizza boxes and
menus, but since nobody expects
pizza to be indigestible, seeing it
in use at a pizzeria provides confusion instead of clarity. If anything, it casts some doubt about
other pizzerias but doesn't do
much to elevate the profile of the
one using it. To convey the same
idea, you can use words like light,
fresh, and luscious. Even better is
the word fermentation. Fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha,
and kimchi are trending hard
right now because of their health
benefits. You can maximize that
momentum by calling out the fact
that your dough is a fermented
product. That conveys the same
image as "digestible" but with a
lot more finesse and clarity.
There's plenty to say about your
pizza that's both marketable and
accurate, but you have to be honest rather than hyperbolic. Since
everybody's claiming to be "the
best in town," you're better off using words as a means of educating
your clientele. This is particularly
important for those serving a
unique or unfamiliar style of
pizza. Providing your customers
with a vocabulary that accurately
describes your pizza will give you
control over their expectations. If
you use objective descriptions instead of broad terms and subjective claims, more customers will
connect the dots between your
marketing savvy and your food's
reality. ■
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of
Scott's Pizza Tours in New York City
and SliceOutHunger.org.


http://www.SliceOutHunger.org http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2019

Pizza Today - December 2019
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Meet the Makers
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Pos System Training
Rad Appetizers
Baby Boomer Employees
2020 Menu Guide
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - December 2019 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2019 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Pizza Today - December 2019
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 6
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Contributors
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Meet the Makers
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 22
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Pos System Training
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Rad Appetizers
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Baby Boomer Employees
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 2020 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 38
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 42
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 44
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 46
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 49
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 51
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 52
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 53
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 54
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 55
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 56
Pizza Today - December 2019 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 58
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 59
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 60
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 61
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 62
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 63
Pizza Today - December 2019 - 64
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2019 - Cover4
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