Pizza Today - June 2020 - 32

menu, they see a healthy variety
that ranges from basic pastas and
sauces to more uncommon or hard
to find Italian ingredients."

OPERATIONS

Bottle It Up
5 Ways to Sell Merchandise and More

T

he start of the COVID-19
pandemic brought more than an
abrupt halt to dine-in eating at
many places; it also stirred a desire among
pie lovers to help their local eatery and shop
in new ways. For several weeks in March
and April 2020, merchandise orders steadily
increased between 30 and 50 percent every
week, according to research from BentoBox,
which runs the websites of more than 5,000
restaurants in the United States, including
many pizzerias.
Putting a price tag on t-shirts, water
bottles or caps might seem like a quick way
to generate cash, but the process needs to be
carried out carefully to avoid financial risk.
"In this crisis, to generate significant profits
from merchandise requires more than just
having inventory," says Peter LeSar,
co-founder of I Love Restaurants, a website
which helps pizzerias and other restaurants
fundraise through merchandise sales. "You
need to engage and help fans to understand
that buying merchandise is important to
helping you, as their favorite pizzeria, to
rehire and rise again post crisis."
3 2 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / J U N E 2 0 2 0

The following strategies lay out how to
sell merchandise in a way that helps your
pizza establishment fuel through the coming months and beyond.
KNOW WHERE TO START
While people often want to help,
"offering variety so they can find something
useful will help optimize sales," LeSar says.
If your place has been selling aprons, bottles
of sauce or kitchen towels for some time,
you can review past sales to see what has
been hot-and what's not. Assessing what
other local places offer may make it easier to
differentiate your products and find a place
in the market.
Vero Pizza, located inside the Denver
Central Market, has offered retail items
since it opened nearly four years ago. The
eatery has a grocery section where customers can browse and purchase products. "Our
aim is to supply the community with the
necessities they desire and can't find at regular grocery stores," says Shelby Shumaker,
general manager of Vero Pizza. "When
customers look at our retail selection and

LINE UP MERCHANDISE
CORRECTLY
If your eatery is in a warm climate, selling sweatshirts might not
appeal to frequent local customers.
Offering sunglasses or hats, however, might be well received. Similarly,
items that reflect your image and
brand will help streamline sales.
"Some of the items we sell we also
use in our kitchen," Shumaker says.
Letting customers try samples or
see them packaged helps them
understand everything the restaurant offers. "While people are
waiting for food or just shopping
around, they may spot something
they like or want to try," Shumaker
says. "Being able to inform them
what pairs well with Fig Balsamic Glaze or Gnocchi al Tartufo
definitely gets customers excited to
experiment at home."
ADAPT TO THE
SURROUNDINGS
When Varuni Napoli, an
authentic Neapolitan pizzeria with
two locations in Atlanta, had to
close its doors for dine-in service
during the COVID-19 pandemic,
owner and veteran maestro pizzaiolo Luca Varuni shifted strategies. The pizzeria started selling an
at-home pizza kit with all the Neapolitan ingredients needed to make
a Margherita pizza. The change
provided more than a chance for
customers to continue enjoying the
restaurant's menu; it also gave them
an inside opportunity into the eatery's long-held recipes. "This is the
first-time customers have had
access to our dough," Varuni says.
The place also began offering
customers an Italian cannoli kit
so they could prepare the meal at
home.
Before the pandemic, Varuni
offered staples and rare Italian
products through a retail space


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - June 2020

Pizza Today - June 2020
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
White Pies
Pizza Lupo
Life After Closure
Marketing DELCO
Selling Merch.
The Phoenix Rising
Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today - June 2020
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Digital
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Life After Closure
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Marketing DELCO
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Selling Merch.
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Phoenix Rising
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 38
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 40
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - June 2020 - White Pies
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Lupo
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 46
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Product showcase
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover3
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover4
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