A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Pizza Executive Summit

Have you ever watched the Oscar’s on TV and thought “If only I was there with my favorite celebrities”? That was kind of like my experience back in June at the Pizza Executive Summit in Chicago. I am only aware of two pizza-related business events: The Pizza Expo in Vegas (on my list for next year) and the more operator-focused Pizza Executive Summit.

Cocktail hour after Day 1 of the Conference- Some pizza execs w/Carlos Herrera of Coca Cola

I was honored to attend and see the pizza industry from a whole new level. If you’ve ever read my posts, I usually write about customer experience, taste, and style, and what my overall feelings are… usually positive :). The demographic of owners, operators, CFOs, Presidents, etc, were concerned with a wider variety along with reaching ME, the consumer.

Among the many concerns, they wanted to know how to:

  • Bring in more business without sacrificing value or costs (Buy 1 get a free appetizer is better than $5 off… because it devalues the pizza)
  • Leverage social media (facebook, foursquare, twitter)
  • Compete against the $10 pizzas at the chain restaurants (Domino’s, Papa John’s, etc)
  • Optimize their pricing when ingredients are costing more & more (This is something consumers don’t even think about!)

A handful of talented speakers offered their advice & insight, and I listened and learned more about the pizza & restaurant world than I expected. Here are some key takeaways from a few speakers that interested me, and hopefully you will find them interesting as well!


  • There are 68,000 pizza restaurants in the USA
  • Pizza is a $32 Billion Dollar industry! WOAH
  • Consumers don’t just buy things, they choose between a variety of options
  • Restaurants have to be different in a way customers VALUE
  • Every year, restaurants should be evaluating their consumers
  • The bigger companies may not be able to adapt to consumer preferences, but more nimble ones CAN
  • The focus is on consumer preferences and how they CHANGE! Mine change all the time, especially with the trends, so if restaurants are willing to work WITH me, that’s a huge bonus

-Gerry O’Brion


  • 22% of peoples’ time spent online is with social media
  • Companies should get focused and specify their goals..
  • People claim recognition more than a good meal, and that’s so easy for companies to do by using social media

-Michael Atkinson

  • Location-based applications (Foursquare, Facebook places, GoWalla)
  • Location changes everything for restaurants..  so they need to adapt
  • Companies need to get in front of their customers because they are ALREADY using these location apps
  • LOYALTY plays a bigger part in the dining experience again
  • I think these are great points of social media. We want our friends/followers to know where we’re eating, and why, and how great it is. If a company capitalizes on that and rewards us for being vocal or coming back again and again, it feels GREAT!

-Asif Khan, Scott Baitinger

All in all, I loved this event. I loved meeting people from all over the country who share in my passion for pizza. PizzaMarketplace.com and its employees were friendly and enthusiastic. I met executives from some of my favorites: Rosati’s Pizza, Nancy’s, Monical’s, Go Roma, and Homemade Pizza Company. Also, I met people from pizzeria’s I hadn’t tried because of location, and I can’t wait to visit one day!

As I approach my first blogiversary, I think of how thankful I am to have such supportive followers, friends, and family, who support my love for pizza. I’m so glad to have this as a hobby and one day will be able to do so much more with it!

1 comment to Pizza Executive Summit

Leave a Reply




six + 5 =

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>