Opening a New Location
I have written to PMQ Pizza Magazine before,
and I was very pleased with the answer that was
given to my question, so I have another one. I
am going to be opening another location soon,
and I was wondering what month/time of the
year would be good, if not best, to open a new
Letters to the Editor Rick Hynum
want to choose a time of year when tourism
will be at its peak. But, for most cities, October is your best bet. Good luck to you in this
new endeavor, and please let us know about
That’s an excellent question, Gianni. According
to our publisher and
resident pizza guru
Steve Green, industry
statistics show that autumn has consistently
proven to be the best
time of year to open a
new pizzeria. October,
in particular, is a good month, although November and December work well, too. Summertime seems to be a relatively slow season
for pizza, but as the temperatures begin to
drop, schools open their doors for the fall
semester and customers’ schedules grow
more hectic, folks often return to the convenience and comfort of pizza. October is also
National Pizza Month, which creates heightened awareness for our industry. Of course,
if your business will be located in a resort
town that relies on seasonal business, you’ll
Word From the Wingman
Thanks for the mention in your article (“
High-Flying Wings,” April, 2012). It turned out
great, and, oddly enough, due to that coverage, I’ve been reunited with friends (who own
pizza shops) that I haven’t talked to or seen in
years! Small world, right?
Thanks, Ryan. You’re right, the pizza business, although a huge industry, is, in many
ways, a small—and friendly—world. Thanks
for taking the time to talk to us about chicken
wings, and congratulations on fulfilling your
pledge to eat 2,011 wings in 2011. We were
particularly impressed that you somehow
managed to lose weight in the process!
26 PMQPzza Magazne– ThePzzandusrysBusness Monhy
Slathered in sauce and bursting with flavor,
hot wings set sales ablaze in pizzerias.
W INGS High-Flying
GeorgiaPecan-CrustedWingsWithHatoulaPeachSauce (ProvidedbyMcIlhennyCompany/TabascoBrandProducts) 12chickenwings 1c.peppersauce 4c.pecans,coarselycrushed 2tbsp.habanerosauce 3c.seasoned;our 3eggs,beatenwith3tbsp.water HatoulaPeachSauce 8oz.peachmarmalade,warmed 1oz.peppersauce Marinatethewingsinpeppersauceforabout1hour.Tosscrushedpecans withhabanerosauce.Dipthewingsinto;our,theneggwashandthen pecans, coatingevenly.Bakeinapreheated350°Fovenfor15-20minutes oruntilcookedthrough. MixHatoulaPeachSauceingredientsandservewithhotwings.
o your average barnyard chicken, wings are worthless—she’s got two
of them, but, bless her heart, the poor critter still can’t ; y. For hungry
humans, though, wings make for a delightful delicacy—meaty, suc-
culent and just plain ; nger-lickin’ good. They’re hotter than ever these days,
and pizzerias around the country have responded to the ever-growing demand
for chicken wings slathered in sauces that run the gamut from sweet to triple-
atomic. After all, variety is the spice of life, and these juicy little appendages
; t the bill with a plethora of options in varying degrees of heat (mild, hot or
inferno), a range of sauce ; avors (Buffalo, teriyaki, barbecue, garlic Parmesan,
mango habanero or lemonpepper) and cooking methods (broiled, fried or bar-
becued). More than 76% of the top 500 pizza chains now offer hot wings on
their menus, according to research by Technomic’s MenuMonitor. And eating
wings has become a fun-food phenomenon—few football fans would throw a
Super Bowl party without a couple of pizzas and a bucket of wings.
Since PMQ’s last look at hot wings in the September 2010 issue (“Winging
It”), customers have made wings the fastest-growing item on pizzeria menus.
Mark’s Pizzeria ( markspizzeria.com), a 45-store chain headquartered in Fair-
port, New York—the very heart ofBuffalo wing country—has been serving wings
since the ;rst store opened in 1985. “We see a real demand. If you don’t have
wings up here, you’re not a pizzeria,” says owner Mark Crane. “If somebody has
By Walter Webb
a pizzeria and doesn’t sell wings, they need to do it right away.”
In fact, wings—available in bundles of up to 100 in a single
pack—account for 25% of Mark’s Pizzeria’s sales.
Indeed, despite price ;uctuations, chicken wings are causing
quite a ; ap inthe restaurant business. “Bone-in wings continue to
expandtheir presence,especially at certain times of the year, such
as around the Super Bowl,” says Worth Sparkman, manager of
public relations at Tyson Foods in Springdale, Arkansas. “When
demand spikes, there are not enough wings to go around sometimes, and this, of course, can drive up the price due to limited
supply. Also, more quick-serve chains have added wings to their
menus, so more operations are buying wings than ever before.”
Industry statistics prove Sparkman’s point. According to
the National Chicken Council’s 2012 Wing Report, Americans
consumed an estimated 1.25 billion-plus wing portions during
Super Bowl weekend in 2012, totaling more than 100 million
pounds of wings.
The Wonderful World of Wings
Buffalo hot wings have been sold since 1964, when Teressa
Bellissimo, owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York,
tossed some chicken wings into the fryer, whipped together a
few ingredients—including cayenne pepper—to create what’s
now known as Buffalo wing sauce, and added celery and
blue cheese dressing on the side. Chickens around the coun-
try would have shuddered if they’d known what was coming
next—history had been made, although only Buffalonians
appreciated it at the time.
By the mid-1980s, the popularity of Buffalo wings had
begun to spread. In 1994, Joey Todaro III, a member of the
family that operated the highly successful Buffalo-based La
Nova Pizzeria ( lanova.com), realized that pizza and wings
went together like rock-and-roll. “We served hot wings in our
pizzeria, and they were so successful that I got the idea to market them to other pizzerias,” Todaro says. “I booked a booth at
a convention and showed operators that pizza and hot wings
were a natural ;t.”
With his La Nova Wings distribution company, Todaro says
he spread the gospel of hot wings and sauces to independent
pizzerias in Buffalo—and, ultimately, throughout the United
States and internationally. “Somebody else might have come
up with it, but I made it easy for pizzerias to incorporate wings
Think Tank 2.0
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Volume 16, Issue 5
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