Editor’s Note Rick Hynum
What the Customer Wants, the Customer Gets
If you’re ever having a bad day and starting to wonder if you’re in the wrong
business, PMQ’s annual Pizza Power Report (starting on page 20) should cheer
you right up. Meticulously researched, prepared and penned by our editor at
large, Liz Barrett, the 2013 report points to a good year, all in all, for the pizza
industry, with total sales on the rise and independents still holding their own
against the big boys. Even as consumers laid low and saved their pennies during
another year of slow economic growth, they still couldn’t resist the alluring siren
call—and affordable prices—of what we at PMQ call the Great Meal of the United
States of America.
At the same time, the industry continues to evolve, just as it should and must.
Build-your-own concepts are flourishing, the gluten-free movement keeps growing, and major chains have generated
scads of press coverage with some pretty crazy recipes. Or am I the only one who thinks a crust made with bacon-wrapped hot dogs and drizzled with maple syrup and ketchup is a little out there? (I’m looking at you, Pizza Hut Japan.)
But perhaps the most important growth area is one that some old-school pizzeria operators continue to ignore at
their own peril: the ever-increasing popularity of online ordering. Younger customers love one thing even more than
they love pizza, and that’s their mobile devices. Just take a gander at the kids dining in your pizzeria today; you’ll see
many of them hunched over, heads bowed, fingers busily pecking and swiping at the screens of their iPhones and
Androids, checking in on Foursquare, pinning on Pinterest and tweeting on Twitter between bites of your tastiest
pies. If you’re lucky, they’re posting something good about your food and broadcasting that message to hundreds of
their closest friends.
But when they’re not dining in at your pizzeria—when they opt for carryout or delivery instead—many of these younger
customers can’t be bothered to call in an order. They would rather let their fingers do the talking. So if you don’t offer
them the option of placing their orders online via mobile devices or computers, believe me, your competitor will be glad
to take their business away from you.
Fortunately, as Liz explains in the Pizza Power Report, pizzeria operators’ resistance to online ordering seems to be
slowly melting away. According to PMQ’s 2012 Reader Census, 18% of respondents now accept orders via the Internet, and another 18% plan to do so in the next year. That’s good to know, and we hope that more of our readers will
begin to embrace online ordering in 2013. There is no doubt that more and more customers will want it. And, when
all is said and done, what the customer wants, the customer will get—if not from you, then from the pizzeria that just
opened down the street!
Thank you, as always, for reading PMQ, and, hey, keep those cards
and letters (and emails) coming!
PMQ Pizza Magazine
On the cover: This year’s state-of-the-industry
profile, the Pizza Power Report, starts on page 20.
10 PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly