Thornbrugh, QuikTrip spokesperson. “And you
have to have the people [on staff] who are trained
to make it right every single time. That’s one of the
most important parts of the business.”
Launching a pizza program doesn’t end the
continual quest for the perfect pie. Currently, two
major chains are revising their offerings.
Maverik, based in North Salt Lake City, Utah,
discontinued its pizza program several years ago.
Now several stores are testing made-to-order,
single-serve gourmet pizzas. Customers can choose
existing flavors, such as Thai or Hawaiian, or build-their-own pie with upscale toppings, such as bacon
and feta cheese, at an additional cost per topping.
“We’re re-introducing it with a new recipe
and new process,” said Ernie Harker, director of
marketing for Maverik. “It’s a premium item, not a
Rutter’s of York, Pennsylvania, recently
dropped its pizza program, which featured a
7-inch single-serve pie, but a revamped pizza
program is in the works, according to Ryan
Krebs, director of foodservice for Rutter’s.
Giving customers the option of mobile payments
and ordering are benefits all three chains expect to
roll out in time. “It’s the wave of the future, and we’ll
be part of it,” Thornbrugh said.
Retailers who want to sell pizza but aren’t sure
where to start can call on companies that create
in-store programs. Hunt Brothers Pizza is one of
the largest, with pizza operations inside more than
7,000 outlets in 28 states.
“We customize a program for each store depending
“Stores know when they have
on their needs,” said Keith Solsvig, vice president
of marketing for Nashville, Tennessee-based Hunt
Brothers. “We consider where you have availability
[for a program] and where it makes the most sense to
capture the traffic flow.”
Hunt Brothers Pizza crusts arrive in stores with
sauce and cheese in place; additional toppings are
added by store personnel. Because pizza is often
an impulse item and much of the business is grab-
and-go, Hunt Brothers encourages stores to keep
hot pizza in the warmer.
a lot of customers coming in and
can have pizza prepared. That’s
truly a convenience.”
Push Those Pizzas
• Schedule limited-time-only pizza flavors
• Offer a premium meat or cheese for a few months
• Pass out pizza samples before the lunch or dinner rush
• Plus-sell at the register
• Consider new, convenient technologies