Friday, March 1, 2024

2009 Might: Success! – Pizza Right now

2009 May: Success!The state of the U.S. economic system is not any laughing matter, however pizzeria operators are severe about remaining worthwhile within the face of the recession. That’s the message that got here out of Worldwide Pizza Expo 2009 this spring. Practically 5,700 operators attended the twenty fifth Anniversary version of the present on the Las Vegas Conference Heart March 10-12, and their overriding mission was to propel the trade ahead with the assistance of distributors and trade consultants.


“The present was a smashing success,” says Jeremy White, Pizza Right now’s editor-in-chief. “I’m positive lots of people, significantly exhibitors, walked in not likely positive what to anticipate. The variety of pre-registrations had been decrease than lately, and that was a direct reflection of the doom and gloom we’re listening to about within the day by day information. However what’s happening within the monetary world didn’t deter pizzeria homeowners from turning out in close to document numbers.”


In actual fact, Worldwide Pizza Expo 2009 turned out to be one of many largest exhibits within the Expo’s 25-year historical past. When requested why he thought the turnout was so excessive, White pointed to the resilience of pizzeria homeowners.

“These folks don’t have the backing of huge companies and traders with bottomless pockets,” he says. “They’ve constructed their small companies with sweat fairness, they usually’re happy with what they’ve, as they need to be. When the economic system tanks and we’re taking a look at one of many worst recessions in U.S. historical past, you higher consider pizzeria operators are going to tighten their belts and go to work. They aren’t merely making an attempt to maintain a inventory worth at a sure stage — that is their livelihood. In the event that they don’t keep worthwhile, their enterprise goes down they usually’re within the unemployment line.



“The attendees at this yr’s present had been extra severe than I’ve ever seen them be earlier than. They had been there to absorb each seminar, to look at each services or products or thought on the present ground. They had been prepared to purchase so long as the acquisition was going to allow them to extend gross sales or working effectivity in some vogue. It was invigorating to see.”

This yr’s present featured two keynote audio system — Mike Mrlik of Gatti’s Pizza and Joey Todaro of La Nova Pizzeria. As well as, there have been greater than 60 concurrent academic seminars that coated all the things from wine to customer support. In “Discuss of the City,” Scott Anthony supplied suggestions for getting your pizzeria talked about within the native press. In “The best way to Recession-Proof Your Enterprise,” Bryan Dodge argued that it’s the folks — not the meals — that make a pizzeria particular.

Different seminars paved the way in which for pizzerias to be extra eco-friendly or gave management suggestions. However all of them had one factor in frequent: “Every of the seminars had been led by dynamic, certified consultants and had been geared towards providing options to the issues right now’s pizzeria homeowners face,” says White. “The purpose is for our audio system to throw out concepts that our attendees can put into motion instantly. They don’t wish to wait till August to make significant modifications. They wish to take management now.”









Whereas the seminars are a key part to the tradeshow, the glitz and glamour typically accompany the aggressive occasions. And Worldwide Pizza Expo organizers took the competitions to a completely new stage this yr.

“The present gave away extra prize cash than ever earlier than,” White says. “It amazes me that Invoice Oakley and his employees, who plan and produce the Expo, someway fi nd a strategy to make it greater and higher yearly. The Expo gave away $32,000 in prize cash this yr, plus one other $25,000 to finish the present with the Mega Bucks Giveaway.”


This yr, the Worldwide Pizza Problem was divided into two classes: conventional and non-traditional. Scot Cosentino of Goodfella’s Pizza in Staten Island, New York, took prime honors within the conventional competitors. Grazziano Bertuzzo, in the meantime, gained the non-traditional class. Bertuzzo, from Brian, Lecce, Italy, then squared off with and defeated Cosentino in a blind-box competitors between the 2 winners. The extra spherical required using a secret ingredient — recent mushrooms — and carried a $5,000 money prize (each Cosentino and Bertuzzo had been awarded $10,000 for profitable their respective classes) in addition to “World Champion Pizzaiolo” bragging rights. It was Bertuzzo’s second consecutive win.

Let’s not overlook the “Rockin’ Celebration,” which featured the World Pizza Video games fi nals. The Video games featured fi ve completely different disciplines, all however one in all which concerned pizza dough: freestyle acrobatics, quickest dough, quickest field folding, largest dough and longest spin. For outcomes, see the sidebar above. “The World Pizza Video games had been a ton of enjoyable,” says White. “The Rockin’ Celebration is a good place to unwind and meet folks inside this trade, and the leisure and ‘wow-factor’ supplied by the Video games are second-to-none. It’s really a can’t-miss occasion on the Expo yearly.”

In actual fact, says White, those that missed the present can view a number of the motion on Pizza Right now’s Video Spot. “Simply go to and play the featured video,” White says. “All year long we’ll be highlighting footage we captured at Worldwide Pizza Expo 2009. We’ll even be conducting pizzeria excursions, looking forward to subsequent yr’s Expo and, after all, bringing Chef Jay (Pizza Right now foodstylist Jerry Washington) again for his demonstrations and pleasant dishes.”


World Pizza Video games Outcomes







First Division Freestyle Acrobatics
1. Justin Wadstein, Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar, Santa Cruz, California
2. Akaogi Kazuya, Aromavita, Japan
3. Jamie Culliton, Grimaldi’s, Tucson, Arizona

Quickest Dough
1. Richard Allen, Cousin Vinnie’s Pizza, Dayton, Ohio
2. Bruno DiFabio, Nation Cottage, Buffalo New York
3. Giuseppe Lucia, 210 Giglio Pizzeria, Italy

Quickest Field Folding
1. Justin Stokes, Sparky’s Pizzeria, Urbana, Ohio
2. Mo Rashad, Cousin Vinnie’s Pizzeria, Dayton, Ohio
3. Mike Kelly, Grimaldi’s, Tucson, Arizona

Largest Dough
1. Spencer Glenn, Pizza My Coronary heart, San Jose, California
2. Eric Corbin, Grimaldi’s, Tucson, Arizona
3. Giuseppe Lucia, 210 Giglio Pizzeria, Tucson, Arizona

Longest Spin
1. Akaogi Kazuya, Aromavita, Japan
2. Jamie Culliton, Grimaldi’s, Tucson, Arizona
3. David Sommers, Mad Mushroom Pizza, West Lafayette, Indiana

This report compiled by members of the Pizza Right now and Pizza Expo employees.

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