October is National Pizza Month

If you're in the business of serving pizza, you probably do not need to be reminded that October is National Pizza Month in the United States. While the contribution of the first pizzerias in the USA cannot be ignored, it was really the returning American soldiers who fought in Italy during World War II that brought a hunger for pizza home with them and pushed its popularity over the top.

Today, National Pizza Month is observed each October across the USA and in much of Canada too. The designation might be a bit redundant though, as nearly every month could be considered Pizza Month in the United States these days. People don't really need a special month for pizza in a country where there are an estimated 73,000 pizza stores and 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. These figures equal the consumption of about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year and show that Americans definitely love their pizza as evidenced by devouring 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second.

A new report from Datafiniti looked at the price of a large cheese pie in every state and found that North Dakota is the most expensive state to indulge your cheese cravings, with a median price of $14 followed by 2nd place Wyoming at $13, followed by Washington at $12.73. Pizza is the cheapest in Alaska at just $7.25. You'll also be getting a good buy in Maine and Kentucky, where the median price is $7.50 and $8, respectively.

Here's a list of some low-cost to no-cost marketing ideas for making the most of National Pizza Month:

  1. Giveaway 1 free pizza a week.
  2. Kids eat free during the month of October.
  3. Eating challenge. Get entrants to compete for t-shirts or other swag. Do a wall of fame.
  4. GET ON TV! Do pizza for local news stations in the morning. Then do a promotion for that day.
  5. Random Pizza Giveaway (store customer info and randomly give away a year of free pizza to a customer who orders during National Pizza Month).
  6. Pizza History Night (sell a dinner for $X per person. During the event, tell your patrons about the history of pizza).
  7. School Field Trips (encourage Elementary schools to bring kids in for field trips during the month. Let the kids touch and play with dough as you explain how pizza is made).
  8. Press Night (Invite local food writers, bloggers, etc. in for a free dinner during which you hit key talking points that differentiates your pizzeria … i.e. expand on whatever it is that makes you special and unique in your city, whether that be locally sourced ingredients, gluten-free, organic, beer in your dough, etc.
  9. Run a customer recipe promotion. Invite your patrons to create your next big hit! Have customers submit recipes for topping combinations, etc. Winner gets the pizza named after them on your menu or free pizza for a year or a $500 gift card, etc.
  10. Tie in other unique October observances, like National Disability Employment Awareness Month or even Friday the 13th and Halloween.
  11. Offer a National Pizza Month one-of-kind offer to your loyalty club members. Think swag, secret menu item, etc.
  12. Create a 31 Days of Pizza menu featuring a different specialty pizza each day.
  13. Host a Guest Chef Takeover Night, where a local or regional chef creates a menu with pre-sale dinner event tickets at $X per person.
  14. Create games for each day of October with a drawing where the winner receives a free item or offer. (Think small games, like guess the number of pepperonis on a pizza; guess the ingredient; answer questions related to your pizzeria; in-store scavenger hunt; photo with a specific item social contest, etc.).
  15. Crown an Ultimate Pizza Fan by inviting customers to submit on social media why they should be the winner.
  16. Go big and raise money the entire month to support a local cause.
  17. Create a Halloween pizza.
  18. Create a pumpkin flavored pizza.
  19. Feature a limited time (LTO) artisan pizza for each week.
  20. Hold a pizza cooking class.