There's probably no dish that's a bigger crowd-pleaser than pizza, especially during October. Delicious fall pies, sides, and shareables serve up major profit margins with events like Halloween upcoming. Read on for some helpful tips on how embracing National Pizza Month and fall 'za can lead to big wins for your menu.
Taste of Tradition
There's definitely room for unique, specialty, harvest-style pies, while also focusing your October menu on classics — featuring traditional, tomato-based sauces, loads of melty cheese, and a variety of classic meats and veggies. When keeping it old school, quality is everything. Serve up plenty of thickly sliced veggies and select pepperoni that curls up to a perfected crisp, like a cup ‘n’ char option. Fresh is your best friend.
The Right Stuff
As essential as it is, crust can still be underrated. Ensure no crust is left behind by jazzing it up, so your diners leave nothing on the plate. The stuffed crust debut in the 90s was all the rage, and it's back and better than ever before. Intrigue diners with various stuffed crust options: provolone and pesto or pimento cheese to name a few.
Also consider going beyond the typical flat crust and slice a crusty French loaf sideways, spread it with sauce; stuff it with onions, peppers, and sausage; and layer it with enough mozzarella to make it bubble under the broiler. Flip it back together and slice into thick sandwiches the whole party can peel apart and enjoy.
Raise the Bar
With so many folks having different tastes and diets for health or lifestyle reasons, it can be tricky for families to try and order pizzas the whole group will like. Consider having a scary-good pizza bar. Bake a variety of traditional pies and mix in a few that have gluten-free crust, are solely veggie, as well as ones that have dairy-free cheese.
Groups can go up and pick their own slices, then doctor them with house offerings of homemade pesto, grated Parm, hot pickled peppers, and other fresh herbs and seasonings. Throw in a specialty, fun pizza that's different every week to keep guests coming back to see what's next. Maybe it’s BBQ chicken, Thai beef salad, cheeseburger with pickles, a Dracula-proof pie with garlic and pepperoni, or a Frankenstein pizza with all your unique, specialty toppings, like Roma® Gourmet Beef and Pork Meatballs. And decide on a slice special during special events, like a two-for-one or group deal, or offer a Spooky Slice loyalty program that gives them their 10th slice free. Trick and Treat!
Pizza doesn't even have to be in slice form to be successful. Roll out your dough — or, use pre-made dough to save on labor costs — and slice into thin strips. Layer one half of a strip with toppings, fold the top half over, twist, and bake. Sprinkle with oregano and Parmesan right out of the oven and toss into a basket for an easy, dippable appetizer you can upsell that's friendly for kids too. Use the same dough sheets (or even eggroll wrappers) to make your own version of poppable pizza rolls. Spread on a thin layer of sauce and sprinkle on a couple finely minced toppings with cheese. Roll and seal for another basket of apps that's a nostalgic no-brainer to order.
These and other shareables can also be a great draw for giveaways throughout the month: Give a table a free basket of apps for the best Halloween costume. Pile Luigi® Toasted Cheese Ravioli with nacho toppings, create a fun fry charcuterie dipping board with Roma Eggplant Fries, or use Roma Gourmet Beef and Pork Meatballs for a horror Halloween special that will have guests screaming with joy.