Author Topic: pizza at the fair  (Read 9473 times)

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Offline Don K

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2012, 12:46:16 AM »
thanks don, can you stretch one afternoon or night?
I can probably do that. Did you have a day in mind? You have my number don't you?
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Offline scott123

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2012, 02:02:46 AM »
Re; libretto, take a look at this video:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZnuQhaG7wk&amp;feature=player_embedded" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZnuQhaG7wk&amp;feature=player_embedded</a>


If you really want to spend your entire day trying to explain to these people why they should be folding their pizza, go for it, but I think it'll be an uphill battle. Neapolitans fold because there's a history behind it, a cultural conditioning.  There's no history for folding here.

Re; slices, John has tremendous success serving all his pizzas by the slice.  It's just a matter of having a constant demand and keeping up with it.  With 18K people meandering around these fairgrounds a day, you should have enough of a demand to be always offering fresh slices.

This all being said, Larry, you know what you're doing.  If you feel confident selling 9" pies, then trust your gut. However you approach this, with the quality of pies you're putting out, you'll be wildly successful.

Offline petef

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2012, 03:54:43 AM »
AYKM! I don't know about fairs in your area but at the fairs around here you would have a hard time finding any food for $1.50! A hot dog will set you back $4.00! A bottle of water, $3.00.

You are right. In terms of pricing, I'm thinking more of fleamarkets where they sell small portions such as hotdogs or kabobs in the $2 - $3 range. So just increase my figures accordingly for the particular kind of event.

My main point is, offer small portions that can be handled with one hand and price it reasonably in whole dollar increments to avoid handling change.

Ok, with all that in mind, he's talking about selling a whole pie for $6 to $8. Take that same pie divide it into 6 slices and sell each slice for $2. That's now $12 for the same pie and you open sales to people who would not be buying otherwise because they don't want to eat a whole pie.

I'd also offer 2 slices for $3. Imagine the couple walking by who see's that delicious pie being baked. Curious because they've never tasted a pie like that. For $3 it's an offer they can't pass up! That still translates to $9 for the entire pie.

---pete---

Online Pete-zza

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2012, 07:39:59 AM »
This may all be moot if Larry doesn't plan to sell slices but I couldn't recall that John (JConk007) sold pizzas by the slice. Most of his jobs have been catered affairs, along with a few street events, and while the pizzas were served by the slice, I could not recall their being sold by the slice. I did a search of the Flirting With Fire thread using the term "slice" but did not get any hits in the context of selling slices, with price per slice or anything like that. It possible, however, that the forum's search engines did not find all of the posts. That happens from time to time. I am just wondering whether selling Neapolitan pizzas, especially smallish ones, by the slice is a viable business model, or can be made into one.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2012, 09:52:56 AM »
Larry,

I just wanted to add to this thread and tell you one more experience we had went we first started going to the York Fair.  I had gone to the York Fair many times (before we became a food vendor) and the York Fair had boasted all the time that they had a lot of attendees, which they did.  I think at the bottom of the Sponsors on this link, it tells how many attendees there are at the major fairs on the east coast, (including the York Fair).  I think the total for the 10 major east coast fairs totals 7 million attendees.  http://www.yorkfair.org/sponsorship.htm  The thing that they donít tell you is many mornings and afternoons during the week there were hardly any attendees there and then sales were not good.  In the evenings, during the weekends, during special events and when they ran their lower prices to get into the York Fair, then sales were a lot better.  I have no idea how your fair operates, or when customers will be there to purchase your pizzas.  I see your fair is cheaper to get into too.  At York Fair now it costs 7.00 a person just to get in and 5.00 to park now.  For any family, in my opinion, that is a lot of money, before they actually purchase anything else.  I know families do save up all year to go to a big fair though and they do spend a lot of money at a big fair.

If you find time, ask different people that go to the fair where you are going to be selling your pizzas at, how attendees there are during the day. 

Norma     
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Offline thezaman

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2012, 10:29:46 AM »
 pete,scott,thanks on the slice thought, i just think it will complicate the first attempt at this venue. i know there is more profit by the slice. i think that the 9 inch pie covers sharing as well as single consumption.
 norma, they advertise attendance from 18,000 to 23,000 depending on the events. the area that oberlin is in is very country. the locals actually take fair week off to attend every day.also a hamburger vendor, oh-boy makes enough profit each year that he buys one big piece of restaurant equipment to keep his lorain ohio burger joint updated.  he is big time probably 75 percent of the fair goers will buy at least one oh boy.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2012, 10:40:02 AM »
I would not offer the pizzas by the slice. It adds another variable to the equation and, as Craig mentioned, there is the potential that some of the slices will not be ordered immediately and may be served when they have cooled and not at their peak. Whole pies only or they can take a walk. KISS....keep it simple stupid.

I also don't see what the whole issue is with style. Larry, as you mentioned, you can just say they are wood-fired pizzas. And the fact you have a portable wood fired oven is part of the show. I'd have it as close to the front as your stand as feasible as it will attract people. The allure of fire is very strong...dittos when teamed up with pizza!  :)   If someone is interested in learning more, then you can get into them about the Neapolitan aspect. But I've seen several pizza shops of one style of another spend too much time and effort trying to educate their clientele about the style they are serving before a pizza is ever ordered. It's like s hut the eff up already, I just want a pizza!

Some people are going to want slices.
Some people are going to think the char is strange
Some people are going to thing it is strange, but be curious as well and order a pizza.

You cannot please everyone. Don't try. Keep making a high quality product and serve the whole pizza as close to it's apex of quality (i.e. as soon outta the oven as possible) as possible.

I get about five or so persons every week that ask, "no slices?". When I say whole pies only, they most often walk away. Those that have ended up trying a whole pizza often turn into regulars. Whaddya gonna do? Let chain restaurants worry about pleasing as many people as possible. Your niche is a high quality product, which for the most part I firmly believe enough people will respond to, regardless of the area.

As one small example of many, I don't think too many people would recognize someplace like Flaggstaff, Arizona as a great target to open a Neapolitan pizzeria. Particularly if you were going to open up right across the street from the most popular pizza joint in town....which serves the brown-crusted, no char, American style type pizza most people associate with the word "pizza" in this country. And yet Caleb Schiff's Pizzicletta did just that in Arizona to continued rave reviews and business.

From everything I have seen of your set-up, the pizzas, your pricing, etc., chances are high that you are going to have some success. There is always the potential for a dud location, and the fair may be it for all we know, but even a dud location offers the potential to meet new people who could be potential future customers in search of a mutually beneficial catering event, etc.

Again, knock it out of the park and good luck! --K
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 11:19:04 AM by pizzablogger »
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2012, 10:40:43 AM »
Cutting the pie into 4 slices sounds good.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Don K

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2012, 10:41:03 AM »
Re; libretto, take a look at this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZnuQhaG7wk&feature=player_embedded
If you really want to spend your entire day trying to explain to these people why they should be folding their pizza, go for it, but I think it'll be an uphill battle. Neapolitans fold because there's a history behind it, a cultural conditioning.  There's no history for folding here.
Us dumb hicks here in Lorain County Ohio are way too stupid to figger out howda eat r food.  ??? :-\

I think it will go over very well. Larry will be blazing a new trail for all us rubes who haven't had much exposure to the sophisticated tastes of Neapolitan pizza. Will everyone like it...of course not. I suspect that there will be some that will not like it because it is not the same as they are used to, but you're going to have that everywhere.

Personally, I think that it will be a pleasant change from corndogs, greasy french fires, elephant ears, and deep fried everything.
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2012, 10:46:25 AM »
Us dumb hicks here in Lorain County Ohio are way too stupid to figger out howda eat r food.  ??? :-\

My thoughts exactly.

People are fond for good food, a good story and a good show. Larry has all three locked down. --K
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Offline scott123

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2012, 11:23:49 AM »
Us dumb hicks here in Lorain County Ohio are way too stupid to figger out howda eat r food.  ??? :-\

Accusing me of bigotry is entirely uncalled for, Don.  This has nothing to do with cultural stereotypes, it's about exposure to Neapolitan pizza.  99.99% of these fairgoers will have zero idea what Neapolitan pizza is.

Every area is going to have a different demographic that needs to be marketed to in it's own individual manner.  Wellington isn't Oberlin, nor is it Cleveland.  Nor, Kelly, is it Baltimore or Flagstaff.  If you want to reap the most profit from a venture, you've got to know your audience.  And this audience, I feel, would respond better to slices.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2012, 11:24:06 AM »
I am just wondering whether selling Neapolitan pizzas, especially smallish ones, by the slice is a viable business model, or can be made into one.

I don't see how wet + slice = repeat business

It would seem to me that to make it work, you would have to modify the pizza to the point where it was no longer NP at which point the questions becomes should I serve bad NP slices or good NY slices. The answer to that seems obvious to me.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2012, 11:25:19 AM »
I like that black an white " al libretto " video from the 60's.  Edit a short loop of it and have it running on a monitor along with maybe some nice Frank Sinatra music.   ;D
Oh, and don't forget the catering info placard prominently displayed... ;)

Break a leg Larry!!
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Offline scott123

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2012, 11:33:44 AM »
This may all be moot if Larry doesn't plan to sell slices but I couldn't recall that John (JConk007) sold pizzas by the slice.

I don't see how wet + slice = repeat business

Peter and Craig, you may have noticed that I said John Conklin 'serves' individual slices, I didn't say 'sell.'  :) He sells the entire event in a package form, and then serves the pizzas by the slice. The only modification to this model for a fair setting would be to take money for each slice.  Like I said, though, it hinges greatly on a steady demand for pizza. You can't rewarm slices or sell cold ones. If, like Norma said, there's very slow times when no one's around, then that wouldn't work. For busy times, though, John has proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that Neapolitan slices can be hugely successful.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2012, 11:35:47 AM »
This has nothing to do with cultural stereotypes, it's about exposure to Neapolitan pizza.  99.99% of these fairgoers will have zero idea what Neapolitan pizza is.

I think the more important metric may be what percentage of people in an area could be considered "foodies" (I hate that word)....maybe adventurous eaters is a better word.

The great majority of the peole I have run into at my stand and that ask questions about the pizza have never seen a Neapolitan style pizza (in fact Baltimore just had its first Neapolitan pizzeria open last year) and have no idea about what it entails, but get pizzas anyways. But I would say that the bulk of the people at my stand (call it 75%) are people that have been exposed to and seek out different ethnic foods, etc. --K   :)


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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2012, 11:37:27 AM »
Accusing me of bigotry is entirely uncalled for, Don.  This has nothing to do with cultural stereotypes, it's about exposure to Neapolitan pizza.  99.99% of these fairgoers will have zero idea what Neapolitan pizza is.

Every area is going to have a different demographic that needs to be marketed to in it's own individual manner.  Wellington isn't Oberlin, nor is it Cleveland.  Nor, Kelly, is it Baltimore or Flagstaff.  If you want to reap the most profit from a venture, you've got to know your audience.  And this audience, I feel, would respond better to slices.

I was just a redneck hick who had never heard of NP the first time I tried it either...

I think you are selling these people short. Whether they've heard about NP or not. You give them a great NP pie like Larry's, and my bet is that they will like it.

At least down here, fairs are places where people go to try new things. That is one of the main focuses on the food at the Texas State Fair. Everyone is always trying to come up with something new and people line up to get it.

If it was me, I'd sell NP, and I'd make a big deal about it being NP - create excitement precisely because they don't know what NP is and will be interested for that reason. It's new to them. Having an audience that doesn't know what it is may be an advantage. I'd bet a large percentage of John C's customers didn't know NP before they tried his, and I haven't heard of any mass rejections of his pies. Quite the opposite.

In any case, Larry is not looking to build a permanent building at the fair. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. It's not the end of the world. You learn and move on.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2012, 11:41:18 AM »
Peter and Craig, you may have noticed that I said John Conklin 'serves' individual slices, I didn't say 'sell.'  :) He sells the entire event in a package form, and then serves the pizzas by the slice. The only modification to this model for a fair setting would be to take money for each slice.  Like I said, though, it hinges greatly on a steady demand for pizza. You can't rewarm slices or sell cold ones. If, like Norma said, there's very slow times when no one's around, then that wouldn't work. For busy times, though, John has proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that Neapolitan slices can be hugely successful.

I was not referring to John's business in that formula.

What John does has virtually nothing in common with selling slices other than the slice itself. Maybe it would work at a fair during certain windows of time, but unless you plan to only offer it during those windows and not during others, it sounds problematic to me.
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2012, 11:43:05 AM »
I was just a redneck hick who had never heard of NP the first time I tried it either...

I think you are selling these people short. Whether they've heard about NP or not. You give them a great NP pie like Larry's, and my bet is that they will like it.

At least down here, fairs are places where people go to try new things. That is one of the main focuses on the food at the Texas State Fair. Everyone is always trying to come up with something new and people line up to get it.

If it was me, I'd sell NP, and I'd make a big deal about it being NP - create excitement precisely because they don't know what NP is and will be interested for that reason. It's new to them. Having an audience that doesn't know what it is may be an advantage. I'd bet a large percentage of John C's customers didn't know NP before they tried his, and I haven't heard of any mass rejections of his pies. Quite the opposite.

In any case, Larry is not looking to build a permanent building at the fair. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. It's not the end of the world. You learn and move on.


From everything I have seen and followed from various Neapolitan places across the country, in both small and major markets....from food carts across the country and from my own personal experiences, you are 100% correct.

Hopefully you're still a Redneck Hick, even if you have sorted out the Neapolitan thing.  ;)
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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2012, 11:47:09 AM »
I was just a redneck hick who had never heard of NP the first time I tried it either...

I think you are selling these people short. Whether they've heard about NP or not. You give them a great NP pie like Larry's, and my bet is that they will like it.

At least down here, fairs are places where people go to try new things. That is one of the main focuses on the food at the Texas State Fair. Everyone is always trying to come up with something new and people line up to get it.

If it was me, I'd sell NP, and I'd make a big deal about it being NP - create excitement precisely because they don't know what NP is and will be interested for that reason. It's new to them. Having an audience that doesn't know what it is may be an advantage. I'd bet a large percentage of John C's customers didn't know NP before they tried his, and I haven't heard of any mass rejections of his pies. Quite the opposite.

In any case, Larry is not looking to build a permanent building at the fair. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. It's not the end of the world. You learn and move on.

Yup - well said!

and Larry - wishing you every success at the fair and hope you have a great time too!

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2012, 11:47:13 AM »
Peter and Craig, you may have noticed that I said John Conklin 'serves' individual slices, I didn't say 'sell.'  :) He sells the entire event in a package form, and then serves the pizzas by the slice. The only modification to this model for a fair setting would be to take money for each slice.  Like I said, though, it hinges greatly on a steady demand for pizza. You can't rewarm slices or sell cold ones. If, like Norma said, there's very slow times when no one's around, then that wouldn't work. For busy times, though, John has proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that Neapolitan slices can be hugely successful.

Scott, I hear you. But John already has a captive audience at the event...already expecting to be served pizza.

It's quite a different scenario from setting up what is one of many food options and hoping that people may order a pizza.

If I had a pre-booked event like John did, I would likely do slices as well. It's more akin to a home pizza tasting (albiet on a much larger scale) where you want to have people be able to try as many different toppings combinations as possible....and know they will all be eaten relatively soon after making the various pies. --K
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