Author Topic: pizza at the fair  (Read 12507 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

scott123

  • Guest
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

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 16017
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
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.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12514
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
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!!
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

scott123

  • Guest
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

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
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   :)


"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 16017
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
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.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 16017
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
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.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline pizzablogger

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
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.  ;)
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

enter8

  • Guest
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

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
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
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

scott123

  • Guest
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2012, 11:49:58 AM »
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.

This I agree with.  If I were doing this, I wouldn't do it myself, but I'd look into renting a pulcinella costume, have one of the workers wear it, and really play up the cultural aspect.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 11:57:07 AM by scott123 »

scott123

  • Guest
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2012, 11:55:52 AM »
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.

Kelly, this is 18,000 to 23,000 people per day. Larry might have a slow moment during the early morning, but, for the rest of the day, he should mirror John's output, especially if he's giving people an option for something small so they can have their burgers and other stuff. When you get to an event of this size, you can treat it like a home pizza tasting because the demand should be sufficient enough so no slice ever goes cold.

Offline pizzablogger

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2012, 11:55:59 AM »
This I agree with.  If I were doing this, I wouldn't do it myself, but I'd look into renting a pulcinella costume and really play up the cultural aspect.

That would be cool!

Pulcinella could walk around eating pizza al libretto.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12514
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2012, 11:57:02 AM »


Hopefully you're still a Redneck Hick, even if you have sorted out the Neapolitan thing.  ;)
Texas Craig,
I will buy you a pizza tool/gadget of your choice in exchange for the real deal recipe of Fletcher's corndogs... :'(
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23470
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2012, 11:59:16 AM »
Peter and Craig, you may have noticed that I said John Conklin 'serves' individual slices, I didn't say 'sell.'  :)

scott123,

Yes, I did notice the distinction, yet I wondered if John had sold slices. I was just looking for evidence of sales of Neapolitan pizzas by the slice and wasn't finding it.

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12514
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2012, 12:04:17 PM »
scott123,

Yes, I did notice the distinction, yet I wondered if John had sold slices. I was just looking for evidence of sales of Neapolitan pizzas by the slice and wasn't finding it.

Peter
I think John sold slices at the 1 or 2 different street fairs he posted about....not sure.
He was very quiet about pricing for awhile there so that might have affected your search words...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 12:05:53 PM by Chicago Bob »
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24240
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2012, 12:10:24 PM »
Larry,

I have seen many fair food vendors make a lot of money at big fairs.  I know at least two of them personally and they always make out like a bandit.  When we were a food vendor at the big fair, they were days they brought bus loads of people in from other cities and those days were especially good.  I think country folks would take to your Neapolitan pizzas quickly.  First of all of the pizzas I have ever saw, or eaten at fairs really arenít that good.  With your high quality pies, you should do well.  I am also a country hick and never even knew what Neapolitan pies were until I came to this forum.  After I saw the fire in WFOís and tasted the kind of pies coming out of them I was hooked, like I think your customers will be.  Fair goers are always looking for new foods.  Usually most fair attendees donít go by themselves.  One of your pies could be split for a few people, which you intend to do.  

You might have some customers that want their whole pies cut in smaller slices to feed more of a group.  That is up to you what you do about that.  I know I have customers with smaller children and sometimes they want one slice cut into three pieces, because the smaller children canít eat a big slice.

Norma
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 12:35:53 PM by norma427 »


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 16017
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #67 on: August 09, 2012, 12:18:03 PM »
Texas Craig,
I will buy you a pizza tool/gadget of your choice in exchange for the real deal recipe of Fletcher's corndogs... :'(

My point exactly. Very few people knew what a corn dog was before trying it at the Texas State Fair in the late 1930's, and the rest is history.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline pizzablogger

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2012, 12:25:30 PM »
My point exactly. Very few people knew what a corn dog was before trying it at the Texas State Fair in the late 1930's, and the rest is history.

Or fried Coke or Oreos for that matter.

Now all that stuff is up here during the Fells Point festival, thanks to the Texas State fair.

What a great weekend going to the State Fair one day and then going inside the Cotton Bowl to see the annual Red River Shootout on Saturday must be. Boomer Schooner!  :P
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

scott123

  • Guest
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2012, 12:38:27 PM »
So, corn dogs, fried coke and fried oreos are good examples of fair goers having 'adventuresome' palettes?  :)

Craig, you said that I'm selling these people short and that fairs are opportunities for people to experience new foods.  What foods, outside of American culture, are they eating at the Texas state fair?  Are there stands selling Indian curries?  Falafel? Tapas? Being a state fair, I'm guessing Texas probably has a sushi stand, but I highly doubt Lorain has sushi.  If Lorain has sushi, then I stand corrected on everything I've said relating to slices. I think, currently, sushi is an excellent barometer of how adventuresome people's tastes are.


Offline Don K

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1281
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Ohio
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2012, 12:52:38 PM »
Accusing me of bigotry is entirely uncalled for, Don.
Bigotry is a bit strong of a word, but you did link to a video showing fairgoers with farm animals and then refer to them as "these people" and suggest that it would be hard to explain to them how to eat their food. You did seem suggest that because "these people" like tractor pulls and demolition derbys that they may not appreciate food that they probably haven't tried before. It just came across to me as a little condescending. If that wasn't your intention then I apologize.

There are undoubtedly going to be people that think that the NP pizza is soggy, or that it is burnt because of the char. I find it hard to believe that there wasn't the same reaction when NP pizza was first introduced in a lot of areas where it is now popular.

Give people a chance to experience NP pizza for what it is. Who knows Larry, you may be starting something that will catch on and grow in our area.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 01:52:29 PM by Colonel_Klink »
The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 16017
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2012, 01:02:30 PM »
So, corn dogs, fried coke and fried oreos are good examples of fair goers having 'adventuresome' palettes?  :)

Craig, you said that I'm selling these people short and that fairs are opportunities for people to experience new foods.  What foods, outside of American culture, are they eating at the Texas state fair?  Are there stands selling Indian curries?  Falafel? Tapas? Being a state fair, I'm guessing Texas probably has a sushi stand, but I highly doubt Lorain has sushi.  If Lorain has sushi, then I stand corrected on everything I've said relating to slices. I think, currently, sushi is an excellent barometer of how adventuresome people's tastes are.

I don't know Scott. It's been years since I have gone. I would not be surprised if there was sushi. It is very popular in Texas. Notwithstanding, I still don't see NP as a strech. I don't see NP al libretto to a person who has had Pappa Johns as any more of a strech than a corn dog to a person who had only tried a regular hot dog.

Sure, if you go in with the attitude that this is something exotic and you and your hick family probably won't like it, you might not sell much, but if you make it exciting, they will try it and they will like it. It's nothing like feeding sushi to someone who has only had fried catfish - but you know what, I've done that to more than one hard core redneck and have them turn into sushi addicts.

Seriously, you really think that someone who likes thin pizza won't like a great NP pie? At a state fair where yu are probably looking to try new and fun things?

You may be right, but I'm really happy the first guy to serve me a NP pie didn't think that.

FWIW, according to Google, there are 9 places to get sushi within 20 miles of Lorain and a couple inside of 10 miles.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

scott123

  • Guest
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #72 on: August 09, 2012, 01:40:59 PM »
Seriously, you really think that someone who likes thin pizza won't like a great NP pie? At a state fair where yu are probably looking to try new and fun things?

Craig, I've made it clear, in multiple posts, that the people at the fair will love Larry's pizza.  That's not what we're debating here.  Once people buy his pizza, they will love it, but a smaller serving, with a style of pizza they've never had before, on a mostly likely already pretty full stomach, is a greater enticement. The slice concept that I'm presenting is a means to expose the most possible people to great Neapolitan pizza AND make Larry the most possible money. If, during his busy hours, he sells, say, 1200 slices at 3-4 bucks a pop,  that exposes an exponentially greater number of people to Neapolitan pizza than 300 whole pies. If more people can experience Larry's pizza and he can make more money, then everyone wins.

enter8

  • Guest
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #73 on: August 09, 2012, 02:21:25 PM »
Craig, I've made it clear, in multiple posts, that the people at the fair will love Larry's pizza.  That's not what we're debating here.  Once people buy his pizza, they will love it, but a smaller serving, with a style of pizza they've never had before, on a mostly likely already pretty full stomach, is a greater enticement. The slice concept that I'm presenting is a means to expose the most possible people to great Neapolitan pizza AND make Larry the most possible money. If, during his busy hours, he sells, say, 1200 slices at 3-4 bucks a pop,  that exposes an exponentially greater number of people to Neapolitan pizza than 300 whole pies. If more people can experience Larry's pizza and he can make more money, then everyone wins.
5 slices and 2 anchovies?

Offline pizzaboyfan

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 485
Re: pizza at the fair
« Reply #74 on: August 09, 2012, 03:37:24 PM »
I still think the drawback is how to eat the NP pie while walking or standing.
Forget about the guy with a drink, pushing a stroller, or holding a stuffed animal or a child's hand...he just can't do it...he's already out of hands.
Holding a plate in one hand and eating the NP with the other...that should leave him with enough sauce and cheese down his shirt to give him a nice bedtime snack.
Maybe the real money is in selling a shoulder mounted tray.
Kind of like this, but turned around.