In my humble opinion...

Niche Pizza
Could “pizza publishing” be part of the Internet’s second act?

Pizza is not just one of the oldest social communities. Pizza is a “social directory” of services and advertisements. Pizza drives communities – boys soccer team’s winning celebration, law firm’s late night trial preparation, mom’s book club meetings, college dorm room pajamas parties, high school prom beach bash, holiday recipe exchanges, including the biggest living room, big-screen TV event - a Super Bowl party. Pizza is the common denominator for Who, What, When, Where and Why. Pizza has always had its own ecosystem. Value is added to both marketer and publisher when information-based niche pizzas multiply.

USA Today reported that Pizza Hut is preparing to add pans of pasta to its delivery menu. Pizza? Now, pasta? Yep. Pasta Hut. Check out this article and companion AOL poll.

Naysayers, like Papa John’s stated they have no pasta plans, quoting, “As our founder once said, ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’” Of course, most pizza establishments, including Papa John’s already offer chicken wings, breadsticks. desserts and other non-pizza items.

“Other rivals and reporters go both ways on this vote: “Done right, pasta delivery could give Pizza Hut a competitive edge,” commented consultant, Linda Lipsky. Ms. Lipsky comments “while cold pizza is edible, cold pasta is less appetizing.” I’m not so sure about that.

Home meal replacement thrives in America’s homes or college dorm rooms – especially when food is delivered -- to the door. Cold, mushy pasta? Cold, day-old pizza? How much will this matter to college students and harried homemakers?

Creative Director Lisa Eiler pointed out to me that cold pasta dishes micro-wave better than cold pizza – and order-out pasta and its variety of sauces tastes even better if it sits overnight and is “gently reheated the next day.”

When I told my 16-year-old daughter that Pizza Hut was now delivering pasta, her comment was, “Great – just tell them not to include any meat in it.”

There you have it. For Pizza Hut to increase its pasta ROI, it should include a meatless version on its pasta menu, consider adding a microwaveable container to its packaging, and, according to a majority of the AOL poll responses, include 6, not 5, breadsticks – in addition to a requirement that all “chefs” prepping food wear plastic gloves – especially - if they are going to be photographed.

Pizza is big business, albeit slowing, like everything else, with the overall economy. However, “food delivery” has generally maintained its place in the heart of Americans. Pizza Hut, according to USA Today, is seeking a “slice of the $13.7 billion restaurant and take-out pasta business.”

Casual dining, for the most part, has always existed “inside a box,” in or outside the home. Pizza Hut Pasta, like micro Web Slices, is focusing on “delivery” – a powerful differentiator – if executed with the consistency of “good reasoning.” Given some thought, 7th Stream’s micro Web Slices, as delivered, also “reheat” well too.

P.S. Did you know? The domain name,, recently sold for $2.6 million! I believe the company that purchased this domain name is not a pizza company. I expect to see this company use as a purpose-built “social directory” that will be merged with a social networking model creating advertising opportunities. I have no doubt
that strategic alliances will be formed with the major pizza players in this crowded community of information and entertainment – perhaps a topic for my next IMHO!

 Articles Author

Interactive SEOs deliver conversions

S. Dombrowski
The problem with advertising on the Internet S. Dombrowski

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Pizza Hut now delivers pasta