How a missionary chef gets insanely loyal fans
Nestled in the Alps near the Austrian border, Bolzano, Italy is famous for two rare finds.
The first is the 5,300-year-old mummified corpse of Otzi the Neolithic iceman*.
The second is exquisite thin crust pizza.
I sat in a small Chicago restaurant stuffing my face with the latter.
Carlo, a missionary chef came to Chicago, a town known for deep dish pizza and angioplasty, to spread the gospel of authentic Bolzano thin crust.
I am helping Sheila and Marco (not pictured here), the current owners of Bolzano Pizza use mobile marketing to solve the problem that kills more small businesses than any other.
That killer problem is driving business during slow times.
Most businesses have times when they operate at full capacity. For Sheila and Marco, that is Friday and Saturday nights.
Marco estimated that they could easily double or triple production during other periods without adding staff or equipment.
Slow periods are the sweet spot for text marketing.
During the slow periods, Bolzano offers discounts, special dishes, and upgrades to their subscribers without diminishing sales and profits during their peak times.
Bolzano invited their customers in to sample the latest pizza trends from Italy and vote on which items should be added to the menu.
Everyone that voted received a special dessert, and one name was drawn to have their photo posted on the new item announcement. Their fans LOVED IT!
*The Neolithic murder victim Otzi, discovered in 1991, is Europe’s oldest mummified corpse. His last meal consisted of chamois meat, red deer, and herb bread.
Had Otzi survived 5,275 more years, he could have enjoyed authentic Bolzano thin crust pizza. A flint arrow in his chest made sure that didn’t happen.