Thursday, 20 May 2010

Is there only me entering these Internet Competitions or what?

Well I was more than excited earlier this week to see my name on a Tweet from @doritosuk telling me I'd won a small prize in a competition I'd entered the previous week - a case of Doritos and Odeon cinema tickets.

Well, after last week's £100 of Pizza Express vouchers (see the video of our visit here), and being unable to decide if I am incredibly talented, just plain lucky or if there were so few entrants that a prize was inevitable, I have decided to undertake some further research.

Are there companies out there so desperate to grow their online following that they offer prizes that exceed the norm, and if so, where can I find out about these competitions?

I will report back, so watch this space.

Let's have a winning start to the week. Simon Pickles, Christine Wilson, @kevinwj , Sarah Wittington, Andy McKay and @beffff Congratulationsless than a minute ago via web

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Naples' Pizzeria Ovens Fuelled by Wood From An Unusual Source

Pizza Naples
You couldn't make it up!

Oh how we laughed this morning when we saw a story in The Daily Telegraph about Neapolitan Pizzerias using wood from coffins in their traditional ovens.

And if you still fancy a trip to the home of pizza this summer then why not read our posts about The Best Pizzeria in Italy or The Best Pizza in The World?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Election Night Party at Pizza Express Millbank Nearly Graced With Presence of Renowned Pizza Blogger

Mrs Pizzasand Stuff and I are big fans of Pizza Express so we are more than excited about winning a competition recently on Twitter for a Meal for Four at their Flagship Restaurant at London, Millbank close to the Headquarters of the UK's main political parties.

Congratulations @simonpickles for winning his own seat at tonight's Election night at Millbank!less than a minute ago via web

However, as we live nearly 200 miles away we were kindly allowed to transfer our prize to a restaurant nearer our home, and below is a short video about our visit.

To those of you who cannot sit through 42 seconds of pizza porn, the upshot is that we had a great time, were looked after superbly and ate the best quality food.

Guys, you rock!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Domino's Pizza Huyton and St Helens - The Lunch Specialists

Domino's Pizza St Helens and Huyton specialise in Lunch Orders. Whether they are big or small, for personal or business customers, we can assure you that our years of expertise will go to making your order go as smoothly as possible.

You can order by telephone or over the internet.

Using only fresh ingredients, each order is individually hand-made and can be customised to your requirements.

We can provide cups for your drinks, napkins, paper plates and dips to make your meal go as smoothly as possible and mean there is minimal mess to clean up.

For more information please phone the shops on 01744 733 566 or 0151 449 0449


Pali Grewal Vijay Chauhan Prem Singh

Three Domino’s pizza makers from Bristol, London and Leicester have beaten off stiff competition from across the globe to scoop the title of Domino’s Fastest Pizza Makers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The two-day competition, which took place in Amsterdam this week, saw Vijay Chauhan from Bristol, Pali Grewal from London and Prem Singh from Leicester competing against Domino’s pizza makers from all over EMEA in a bid to clinch the title. Each country has been holding their own heats with the fastest eight going through to the EMEA finals.

To take part, each pizza maker had to make three large pizzas from scratch – stretching the dough, saucing and cheesing them and then adding toppings of pepperoni and mushrooms. All the pizzas had to be made to standard in as fast a time as possible. Pali scored a blisteringly quick time of 50 seconds, closely followed by Vijay with 53 seconds and Prem with 63 seconds.

Pali and Vijay will now compete against the 12 fastest pizza makers chosen from 9,000 Domino’s stores across the globe in the world final taking place in Las Vegas in July.

Pali Grewal said: “We’ve been practising hard for the competition and for us to scoop the EMEA title is a fantastic achievement. Vijay and I can’t wait to get to Vegas. The world final is going to be a great event and we’re leaving a space in our suitcases so we can bring back the trophy!”

Sunday, 9 May 2010

How to Reach Out to Your Customers In The Digital Age

Peppadew Peppers

As part of my extensive and ongoing research into the various ways that companies use to communicate with their customers, especially in the Digital Age, I came across the website, Facebook Page and Twitter Account of Peppadew.

Peppadew Peppers are a range of whole, sweet, piquante peppers, with a mild, hot and golden variety. They are unlike anything you will have tasted before and totally addictive. Domino's Pizza currently use them as a topping on The Big Smoky.

You may have seen them on the shelves of the major supermarkets, though sometimes they are hidden away. You can usually find them near the olives.

The innovative nature of the Peppadew Online Presence, in my opinion, is how they are trying to get their customers to interact with their brand and thus become Word of Mouth Promoters. Several years ago it would have been unheard to ask your customers to send in a video of yourself using that product. But now it seems as if this will be the future.

Here is the Tweet from Peppadew, promoting their competition to find The Face of Peppadew

Check out our new competition: upload your Peppadew picture or video and win! than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Indeed in our online, connected world, businesses will come to rely on Word of Mouth communication more and more as traditional methods of broadcast media go into decline.

Doritos are in the final stages of judging their King of Ads Competition, where customers make an advert for the tasty corn snack, and Peppadew, as mentioned, are asking customers to send in a video of their favourite recipe that contains the eponymous Sweet Chilli Pepper.

And no longer is it necessary to own an expensive handheld Video Camera and have a degree in Media Studies from Skelmersdale Poly in order to make a video worthy of praise. The iPhone 3Gs and many other Smartphones all contain Video Cameras that will deliver more than acceptable results.

Couple that to iMovie or MovieMaker Software on your Computer and within minutes you can produce finished videos, with text, special effects, voiceovers and the like that cannot fail to impress your friends, colleagues, or in this case, judges.

Gone are the days of "Answers on a Postcard" competitons. In our online connected digital word it's all about interaction!

And long may it stay that way.

Below is my effort for the Peppadew competition. I would be surprised if it makes it to the shortlist, however it took only about 30 minutes to edit. The footage was shot while I was doing what I would have been doing anyway, and lots of fun was had along the way, as well as lots of wine being drunk, due to that particular shot needing about 17 retakes!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Dave Thackeray Says - Don't Be A Generalist - Specialise

Well it hasn't got a direct link to pizza, except that it has, of course, if you are in the business of promoting your pizza empire.

This guy has some interesting points.

His name is Dave Thackeray and you can subscribe to his youTube channel here

There is some great stuff on his Twitter page too. Take a look!

Want to know how to start blogging? Got 60 seconds? Lorelle VanFossen's here to help: // I think I love her!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Friday, 7 May 2010

Naples Pizza Makers Celebrate EU Trademark Status

Neopolitan Pizza
There was rejoicing on the streets of Naples, Italy recently when the EU granted the City recognition of its unique pizza heritage and protection of its right to use the description "Neopolitan Pizza".

The story was widely reported at the time, including this report from the BBC.....

As real pizza fanatics we are ever hopeful that the EU will also take a stance against those purveyors of frozen pizza that incorporate the names of American cities into their titles!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Pizza Express Runs UK Election PR Campaign

David Cameron Pizza
Working with Pizza Express head chef Antonio Romano, Unity created a ‘political pizza portrait of Britain'.

The toppings include caviar, apparently representing ‘the debate about class and equal opportunities', and dough balls to represent the national deficit.

These themes were informed by a YouGov poll commissioned by Unity to uncover the key issues facing the electorate.

The pizzas will be available at selected Pizza Express outlets for a limited time.

Unity co-founder Gerry Hopkinson said the agency's task was to create ‘fresh brand engagement ideas that encompass media relations, brand innovation, experiential, digital social media and influencer marketing'.

As part of the same campaign, the agency produced pizza portraits of the three main political leaders, with ingredients representing their characters. The Gordon Brown pizza includes fiery chilli and ground beef, David Cameron is represented by cheese and rocket, while Nick Clegg's pizza features fresh tomatoes and spicy sausage.

Unity has developed a spin-off Twitter campaign and worked with the in-house team to deliver pizzas to the three main political parties, media and influencers.

Pizza Express has not had a retained PR agency for four years, but has used Unity and Frank for project work.

This article first appeared in PR Week

Domino's Pizza Shortlisted for BFA Awards

Domino’s Pizza, the pizza delivery expert, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious British Franchise Association (BFA) HSBC Franchise Awards 2010. Domino’s has been shortlisted as Franchisor of the Year.

The BFA HSBC Awards recognise franchisors who are leading the way and demonstrating best practice in the industry.

Finalists are judged on their strategies, developments and achievements and Domino’s has been shortlisted based on its continued impressive growth, ambitious future plans and the comprehensive support it provides for its 135 franchisees in the UK and Ireland.

Andy Hirst, head of franchise development at Domino’s, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards, which recognise the country’s top franchisors. We’re really proud of the very successful franchise model we provide for our franchisees and being chosen as a finalist by the BFA is a great achievement. Domino’s is celebrating its 25th anniversary here in the UK this year so scooping the Franchisor of the Year Award really would be the icing on the cake – or the pepperoni on our pizza!”

Winners of the BFA HSBC Franchise Awards 2010 will be announced at the gala dinner in Nottingham on June 2, 2010.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Real Pizza #2 - Thanks to Food 52

Asparagus Pizza

I have to admit to knowing very little about the Food 52 Website and Community and so am grateful to Slice the Pizza Blog for letting me know that they have declared this week to be Pizza Week.

Some of the recipes they have posted look absolutely scrumptious.

Why not try one yourself and let us know what you think?

Italy's Pizza Police Leave No Stone Unturned In Their Quest for Real Pizza

Real Pizza from procphil

It's an old article from The Times but I believe it's still worth reminding everyone of...

Pizzas, the Italian Government has decreed, are made with a thin crust, fresh plum or cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Basil, oregano, garlic and olive oil are acceptable toppings but everything else is an affront to Italian cuisine.
An announcement in the Official Gazette — normally reserved for rather drier government regulations — confirmed that the Government is going on the offensive after 20 years of gastronomic hand-wringing about inferior imitations of Italian food.... (read more)

Cheers to Phil for the picture of his lovely home-created pizza which inspired me to look into the history of Real Pizza, which apparently I have never tasted before!

RT:via procphil: @simonpickles Have you seen a REAL pizza before Simon? than a minute ago via Yfrog

California Pizza Kitchen Introduces the Cheeseburger Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen

A great big thanks goes out to two of our readers from Portland Oregon, Nicola and Imelda, for letting us know about the latest offering from California Pizza Kitchen - The Limited Edition Cheeseburger Pizza.

According to the CPK website it consists of Ground Angus beef, caramelized sweet onions, Mozzarella and American cheeses, hearth-baked, then topped with Roma tomatoes and chilled shredded lettuce tossed in our secret sauce. You can add applewood smoked bacon and add fresh avocado, if that is what takes your fancy.

There are two pictures below, one from the CPK website and one of their menu. Is it the same pizza? Certainly the lower image looks more like the description above, but then again the picture from the menu says that is what it is too.

Can anyone enlighten us?

And has anyone tried one? To me, a burger and pizza lover, it sounds like heaven.

Please tell us what you think?

Or contact me via Twitter if you know of any other weird and wonderful creations out there in the Pizza world.

Cheeseburger Pizza

CPK Cheeseburger Pizza

Monday, 3 May 2010

Online Ordering Leader Papa John's First to Surpass $2 Billion in Online Sales

Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA 28.74, -0.03, -0.09%) -- which in 2001 was the first national pizza company to offer online ordering, at -- today surpassed $2 billion in online ordering pizza sales, reaching the milestone less than two years after becoming the first pizza company to eclipse $1 billion.

After hitting the $1 billion mark in 2008, Papa John's predicted it would take another three years to double that number. Yet, through constant improvements to the Website and the ordering experience -- such as 24/7 online ordering availability, a Spanish version of the Website and a Mobile website for ordering ( -- Papa John's has surpassed the mark faster than any pizza company worldwide.

"It has long been a priority at Papa John's to not only provide a quality pizza to our customers, but also provide them with quality, convenient high-tech resources to order pizza," said Jim Ensign, Papa John's Vice President, Digital Marketing. "As more and more people become dependent upon their computers and mobile devices to simplify their lives, our online ordering system has kept pace. This latest milestone of reaching $2 billion in online orders within two years of reaching the first billion proves that consumers are increasingly using alternative methods for purchases, and we look forward to growing our technology suite to fit consumers' evolving purchasing trends."

Papa John's online sales have grown exponentially since 2001, with online sales on average growing more than 50 percent each year through 2007 and steadily rising every year since. Today, more than 25 percent of all Papa John's sales come online or through text, widget, or mobile device, and the company believes sales via alternative access channels could one day surpass traditional telephone orders.

Since first offering online ordering in 2001, Papa John's continues to innovate in the online space including:

-- A Facebook "Fan" page, which includes more than 1.1 million fans

-- Over $17 million in Mobile web sales since launch in late 2008

-- Plan ahead ordering, allowing customers to place orders up to 21 days in advance

-- 24/7 online ordering, letting customers log on outside of business hours to place their orders

-- "Repeat Last Order" function, replicating a customer's most recent order with just one click

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Best Pizzeria in The World?

After our recent link to an article in The Guardian, avid reader (and self -proclaimed pizza fanatic) Andrew from Lincoln,Mass. contacted us to disagree with the assertion that Pizzeria Ana in Agripoli served the best pizzas in Italy.

He countered that the reputation of the World-famous L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele is more than deserved.

Featuring as a central venue in the book and film Eat,Pray Love if you choose to dine here you will be following in the footsteps of many celebrities and foodies before you.

Tucked away on a side street (Finding it is part of the fun!), there is either a queue to get in, or you may be asked to share a table with strangers (Pizza is the international language of friendship!).

Andy says that on his visit he had The Margarita while his lovely lady wife Lisa chose The Marinari. Normal size is more than enough for one. The wine list is excellent too I am told.

Indeed Andy's opinion is more than backed up by all the people who have submitted reviews on Tripadvisor.

Some people may find it too busy and chaotic for their liking, but show me a pizzeria that is busy from Open 'til Close and you can be guaranteed that they are doing most things right.

Directions, opening times and other details are here on the Contact Us tab.

If you've been here please leave your comments below.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Best Pizzeria in Italy?

Italian Pizza
Guardian Travel Writer Mike McDowall sets off on a quest to see if this, as he was told, is indeed the best pizzeria in Italy.

Declaring a restaurant "the Best" is always going to be subjective, but if you'd like to find out why Mike thinks this is true then read his article from The Guardian on May 1st 2010.

We think you might agree.