Choosing Incredible Restaurants

Dos And Don'ts Of Focusing On An Italian Angle For Your Pizza Restaurant

There's little question that when people think of Italian food, pizza is one of the first foods that come to mind. For this reason, many pizza restaurants choose to play up the Italian angle. While these establishments might not offer Italian cuisine beyond pizza, tying Italy in with the branding of the restaurant is a common choice. If you own a pizza restaurant and are doing some rebranding, here are some dos and don'ts of focusing on the Italian angle.

Do: Reflect Your Family History

If your family is Italian, tying your family history to your restaurant in a number of ways can be beneficial. For example, you might advertise that you use a homemade tomato sauce that has been in your family for five generations. Or you might even decorate your dining room with some black-and-white photos of your ancestors in Italy. Feel free to also share a brief history of your family — especially if pizza ties into that history — inside your menu.

Don't: Be Culturally Offensive

It's important to err on the side of being inoffensive. In today's age of political correctness, consumers will heavily scrutinize your approach to branding. If they consider it to be insensitive to Italians, it may negatively affect your business. For example, some pizza restaurants tie their identity in with the mafia — there are countless "Godfather's Pizza" establishments throughout the country. However, many smart consumers may understandably find this approach to be offensive, given that organized crime makes up only a fraction of a percent of Italian people.

Do: Use Italian Names — But Provide Clarity

Plenty of pizza toppings have a link with classic Italian pies, so it can be fun to include their Italian names on your menu. The same goes for side dishes, too. For example, writing "insalata" to represent salads can give your menu and overall restaurant an authentic feel. In taking this approach, be sure to also include English wording so that you don't unnecessarily confuse your patrons.

Don't: Be Clichéd

It's fine to closely associate your pizza restaurant with the Italian identity, but that doesn't mean that you need to play up every cliché that too often exists in the restaurant business. For example, you don't need to have red-and-white checkered tablecloths and Italian classical music playing over your sound system. Think about what other pizza and Italian restaurants in your area are doing and try to be original.