Small pizzerias' success in human touch

Tantalizing pizzas on a red-checkered tablecloth

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Renita Jablonski: The last three days before Christmas may account for as much as 15 percent of holiday sales. So on this Christmas Eve, there's a lot of business left on the table. For some, that business is going to smell like cheese and pepperoni. Perhaps mushroom and onion.

Today kicks off one of the busiest seasons for the pizza industry. Some companies are expecting to double their daily sales volume over the next several days. Domino's hopes to capitalize on the trend with a new hundred-million-dollar ad campaign rolling out today. How can mom-and-pop pizzerias compete with that? Lisa Napoli reports.


Lisa Napoli: Pity the corner pizza shop. When you have to compete with the big national chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut and their massive marketing budgets, it isn't easy.

P.J. Giannini: They don't have those resources.

That's P.J. Giannini of the Pizza Trade Association. He says there's a growing movement among the mom-and-pop stores to push their distinct advantage. Their product isn't made by committee, like the chains.

Giannini: They get a manual that's about as big as your head, and it tells you what to do from the time you turn on the light switch in the front door to the time you put the cheese on the pizza. It's a mechanical process for them.

Giannini says local shops are learning to rebrand themselves as not just a convenience food, but as a place that offers an authentic slice of culture.

In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

About the author

In more then twenty years in journalism, Lisa Napoli has managed to work for almost every major

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