Tag Archives: pizza

Burger and a Beer – The Chicago Way of Life is More Than Just Pizza

18 May

When one thinks of the Chicago dining scene, pizza comes to mind. After all, Chicago is proclaimed the pizza capitol of the nation.

While Chicago has more than its share of pizza places, the fact is that the predominant full service restaurant in the metropolitan area is the local bar and grill. Nearly 12% of all full service Chicago area restaurants are classified as a “bar and grill”, meaning that they generate a significant portion of their revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages. The Chicago area is dotted with sports bars, microbreweries, and pubs; boasting a much higher percentage of them than New York or LA (3.5% and 2.5%, respectively). Chicagoans spent almost $550 million in bar and grill establishments last year .

These establishments, as a rule, are quite small. About 78% of Chicago area bars and grills have annual revenues of less than $500,000. But being small hasn’t meant much to their survival. Nearly 80% of Chicago’s area bar and grills have been in business for more than five years.

Why Chicagoans prefer their local pub n’ grub to other restaurant types is subject to speculation.  Certainly, the allure of a bar and grill establishment is probably more about the beverages than the food. It is likely that many patrons’ frequent places that are close to home or work. The atmosphere of your local pub can definitely be more relaxing than other establishments. In many cases, a bond with a particular employee or the owner of an establishment results in frequent visits due to camaraderie and loyalty. It is not at all unusual for patrons to stop in virtually every day.

At any rate, what better way to watch the game or enjoy times with friends than having a beverage and a sandwich on your favorite bar stool? In the Chicago area, it is the thing to do.

Because of the preponderance and diversity of the bar and grill market in the Chicago area, marketing to them can be challenging. Cathy Kearns of CHD Expert, a Chicago based food service marketing firm, noted “Our clients are always looking for ways to reach the Chicago area sports bars and pubs. They are spread out and usually small in size but they represent a large part of the Chicago market, so you really need to get to them somehow”.

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Pizza Industry Data: What’s happening at the 2012 Pizza Expo

21 Feb

As we mentioned in an earlier post titled, “2012 Foodservice Trade Shows – Why are they valuable and which are CHD Expert attending,” we are really excited to attend the 2012 Pizza Expo in March – which is just around the corner. This year’s show is going to be full of excitement, especially to see what new restaurant industry insights we can gather regarding 2012 pizza industry data. Here is a quick list of activities that are going to be happening the 2012 Pizza Expo:

  • Learn to buy & sell pizza on the huge exhibition floor
  • Attend a pizza-making class and other types of demonstrations by top chefs
  • Learn from the best industry experts with over 75 educational sessions
  • Enter the international pizza-baking contest or feel free to just watch as part of the crowd
  • Watch the dramatic World Pizza Games® dough-spinning finals


In addition to all the action, the 2012 Pizza Expo will give foodservice operators, suppliers, distributers, and buyers the chance to come together in one place to talk about the business of Pizza. We are really excited to see what’s happening on the business side of the pizza business and to attend the seminars, workshops, power panels, and operator presentations. As reported on their website, here are some quick facts about the different sessions:

Seminars and Workshops: Among the 75-plus seminars and cooking demonstrations will be these special new sessions:

Power Panels: We’ll convene panels consisting of top operators who are on the cutting edge in their approaches to top-of-mind topics. You’ll be able to learn from the best on subjects including: finding and keeping the best pizzeria employees, building blocks for profitable menus and proven tactics for driving business with social media marketing.

Operator Presentations: We’ve gone to great lengths to bring in more pizza owners and operators to speak about how they excel in specific segments of the business. Among the operator-presenters appearing at Pizza Expo 2012 are: Peter Cooperstein of Amici’s on delivery, Glenn Cybulski of Seasons Pizzeria and Clovers Sports Bar on appetizers, Doug Ferriman of Crazy Dough’s on selling slices, Clayton Krueger of Farrelli’s on social media, George Hadjis of Oggi’s on building community partnerships—and several more.

The Pizza Expo 2012 is a great opportunity to get a better understanding on what’s happening in the pizza category. At CHD Expert, we pride ourselves on having the most comprehensive and accurate foodservice database – which allows us to help businesses in the foodservice industry by providing them with one of the most valuable things: data. Our data can help manufacturers, operators, restaurants, etc. successfully grow their business because our data is accurate, up to date and granular.

To learn more about how we can help, check out our website, www.CHD-Expert.com. Or, if you are going to be at the Pizza Expo too – let us know beforehand, and we can set up some time to meet face to face.

See you there!

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