From November 12 to November 19, the IACC hosted the “Authentic Italian Pizza Week” as part of the Extraordinary Italian Taste, in partnership with OpenTable and Sassaia Wines. The IACC confirmed the participation of 24 authentic Italian pizzerias in the New York metropolitan area in a week long promotion designed to showcase Italian pizza with a prix fixed menu. The menu was priced at $19.99 for an appetizer or dessert, and a choice from a selection of classic pizzas offered by the participating restaurant. Alternatively, the restaurants were offered the option of a menu priced at $29.99 for an appetizer or dessert, a classic Italian pizza, and a glass of Sassaia, barbera or gavi, the main sponsor of the initiative.
In addition to the week-long promotion, the IACC selected two participating restaurants to each host a pizza dinner, open exclusively to influencers within the food industry in New York City. The purpose of the dinners was to advertise the promotion, as well as the authenticity of the pizza served in each establishment. The first dinner was hosted at Ribalta Pizzeria on November 15, 2017 for 15 guests, representing well-known New York City food blogs. Ribalta is one of New York City’s most recognized and frequented pizzerias, offering authentic Neopolitan pizza made by one of the city’s most known pizzaioli, Pasquale Cozzolino.
The second dinner was hosted at PN Wood Fired Pizza on November 17, 2017 for 17 guests. PN Wood Fired Pizza was founded as a joint venture with Molino Grassi, and offers the guest the chance to select the actual flour their pizza is made from. All flours are organic and vary daily. Several bloggers posted a number of Instagram stories throughout the course of the dinners, as well as Instagram posts, and posts on their respective blogs. The dinners provided the two selected restaurants the opportunity to showcase their selection of pizzas, in order to bring exposure and publicity to the authenticity of the restaurant.
The IACC sponsored an active social media campaign in association with Italian Pizza Week, in order to generate traffic to the participating restaurants and exposure for the promotion. In addition, the IACC created an entire website dedicated to the promotion, also providing an online sign-up feature for the restaurants. The website was linked directly with OpenTable, allowing visitors to make their reservations directly utilizing the IACC sponsored website. The IACC sent five e-mail blasts to its database of 2,500 contacts advertising the promotion to its membership base, and vast network of contacts.
The feedback from the participating restaurants was overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of customers ordering from the promotional menu. The promotion also received significant exposure through the influencer postings, as some of the bloggers in attendance have more than 300,000 Instagram followers.