Know all about the Pizza

June 8, 2017 993 0 0

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You can’t please everyone,” reads an advertisement billboard, “You are not pizza”. Probably everyone, ruefully or readily, would agree with this. So what is the provenance of this universal and eternal charmer? The definitions or descriptions of pizza are, if functional, far from emotional, not to say romantic. Here is the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “A dish of Neapolitan (a region in Italy) origin consisting of a flattened disk of bread dough topped with olive oil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese, baked quickly and served hot.”

It is only a regular pizza aficionado who can make a vivid picture of the description above, though with some disappointment with the blandness of it. The word pizza, of Italian origin, means “pie”, and comes from Gaeta in Naples, according to Wikipedia, but like the varieties of the delicacy, its accounts of its origins vary with the meaning ranging from pincers to bites. The earliest record of the word goes back to AD 997 showing its celebratory significance since a pizza was to be given to a bishop every Christmas and Easter. Pizza-like dishes go back to Neolithic times, earlier than BCE 7000. Even in more recent times, it is surrounded by legend, as the story of the margherita is attributed to a queen of that name. Pizza is a fast food with its own restaurant called the pizzeria which specializes in making and selling it. Arguably, two of the most famous of these pizzerias are Dominos and Pizza Hut, multinationals catering to every taste and culture.

Pizza Hut: Where Consumer is Truly King—or Queen

Pizza Hut which began its career with an investment of $600, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2008 with 7500 outlets in the US alone. Like all self-respecting eateries, the company has its own innovations such as Pan Pizza and Stuffed Crust. And relentlessly goes about trying to beat customer expectations. It has reinvented itself with the WingStreet brand that offers eight varieties of sauces and one hundred and sixty-two flavour combinations. Customers can order either their pizzas or WingStreet combinations or either of them individually. The two make great parties, according to the company. But all innovations and additions orbit around the pizza.

Pizzahut @TheRoyaleIndia

Image credits – Pinterest

The internet has revolutionized the way pizzas are ordered, and Pizza Hut has capitalized on this beautifully and astutely with 70% of its outlets being dine-in and delivery-service. This is a part of their desire to give the customers what they want, and when, and in the way they want. Following a multi-pronged approach, the company aims to be the best in innovating ever new varieties of pizzas, and keeping its delivery service smoothly oiled. Customers now enter their names into the company’s website, and can also design their own “playlists” of their pizzas, with favorites being subsequently ordered with the click of a key or a mouse. Eventually, if the company has its way, the home meal will be replaced by its products, a revolution, certainly, in dining habits, not to mention the way society and culture operate in the lives of people.

Founded by brothers Dan and Frank Carney, it has changed according to the situation to stay at the forefront of the sales, the latest adaptation occurring in 2014. This was to address the issue of falling sales in the previous two years. Pizza Hut diversified into many products, all part of being in sync with how America lives and eats today. . As a part of its publicity, it even had a song that was at the top of the charts for a while that mentions its name albeit along with other pizzerias.

Today Pizza Hut is the number one company among pizzerias, and the saga continues. It is the unending effort to meet market needs and gastronomic quirks and tastes. The way to success is obviously through the stomach, and the tastebuds, for the pizza companies.

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The Domino’s Effect

Domino’s began its career in 1960 as DomiNick’s when it was taken over by two brothers for $500, who borrowed a further $900 to keep it going. One of the two brothers exited the trade after selling his share to the other for the Volkswagen Beetle they used to deliver the pizzas in. The owner wanted to use the original name for two other outlets he had opened, but was forbidden from it. An employee returning after delivering an order suggested the name Domino’s Pizza, and the owner like it instantly, sensing, perhaps a name that was easy to pronounce, and was rich with imaginative possibilities.

Originally the company logo had three dots to signify the three outlets, and a proposal was to include as many dots as new branches that may be added. But this was soon seen to be impractical as the outlets grew in leaps and bounds. Today the company has more than 8600 stores in seventy-five countries, thanks to its continuous adaptation to new demands. But the company was not always successful. In China, for example, the company made no effort to adjust to local tastes or cultural sensitivities, and as a result, did not see too much of a success. One partially success story was the promise to deliver the pizza in under thirty minutes. But following some accidents and a murder and an injury, the company dropped the campaign in the US, but continues it in some countries such as India and Vietnam. The Indian chapter has a guarantee of ₹300 on orders less than four pizzas. Under a new avatar, called “You got 30 minutes” the company referred to its older campaign, but offered no compensation for late deliveries. As a spin off from its Indian franchise, items such as Paneer Pizza, Chicken Tikka Pizza and a few other items have found popularity abroad as well.

To emphasise its entry into non-pizza items, the company changed its name to simply Domino’s from the original Domino’s Pizza. Today, the company is the second largest pizza seller in the world after Pizza Hut.

Dominos pizza @TheRoyaleIndia

Image credits – Dominos Kenya

The popularity of pizzas and the innovations that are happening have led to the publication of such journals as Pizza Today. Beginning in Italy, the humble pizza has found universal acclaim, and is here to stay. It has a niche in every heart, and is ideal for everything, from snacks to whole meals. Sold a la carte, and carte blanche where one can eat as much as they can, pizzas are creatively made, and they continue to inspire creativity in humans in turn.

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Papa John’s Pizza: A Tasteful Gift

Being the third largest pizza company by sales in the US does not come easily, and Papa John’s works very hard for it. This is more so because it is the youngest of the three, being formed as late as 1984. The company literally began with a clean sweep when “Papa” John Schnatter emptied the broom closet in his father’s shop and started his business with old pizza making equipment with a sort of captive market among the workers nearby. Sales grew fast until this humble beginner has thousands of branches the world over. It has a chequered career with generous sponsorship of football bowl game, and a clutch of class action suits that the company settled by paying millions of dollars that included compensation for underpaid employees. Targeting everyday activities from birthdays to social occasions, Papa John’s looks to be intimately bound with its customers promising the use of fresher ingredients on the assumption that it automatically leads to better pizzas. Their sauces are unique too, thus making a complete eating experience, “building a foundation of quality”, as their homepage proudly proclaims. For them, “The Main Thing” is pizza and the Papa in their title transforms into People Are Priority Always, entailing a “positive mental attitude” and “constant improvement”. The original name base has a new topping of business principle. The company keeps its business fairly simple. From the claustrophobic confines of a broom closet to a vast pizza empire is a long journey, and the company has it in it to go much further.

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Categories: Food and Drinks