Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Size Matters at Mama Lena's

Check out this baby, created by pizza maker Rob Carrabbia of Mama Lena's Pizza House in McKees Rocks, PA. (Rob's the one in the white shirt - with no tomato sauce splashes - hmmmm.) According to a short photo spot in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette, this pizza measures 55 x 37 inches. Mama Lena's hopes to get the pizza, known as "The Big One," into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest commercially available pizza. At $99 for a 150-piece one-topping pizza, you're covered for that next Stillers party an'at.


On the other hand...you've got a problem when you get this pizza. If you're eating right there at Mama Lena's, then cool. But suppose you want to eat it at home. If you want to save on delivery tips and pick it up, you're gonna need to borrow a Suburban to transport it. If you do want delivery, you've got a big problem, because
  1. The Big One won't fit in the cars driven by most delivery boys.
  2. The Big One will require at least 2 delivery boys to get it from the flatbed truck to your door.
  3. Consequently, the tip is going to cut into your beer budget.
  4. You're going to have to take the remaining beer out of the beer fridge to store the leftovers.
Now, regarding the size of this pizza...what is this 55 x 37 inches nonsense? How are you going to market that? How about 3 x 5 feet? Or 40 x 60 inches? Did they just have a spare 55 x 37 inch pan lying around gathering dust? Unless they're your waist and inseam measurements, 55 x 37 inches won't stick in your mind.

Which leads to my second point. What's with this name - "The Big One." Is that the best they can come up with in McKees Rocks? A different size could have fit in with a better name. Attenzione Mama Lena! This is about the dullest, stupidest name you could have given this magnificent, albeit weirdly-sized pizza! Look at the example of Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, which has the "Monsterous Belly Buster." Sure, they can't spell up there in Clearfield, but that's a great marketing name!

I really want to see you succeed, so I'm waiving my normal consulting fee for the following advice: Sponsor a naming contest among your employees, with the grand prize being a case of Arn. It'll be money well spent.

Allow me to suggest a few entries to get the creative sauces flowing:
  • The Flying Tomato (capitalize on the Winter Olympics and draw the McKees Rocks skateboarding crowd)
  • The 3 By 5 (You'd have to do the unthinkable and resize)
  • The 6 Foot Under (Another resizing opportunity)
  • The Al Roker Diet Buster
  • The Mega Mama Lena
When you decide on a name, do the same thing as Denny's Beer Barrel Pub and have an Eat-It-For-Free-Promotion. Something like if a team of 4 eats it in 5 hours they get it for free.

But be careful. If you start following my advice you'll be needing to expand to handle the crowds.

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