We’re back, we’ve recovered, and we’re here to tell you what you missed at Pizza Expo 2021!

This was the Marqii team’s 5th Pizza Expo, and while we admit it was a bit smaller compared to past years (2021 saw 6,000 tickets sold vs the usual 20,000), what the expo lacked in size, its exhibitors, competitors, and operators more than made up for in enthusiasm.

Some common themes we observed:

Plant-based Mania

We were blown away by the number of plant-based vendors on the expo floor. From meatless sausage to impressively melty vegan cheese, alternative pizza eaters are covered.

Focus on Marketing and Restaurant Tech

Even when the strategies are “old school,” as discussed by presenter Scott Anthony, or focused on new tech as demonstrated by restaurant marketing experts David “Rev” Ciancio, Eric Bam (Perfect Crust Pizza Liners), and Scott Weiner (Scott’s Pizza Tours), marketing was top of mind this year.

And there’s a new surge of focus on tech - while the pizza industry’s delivery game was already strong, COVID was a wake up call to the importance of having a strong online presence, responding quickly to reviews, and reaching customers electronically.

Changing of the Guard

Where a few years ago we may have seen seasoned pizzeria owners walking the show floor with their 20-something sons and daughters trailing behind, Now that next generation is taking the lead. Not only as tech experts and online marketers, but as business owners -- honoring and respecting the legacy of their family pizzerias while driving the business to new heights.

Historically, the trends we’ve seen at the Pizza Expo have indicated where growth will be focused in the coming year. But don’t take our word for it -- David “Rev” Ciancio and Eric Bam spoke to more than a dozen pizza operators in our limited podcast series “Who’s at Pizza Expo.” Each episode is 10-15 minutes long, and features legends Billy Manzo, Leo Spizzirri, Pizza Expo keynote speaker Mike Bausch, and more. Listen now to hear what the real experts have to say!

Watch the video interviews here.

And listen to the audio podcast here.

For more information on how Marqii is helping pizza operators save time while managing their online menu, hours, and location info, schedule a time to chat with us.