The Problem with Average Pizza

“Chicago Style Pizza”

That’s what the sign said, and it’s local and was busy so we gave it a try.

Of course, the kids wolfed down the pepperoni and the cheese pizzas. I tried a slice of Hawaiian and pepperoni which looked just like the cheese. I prefer the pepperoni be placed on top so they get crispy around the edges, but whatever.

The pizza wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great either. In fact, it’s a been a couple of weeks now and I’ve forgotten what it tasted like. So it wasn’t memorable by any means.

And that’s the problem.

If I want fast pizza I’ll call Papa Johns. If I want cheap pizza I’ll drive to Little Caesars. I don’t go out of my way to do either, but my kids aren’t picky when it comes to pizza. In fact, the pizza Kim makes from scratch is far better than either of those options.

But I never say, “I want a good average pizza tonight.”

The best pizza I’ve had in Utah is Piccolo Brothers Pizza off Washington Blvd in Ogden. Their website is just terrible, but that’s OK because their pizza is excellent. I have a rule for eating out in Ogden and it goes like this: the worse the location, the better the food.

In Seattle, Kim and I loved this tiny pizza joint at University Village called Delfinos that specialized in Chicago style. I have no idea how close it comes to authentic Chicago pizza, but we waited nearly an hour for our pizza to arrive. In fact, the server took our order and then suggested we browse the Barnes and Noble next door.

But it was well worth the wait, and the pizza is unlike any I’ve had before. I now understand why it takes an hour to prepare. Delfinos is the best and most expensive pizza I’ve eaten, and I’ve told dozens of people about it over the years. They also aren’t diverting any pizza profits to their website.

I feel bad for our little local pizza shop. I want to see them succeed. But it’s hard to recommend them when better options exist. I wish they would go one way or the other. Either offer OK cheap pizza or create the best pizza in the area. Joining the crowded “good pizza” market only gets you lost among the other dozen pizza shops, some of which have much larger marketing budgets.

Of course, they aren’t alone. Many companies fall victim to providing a service or product that’s good enough but not great or noteworthy. We don’t tell our friends about a product that just works. We tell others about products we LOVE.

Does your business or company sell a product your customers LOVE? If not, they probably aren’t telling anyone about it.