Pizza Today Young
Entrepreneur of the Year:
Hear From the Finalists,
Vote for the Winner
Wednesday, March 21
3:30 – 5 pm
Join us for this special program and reception as we bring in the three finalists for our first-ever Young Entrepreneur Award, given to the year’s most outstanding owner-operator of 2018 under age 40. Each finalist will give a 15-minute talk about the business they’ve built, followed by an audience vote for the winner.
The three finalists who will be appearing are:
• Sammy Mandell, owner Greenville Avenue Pizza Co., Dallas, TX
• Scottie Rivera, owner, Scottie’s Pizza Parlor, Portland, OR
• Christal Spata, co-owner, Valeo’s Pizza, Kenosha, WI
Refreshments will be served and there will be plenty of time for networking as we celebrate emerging leaders in the world of pizza. The session will be moderated by Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours.
Visit the Young Entrepreneur Award page for more information.
Keynotes From Pizza Restaurant Leaders
Tuesday, March 20
After founding and selling two successful businesses in the U.K. — Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio’s Ltd. — Scott and Ally Svenson returned to their hometown of Seattle to raise their four boys. They saw a need for a more inspired fast-casual dining option, and soon their entrepreneurial spirit kicked in with the opening of the first MOD Pizza location in 2008 in downtown Seattle.
Recently ranked as the fastest-growing restaurant chain in America, MOD currently has more than 305 locations across the U.S. and U.K., and recently raised an additional $73 million for further expansion. The Svensons attribute MOD’s success to a people-first culture, and a shared motivation to use the business as a platform to make positive social impacts. Scott will speak about the powerful culture and philosophy driving this purpose-led business, and the concept of “Spreading MODness.”
Wednesday, March 21
Ann Kim is the owner and executive chef of Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza and Young Joni, all in Minneapolis. A Korean immigrant, she credits her culinary palate’s development to time spent helping her mother and grandmother make traditional staples such as fermented bean paste and kimchi. Her college years at Columbia University in New York City ignited her passion for pizza and laid the foundation for her dream of building a restaurant business in Minneapolis, and her years as a freelance actress fostered her value of creativity.
She opened her first location, Pizzeria Lola, in 2010. Its artisan, wood-fired pizzas have been lauded both locally and nationally. In 2014, it was named the Independent Pizzeria of the Year by Pizza Today. Kim’s second restaurant, Hello Pizza, is East Coast inspired and frequently tops “Best of” lists. Young Joni, which opened in late 2016, features an eclectic menu spotlighting wood-fired items and has been named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America 2017” by GQ Magazine and Eater.com. Kim recently received her first James Beard Award semi-finalist nomination in “Best Chef Midwest” category and won “Best New Chef: North” at the Tastys Awards. Her newest project, Young Joni, was named Restaurant of the Year in 2017 by the Star Tribune, the state’s largest newspaper.
Workshops to Help You
Start Up a Pizza Business
And Run a Profitable Pizzeria
Sunday – Wednesday, March 18 – 21
We’ve added to and improved the course selections for the School of Pizzeria Management at Pizza Expo. Come early to Expo and choose from a variety of essential business-improving and profit-building workshops. These in-depth training sessions are designed for pizzeria owners and managers determined to take their businesses to the next level.
Beginning on Sunday, March 18, and concluding Wednesday, March 21, our School of Pizzeria Management workshops offer instruction and take-home materials from pizza and restaurant industry professionals through the following courses:
- So, You Want to Open a Pizzeria, Parts I and II
- Restaurant Business Essentials, Parts I and II
- Marketing Basics for Pizzerias
- NEW Recipe for Success: Proven Ways to Increase Sales
- NEW Employee Management Crash Course
- The Million-Dollar Pizzeria X 3
- NEW Strategic and Sustainable Market-Domination Tools
- NEW Marketing 2.0 for Independents
- NEW Pizzeria Catering College
- Franchising for Independents and Small Chains
The half-day sessions are designed to serve as advanced training for pizzeria owners and managers who wish to strengthen their operations and improve profits. Our carefully assembled staff of instructors are among the most experienced presenters at Pizza Expo. Most of them also currently own and operate pizzeria companies and are willing to share the tools they’ve used to achieve success.
For more details see the School of Pizzeria Management page on this website.
Scott’s Las Vegas Pizza Tour
Tuesday, March 20
Join Scott Wiener, famous for his New York Pizza Tours, as he takes a group of Expo attendees to three outstanding Las Vegas pizzerias — Pizza Rock, Metro Pizza and 800 Degrees. You’ll sample the food and drink at each location and go into the kitchen with owners Tony Gemignani (Pizza Rock), John Arena (Metro), and Albert Scalleat (Dom DeMarco’s). All food and drink is included in the ticket price and each person will receive a “Pocket Pizza Journal.” There will be behind-the-scenes tours of the back of the house at each location, as well as a Q & A with the owners.
Sign up for the tour when you register to attend Pizza Expo 2017. There are limited seats on the bus.
Spotlight on Pizza Dough
Monday, March 19 – Wednesday, March 21
There’s so much to know about your dough! We get it, so we’ve programmed more sessions that ever before on this essential topic. You dough knowledge expansion begins on Monday and continues through Wednesday with the following topics:
|Monday, 1:30 – 2:30 pm||Is 24 Hours Enough? Understanding Fermentation and Factors Affecting Dough||Tom Lehmann, Peter Reinhart, Bill Weekley|
|Tuesday, 8:30 – 10 am||Making Pizzas With Tony Gemignani, Part I: Starters and the Properties of Dough||Tony Gemignani|
|Tuesday, 10 am and 3:30 pm||Pizza Crust Boot Camp, Parts I and II||Tim Huff and Bill Weekley|
|Tuesday, 2:30 – 3:30 pm||Time With the Dough Doctor||Tom Lehmann|
|Wednesday, 9:45 – 11 am||The Dough Masters Panel||Nancy Silverton, Brian Spangler, Peter Reinhart|
|Wednesday, 10 am and 3:30 pm||Pizza Crust Boot Camp, Parts I and II (repeated)||Tim Huff and Bill Weekley|
|Wednesday, 2:30 – 3:30 pm||Time With the Dough Doctor||Tom Lehmann|
Tuesday and Wednesday Morning Super Sessions
Understanding and Connecting With Millennials and Gen Z
Wednesday, March 21
10 – 11 am
Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the “Millennial Marketing Guy.” He is president of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in trends and the impact of young consumers. He also is a contributing writer at Forbes.com and leads a team of researchers studying the tastes and actions of the generations that are driving changes in the marketplace. His fast-paced session will give you the insights you need to communicate with younger customers and make them advocates for your business.
Pitfalls and Opportunities for Today’s Independent Pizzeria
15 Proven Selling and Incentive Ideas to Build Your Top Line
Also on Wednesday Morning:
Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away)
Panel Discussion: The Dough Masters
Nancy Silverton and Brian Spangler, with moderator Peter Reinhart
On Thursday Morning:
How to Make 20 Percent Profit
Panel Discussion: Detroit-Style Pizza
Scott Wiener, moderator
Panel Discussion: Third-Party Delivery
Debbie Goldberg, moderator
View the full education schedule for more details on all sessions.
Pizza Challenge Will Crown a World Champion Pizza Maker
In 2018 the contest for Pizza Maker of the Year again will feature winners from the Traditional, Non-Traditional, Pan and Pizza Napoletana divisions of the International Pizza Challenge in a final, timed bake-off during which all contestants must use a mystery ingredient unveiled to them at prep time. The winner is crowned Thursday afternoon. Prior to this final, a total of more than 200 entrants from the U.S. and abroad will offer up pizzas before judging panels in battles to claim division titles and win thousands in cash prizes. Attendees are invited to watch the pies being assembled and judged on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning — and to taste the handiwork of fellow pizzaioli fresh from the ovens. The Gluten-Free Division returns on Thursday for a fourth year of competition in this increasingly popular category.
World Pizza Games Finals
Wednesday, March 21
5 – 8:30 pm
The ever-popular finals of the Freestyle Acrobatic Dough-Tossing event in the World Pizza Games will headline this year’s Pizza Expo Block Party on Wednesday evening. Come see the finalists who received the highest marks from the judges during the preliminaries on Tuesday, followed by a Masters Division competition featuring past champions. The artistry of the top dough-spinners performing to recorded music under the stage lights is something to behold.
It’s part of our free annual Block Party celebration open to all attendees and exhibitors. The event features food, drink and a DJ, along with games, prizes and a chance to mingle with fellow pizzeria professionals. Join emcee Glenn Cybulski for a fun-filled evening as Pizza Expo throws its annual thank-you party at the industry’s show of shows.
$20,000 MEGA BUCKS Giveaway Contest
That’s correct — one incredibly lucky attendee is going to win $20,000. In Las Vegas, no less! Find the MEGA BUCKS game piece in the materials you receive with your badge at show site and follow the simple directions to enter. You must be present at the drawing to win. The drawing takes place on Thursday immediately following the final bake-off for Pizza Maker of the Year.