Management described in a corporate release yesterday how the “Monster Pizza” helped in a recessionary environment years ago, and has accordingly just reintroduced it at the nine company operated Craft Pizza and Pub locations.
It is a traditional crust pizza, loaded with over 60% more cheese and over 30% more toppings, substantial enough that it is produced in a pan, rather than through the conveyor oven. It comes in only one size and the customer can choose their toppings. It costs, fully loaded, only $2.00 more than the current standard traditional crust pie and the customers have considered it a great value in the past. This higher ticket product is being presented as a Limited Time Offering, which could provide some extra urgency.
Economists and financial pundits are debating whether the US economy is in a recession or not, but credit card debt has hit a new high, while savings as a percentage of discretionary income is at, or below, pre-Covid levels. Analysts will learn a lot more about fourth quarter sales and traffic trends next week, when over twenty restaurant companies present at the annual ICR Conference in Orlando. From what we have heard, anecdotally, industry sales and traffic trends have been mixed, at best, and it seems like we’ve seen more promotional programs lately. Noble Roman’s, with nine company operated locations all in the Indianapolis area, is as close to their customer base as anyone, so we are inclined to believe that their marketing instinct is correct.
One of the great things about retailing is the quick feedback loop. It won’t take long to see if the customers care. Having survived Covid, supply chain, and labor shortage wars, this reincarnation of the previously successful Monster Pizza could kick off an upswing in the fortunes of Noble Roman’s. A higher average ticket seems almost inevitable and, combined with higher traffic, the impact could be meaningful.