Business Builders

Holiday Favorites “Waiting Lists”

eel on a plate

Especially at Easter and Christmas, many of Luigi Vitrone’s old school Italian regulars crave holiday favorites like eel, tripe, sweetbreads, and even roasted lamb’s head. However, few Italian restaurants in Luigi’s area still offer these old country specialties. To satisfy this untapped niche, Luigi actively builds a separate holiday favorites “waiting list” for each specialty.

Throughout the year, Luigi encourages regulars to add their phone numbers to be contacted when he next prepares each delicacy. Then two weeks prior to preparation, he calls for their advance to-go order quantities and whether they prefer the items to be packaged for immediate enjoyment or to freeze for later. Calling each guest personally also allows Luigi to further cultivate their relationship.

Every year, order quantities and grateful compliments have grown!

Luigi Vitrone, Owner Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities Wilmington, DE

*Editor’s note: Whether online or via phone, curating similar niche-specific “waiting lists” can also help attract fans to specialty wine tastings, wild game or regional dinners, unique pop-ups, and other “limited availability” events!


“Slice Out Hunger”

As a self-taught pizza historian, founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours in NYC, and popular speaker at Pizza Expo, Scott Wiener has earned the respect and friendship of many independent pizzerias. When Scott became aware of how many people across North America go hungry daily, he asked his many pizzeria friends to help fight “food insecurity” at home. The result is his charitable organization “Slice Out Hunger.”

In 2009, Slice Out Hunger began by raising money for NYC hunger relief organizations by selling pizzas donated by NY pizzerias by the slice at local community events.

Since then, Slice Out Hunger has grown internationally to include hundreds of pizzerias by creating a calendar of charitable events.  With these events neighborhood pizzerias can support their own local soup kitchens and food banks. The only cost to pizzerias to join Slice Out Hunger is pledging to locally donate 30 pies or $300 to their chosen neighborhood relief organization.

While many Independents already support charitable causes, an advantage of Slice Out Hunger events is how easy it is to help on a local level. This way restaurateurs can publicly demonstrate neighborhood support without appearing self-promoting.

One such event is called “Pie it Forward.” This event gives pizzerias a way to donate pizzas directly to local food banks or other charitable groups. This approach sometimes also provides opportunities to share photos of the event with their loyal regulars via social media.

Slice Out Hunger has also begun providing “rapid relief” to victims of natural disasters, like the recent Maui wildfires, by helping channel donations to relief groups directly feeding victims and first responders in the affected areas.

In little over a decade, hundreds of Slice Out Hunger member pizzerias raised and distributed more than $1.3 million to help fight hunger insecurity. In 2015, Slice Out Hunger incorporated into an official tax-deductible 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

While Scott continues to donate his time, SOH’s headquarter operations have grown enough in recent years to now require one paid employee to keep everything organized. We salute Slice Out Hunger’s many generous pizzeria members whose in-kind donations continue to benefit their local neighborhoods.

Similarly, Stanislaus and Corto proudly sponsor Slice Out Hunger at their headquarters level to help this worthy organization cover their annual administrative costs.

Pizzerias interested in learning more about Slice Out Hunger and its mission to fight local hunger insecurity in their own neighborhoods can visit