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Scott Wiener is the Big Cheese at Scott’s Pizza Tours, as well as the founder of Slice Out Hunger, a non-profit organization that uses pizza to help the hungry. He and Zack talk about Scott’s story, his tips for restaurateurs during COVID-19, and of course, Scott’s favorite kind of pizza. You should really watch the whole thing, but here’s some brief takeaways:
1. Step Outside Yourself
Slice Out Hunger is a great example of the fulfillment that comes from helping others. Unofficially started in 2009, and incorporated in 2015, Scott’s organization hosts pizza-themed events and campaigns that raise awareness and money for hunger relief organizations. Since March of 2020, they’ve raised over $625,000 as part of their Pizza Vs. Pandemic initiative.
2. Find Out What You Love And Do It
Scott wasn’t always doing what he is now. Back in the day he found himself as an audio engineer who wasn’t sure he was going down the right path, but knew that he liked pizza. So eventually he changed paths and figured out how to turn his passion into a job.
Now, Scott leads tourists and pizza professionals through what are probably most aptly called pizza experiences, where he explains the nuances and details of all things pizza. From the heat of the oven, to the ingredients, to the history and reasons behind Chicago deep-dish vs NY thin crust, you are guaranteed to leave with new perspectives and a full stomach.
I guess you could say Scott has turned himself into a more successful and sophisticated Barb Kelner.
3. You Do You
Along the same lines, Scott noted that it’s important to do what makes you happy and not worry too much about what others think. For example, he loves the question “What’s the best pizza for you?”, but hates “What’s the best pizza?”
4. Find Out What People Want To Buy And Sell It
Many pizzerias are selling home pizza kits or streaming cooking classes for all those who are quarantined. Especially during this pandemic, don’t be afraid to be flexible and meet the needs of the consumer.
5. “There Is No One Alive Who Is Youer Than You”
People buy you as much as they buy your food. If you can bring out what makes you unique, customers come. Scott put it brilliantly: “You don’t go to a restaurant to eat. You go to a restaurant to feel good.”
Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on podcast.ovationup.com, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.