Trending: Pizza sales soar each Halloween
In the pizza industry, Halloween has become one of the busiest days of the year. Milford is no exception: This year’s Halloween saw local pizza restaurants doing triple the business of a normal night; some putting on extra staff to handle the rush.
Franco Patrizi, owner of Franco’s Pizza, said folks in the pizza business have to be ready for the spooky night.
“You have to be prepared,” he said, noting that he puts on additional workers for the night. “You have to have someone in the back and someone on the phone.”
In his 27 years of operation, he said the night has always been busy. He said Halloween is similar to other holidays because families are busy. Other exceptionally busy days for pies are the Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day, he said.
A 2016 article published at Pizzatoday.com confirmed that pizza and Halloween have been trending as partners for some time.
“While families across the country get ready for a fun-filled Halloween night, pizza operators everywhere are also preparing for one of their busiest evenings of the year,” the site reports. “According to the American Pizza Community (APC), Halloween sees a high volume of pizza orders every year due to the ease of having a hot, crowd-pleasing meal delivered or picked up on the way home for an occasion when many families are gathered together and too busy to cook.”
Pizzatoday.com says that pizza is a perfect choice for many families because there are so many varieties.
Jeff Salito at Papa’s Pizza 2 said people call in orders a week in advance for Halloween night, which he said brings in about three times as many orders as normal.
“It was unbelievable this year,” Salito said. “We had waits of 1.5 to two hours.”
Halloween is in the top three nights for pizza orders at Papa’s 2: The other two big nights are the day before Thanksgiving and Good Friday.
Jimmy Ormrod, owner of Jimmy’s Pizza in Milford, said Halloween is one of the busiest nights for pizza orders there, too, especially if Halloween falls on a weekday. Business is double to triple what it would normally be.
Ormrod said he doesn’t think this has always been the case but a trend that started about 15 years ago. He staffs the pizza side of the restaurant with extra crew, a “Friday night crew,” for Halloween night.
Lisa Farrell, a Milford resident, lives in a neighborhood where many neighbors invite one another to holiday parties. She and her family joined neighbors this Halloween for the traditional party, which always includes pizza.
“Pizza is a go-to Halloween thing,” Farrell said, adding that the parlors are always packed with customers. She said a neighbor hosts the party, and there are a large number of young children in the neighborhood, to justify the tradition. “[Buying the pizza is] easy. You don’t want to cook,” she said.
Resident Julia LaVecchia ordered pizza Halloween night, like so many other residents.
“I only had my two going out but for the first year they were going with separate friends and I had to get them to two separate places by 5,” LaVecchia said. “We didn’t wait because I ordered very early, picked it up by 4. But, of course, it was so early and they were not very hungry. It worked out well to reheat when everyone got back home after trick-or-treating.”
Katie Doran trick-or-treated in the downtown area with her sister and their children, all enjoying pizza before heading out to ring doorbells.
“Making a meal while trying to get kids ready for trick-or-treating is too much work and pizza is quick and affordable,” Doran said. “One thing I have learned is to order your pizza earlier than you think you should.”
Of course, not everyone ordered pizza Halloween night. Some residents, still bucking the need to cook on such a busy night, made other choices. Lynn Moren, who handed out candy next to a bonfire at her daughter’s house, said she was looking for something a little lighter than pizza. “I try to go healthier,” Morin said. “Pizza not so much for me.”