pizza eating contests

Was wondering if anyone out there does pizza eating contests? We’re thinking of getting a few started to get more people in. The first one would be to see if you can eat an 18" cheese is 15 min. or less. The second would be to have an eating contest between dfferent people/organizations to see how much you can eat in 10 minutes. Do you do it as a fundraiser, do you charge to compete? What are the rules you enforce? I know there has to be a waiver of some kind. What does yours say? Thanks…

C.P.;
If my memory serves me correctly, I think we might haver had some discussion on a very similar topic several years ago. A search of the Think Tank archives might turn something up.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

we do the rockstar challenge, 2 people 45 minutes 28 inch pizza.
rule 1) cant leave the table, rule 2 if you throw up, YOU are cleaning it up lol

Here is a discussion from about this time 2 years ago.

Richard;
Thank you!
Always refreshing to know that I’m not losing my mind. :slight_smile:
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I can eat an 18" pie in less than 15 minutes . . . maybe 10 if I have to . . . if I do it, can I have a job? :shock:

Eating contests are fun . . . and they too often inspire gluttony. I am personally in favor of the speed for a fixed volume contests. Professionally, I’m into whatever event draws attention and customers to the shop. some contests have become iconic, so done well, could bring immense word fame in your market.

A friendly contest between Fire Houses for their favorite charity, police departments of shifts, between companies . . . . one idea I had was getting the teams to get ‘sponsors’ to sort of ‘wager’ on their team. Winner gets something like 70% of the pot for their chosen cause and the loser gets 30%. It’s a play on the walk-a-thon concept. They can enlist whoever they want to help get donations . . . and even some sort of “bonus” for the team with the most sponsorship dollars . . . like a 5 minute head start or a bag to “repeat” into. Then, find a corporate sponsor of some size who is willing to match the total donations raised, to be split between, or among if you have multiple teams competing, the causes. Or coroporate could donate totheir own cause in a match format . . . food bank, feed hungry children, nutitional education, whatever.

The word Rockstar was looking for is “repeating”, which is no bueno in eating contests.

I think reversal is the correct term.

Guys, I have a question on this.
Can somebody explain to me what possible benefit it could have to your business to have your customers inhale your pie let alone “reverse” or “repeat” your product in front of other customers? (Albeit customers who may be about to mimic that act)
I thought you guys were joking at first. I then realized your serious?
Now, we all know there are some large chains product that has that effect without the speed or volume eating thing to trigger it.
Surely, as independents, we want to promote the quality of our product, not the volume or the amount you can inhale in a given time? I might be wrong but I’m thinking the guy on the sidelines chanting
" Do it, do it"
as his buddy is stuffing his face, “reversing” and then stuffing his face is NOT the guy that is willing to pay for quality and service? Thus, he is not your customer, nor will he become your customer.
Man, am I gonna get flamed on this …
But I’m serious. Please explain it to me. :?:

Think Nathan’s Coney Island. Does the fact that they have a hot dog eating contest make anyone less likely to want to eat at Nathan’s?

(Granted, I’m not all that worried about ever eating there. I’ve had their dogs, they’re ok, but there is something about being AT the original place; Uno, or Gino’s East, or Nathan’s, or the original Hard Rock Cafe’, that sentimental thing of “wow, it all started here”.}

Advantages: 1) People enjoy watching people make fools of themselves, and some people really enjoy doing it to themselves.

  1. If it’s for charity, why not?

  2. It gets your name in front of lots of people, and the media (ideally).

If contestants pay $20 to enter, you ask the charity for $5 of that to cover costs, or get a receipt for your taxes. Ahead of time, you set up to sell slices to the crowd, as well as drinks. Have a flyer printed for distribution only to those people, maybe put it in an envelope or somehow make it a little extra special.

It’s a PR stunt if you do it right. A very good PR stunt.

Or, if that still doesn’t float your boat, how about this one? “How LITTLE of our pizza can you eat in an hour?” Contestants pay to sit with a small cheese pizza in front of them; whoever is the last to eat any of it is the winner. What kind of impression will that make?

Thanks Steve for the explanation. I guess I live in a different world
/area than most. Our local population has never responded to the
“gimmic” Marketing.
That said, seems to be something used by many in other areas
with good results. My experience with it (in another industry)has
always been it attracts a one time customer who only ever buys the
“special”.

Hey, 'Nut,

This isn’t all about drawing people in for a one-off event, or even really about attracting people to actually eat in the contest or try the ‘challenge’. It’s about giving yet another reason for people to recognize your place and have a conversation about you. If you’re on a travel circuit, it could bring in the occasional food tourist. It gives another hook for marketing pieces. It gives the local convention and visitors bureau something to add to their copy and features in the county, it gives something else to highlight at networking events for the local Chamber of Commerce, a chance to feature a local food product or traditional dish, and so on.

It is an optional tag that some places have become absolute icons for. Some have made tlevison han d had traffic bumps for 6 to 12 months. For me . . . anything that gets a customer into my shop one time for any reason to eat my food and bring friends to eat my food . . . it gives a chance to convert them to customers and/or ambassadors for my restaurant. With a definite nod to you and concern that it could have negative backlash. This can’t be done willy-nilly, but as part of a market and a marketing plan.

Thanks for all your input and suggestions! I like the idea of how little you can eat! It will take some time to make it right, but we already have the high school football team wanting to compete for their school!

Now, for the legalities… For those who do something like tis, what kind of waiver do you have? I know we have to have one, but how specific does it have to be?

Thanks and I’m looking forward to your responses!

If you don’t find any you like, try this string in a Google Search. Lots of hits and links.

eating contest liability waiver form