In this edition of Marketer of the Week, Ignite Visibility spotlights Carol Pasquariello, Senior Vice President: Marketing at Donatos Pizza.
Ignite Visibility applauds her and the Donatos team for staying strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, Pasquariello joined Donatos right as the pandemic kicked into high gear (June of last year).
But she didn’t waver. She committed herself and her team to promote the Donatos brand during difficult economic conditions and in the midst of a public health crisis.
And the company’s success is a testament to her leadership skills.
More Than Donatos
But Donatos isn’t just a pizza joint. The company also markets the Jane’s Dough food brands.
Jane’s Dough will give you a “shortcut” to making your own pizza.
But it’s not just for consumers like you and me. Jane’s Dough sells its pre-made pizza dough to membership clubs, convenience stores, sports and entertainment venues, and foodservice operators all over the country.
If you ordered pizza at a sporting event (back in the day), you may have had a Jane’s Dough product without even knowing it.
But back to Donatos, where the motto is: “Every piece is important.”
It’s exactly the kind of pizza place where everybody loves to take their business on a Friday night.
Donatos franchises offer the usual fare: mouth-watering pizzas, gooey cheese bread, tangy buffalo wings, and packed Italian subs.
But it’s also got some offerings that you’re not likely to find at similar outfits, like Green Goddess salad.
In fact, Donatos offers a variety of salads, including chicken harvest salad, Italian chef salad, and Caprese side salad.
And yes, the company offers desserts as well: salty caramel apple pie, cinnamon bread, a triple chocolate chunk cookie, and a fudge brownie.
Donatos will put you on a diet if you’re not careful.
But it’s those “add ons” that gives the company a competitive advantage over other pizza joints.
And, color me reactionary, but it feels more “Italian” than some of its competitors.
As Senior Vice President: Marketing, Carol Pasquariello is responsible for setting the overall marketing strategy for Donatos.
Her current mission, according to her LinkedIn profile, is to generate more brand awareness and build the company’s reputation in the market.
That’s a challenge in an industry as competitive as pizza food service. But, given her history, she’s up to the task.
Before working at Donatos, Pasquariello took on a consulting role with Edible Arrangements. During that stint, she designed a process that created local co-ops and marketing programs while boosting brand-name awareness.
Oh yeah: the strategy increased the company’s profitability as well.
Additionally, she developed a field marketing team to support the retail end of the business. And she motivated that team to achieve common goals.
But her consulting role with Edible Arrangements wasn’t her introduction into the foodservice industry. Before that, she worked at Auntie Anne’s as Vice President of Marketing.
Yes, the same Auntie Anne’s you see in local shopping malls.
While there, Pasquariello once again worked to improve brand recognition, boost the bottom line, and further engage the customer base.
That part of her experience lasted two years, before that she was with Pizza Hut for 16 years.
And she worked her way up the food chain during that long stay.
In 1999, she started out as a Field Marketing Leader. She left in 2015 as Director of Field Marketing and Customer Satisfaction.
She reported directly to the CMO in that last position.
As Director of Field Marketing and Customer Satisfaction, Pasquariello project-managed 6,000 restaurants with a combined revenue stream of $5.5 million.
Additionally, she drove a $15 million increase in revenue in three years by developing a National School Lunch sales program.
And she led franchisees to a 75% participation rate for local programs, such as Local Flavor Playbook.
Wrapping It Up
There are plenty of pizza shops out there competing for your dollars.
But I think you’re going to hear a lot more about Donatos over the next few years.
That’s because the company now has Carol Pasquariello driving the marketing strategy. And she offers the brand an outstanding series of success stories in that space.
I look forward to seeing where she takes the company in the future.