Dan Naden

Lou Malnati’s: Bringing exceptional service to your doorstep

It’s pizza night. You pick up the phone and dial-up your local Domino’s, Pizza Hut, or Little Caesar’s. The pizza’s average, but the price is right, and, most importantly, the family’s full.

Being a native Chicagoan, I’ve a special taste for pizza. The paper thin crust and meager toppings offered by most chains doesn’t compare to the phone book thick crust and an abundance of luscious, fresh toppings that are standard on an authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Sorry Austin, Texas (my home), but you just don’t have a contender in the pizza category.

Lou Malnati's delivers quality pizza with a smart, sassy edge that's memorable.
Lou Malnati’s delivers quality pizza with a smart, sassy edge that’s memorable.

Santa Claus must have known my predilection for deep dish pizza when a special delivery from Lou Malnati’s arrived on my doorstep. When I viewed a box with the identifiable red and white checkboard matrix, I sported a smile as wide as a West Texas oilfield. Who needs toys, gadgets, and clothes for Christmas? This is a GIFT!

Inside the box was surely precious cargo, so I made haste with removing the ‘pizza gold’, placing it carefully in my freezer. I almost called the National Guard to ensure safety and security for the treasured prize.

While removing the pizza from its box, I noticed something remarkable: the packaging, promotion, and instructions were phenomenal.

On the top of the box, it said:

“Please refrigerate asap!
This box contains perishable food.
It would be a crying shame if they went bad.”

A crying shame? It would be a state of emergency of epic proportions. If Guinness were in town, I’d be awarded the fastest time ever recorded for removing perishable item from a box and placing into a freezer.

But wait, the packaging gets even better.

On one side of the box, it read:

“Someone must really like you.
Please read the gift message on the mailing label.”

I ‘liked’ the senders of this miracle gift before, so the feeling is mutual. Thanks Mom and Dad. This is one gift that really hit the bulls-eye with a surgeon’s precision.

Another side of the box mentioned the various other delicacies that the Lou Malnati’s Tastes of Chicago program can set on your doorstep. Dieting for the New Year? Forget about it. Order me some ribs, steaks, Chicago-style hot dogs, desserts. The workout program can wait until after I devour some more Chicago delights.

The messaging on this box motivated a quick open.
The messaging on this box motivated a quick open.

And who can forget the pizza?

I knew its resting place in the freezer was temporary. Every time I walked by the freezer, I thought I heard a faint voice with a thick Chicago accent saying, “Hi, I am a Lou Malnati’s pizza. What are you waiting for?” Only a few days passed until the oven hit 400 degrees and an authentic Chicago style deep dish was cooking.

The pizza cooked, appeared piping hot on the dinner table and we were as quiet as church mice while we ate. No conversation; just swimming in the succulent flavors of deep dish excellence.

The crust was golden; the thick sausage oozed with flavor; the cheese melted in your mouse with ease.  And then it was gone. Happy and full: what a combination.

Thank you, Lou Malnati’s, for delivering your superior pizza experience to someone far away from your Chicagoland locations. Next time I am in town, I’ll be sure to stop by for a taste in person.

And to anyone in charge of  a retail, online, product experience: with Lou Malnati’s, there’s authentic, true brilliance on display with packaging, quality, messaging, and marketing. We are listening, Lou Malnati; keep delivering the goodness.

Pizzerias in Austin: You’d have a customer for life if you could bring something to market that mimics Malnati’s.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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