But why would local diners want to chat up a pizza place?
There are so many questions about why #ThePizzaPlug exists, so Eater turned to the &pizza team to find out what the strategy is here. Apparently, a chatty, enigmatic text hotline is both an &pizza branding exercise and a way for the burgeoning chain to get to know its customers and provide answers to the burning questions on their minds.
“The Pizza Plug allows our guests to text us directly with any questions or comments, and get real answers, in real time, from a real &pizza employee,” an &pizza aide explains. That problem solver is &pizza’s NYC digital community manager, Cal Millien, and he’ll answer texts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The text hotline, however, is open 24/7.
”We use texting for internal communications as it’s the most familiar, relatable way for us to stay connected,” the aide says. “After seeing how texting let us build deeper relationships with our employees in real-time, we decided to expand it to our guests and take guest experience to a whole new level.”
As for the name, “the plug” supposedly refers to the person in a group who has direct access to something.
But what are people supposed to ask the #ThePizzaPlug about — is it really anything? “Guests can ask anything they want,” the rep says. “From what song is playing in a certain shop to why we chose a certain ingredient ... the Pizza Plug has an answer for everything.”
Really? Anything? Politics? Religion? Quadratic equations?
”The brand isn’t putting any limitations on the types of questions that can be asked! The Pizza Plug will respond to all as best as he can,” the aide maintains.
Eater decided to try it out with an existential D.C. sports fan question and the Pizza Plug texted back within 15 minutes. But when treated like a personal Magic 8-Ball, the Pizza Plug went silent.
- All &Pizza Coverage [Eater DC]