Caliente Pizza & Draft House

From bad press to good pizza publicity


Caliente logo-1


In October 2018, a locally owned-and-operated pizza restaurant chain made it on the news in Pittsburgh — but not in the way any business wants to do it. Caliente’s owner, who had no media relations experience, reached out to WordWrite to rebuild trust in the community and craft an ongoing communications strategy.


Once we started our engagement with Caliente, we knew Caliente had all the ingredients for too many great stories to count.

We started by meeting with management to discuss messaging and completed research into previous coverage and customer reviews. As we built a strategy, we identified three main audiences: local families, niche beer customers (Caliente distinguishes itself with a host of craft beer offerings) and aspiring entrepreneurs (the owner was on the cusp of releasing a business book and podcast).

It turns out it wasn’t too hard of a story to tell, as Caliente won several awards in 2019, including Best Pizza in America at an international competition. We shared the stories of Caliente’s success with news outlets around the region and nation, held a media-only event at the opening of a new location, and helped organize promotional deals and giveaways.

Image from iOS


In January 2019, a Google News search for Caliente showed a full page of negative stories. By September, the first five pages of the same search were filled with positive stories about the restaurant’s brand, offerings and people — 89 such stories, to be exact. There was a tangible benefit as well, as Caliente’s sales increased nearly 40% in just a few months in 2019, surpassing sales in all of 2018. We’re happy to say there’s no more bad press around Caliente, just great pizza.

For anybody that makes marketing a priority at their company, a good public relations strategy is a crucial piece. Hiring WordWrite was one of the best decisions we could have made.

Nick Bogacz, CEO and founder, Caliente Pizza & Draft House
sales increase
better than expected new store performance
media hits in 9 months