- A restaurant chef has started a side business selling pizza to people in Tampa Bay from a boat.
- Sean Ferraro yells into the megaphone and wears a flowery hat to get the swimmers’ attention.
- He said the side job only increased sales by 5%, but that more people were eating at the restaurant.
Swimmers and sunbathers on Florida’s west coast are preparing for a very tasty surprise this summer.
It’s all thanks to Sean Ferraro, chef at Madison Avenue Pizza in Dunedin, who decided to take his business in a different direction.
Ferraro told Insiders that he and his colleagues joked about buying a boat and installing it at his pizzeria, a two-minute drive from shore.
One day, a Facebook Marketplace search showed up a small, lightweight boat — aka a skiff — that Ferraro thought would be ideal for the job. Bought the boat, restored it, and charged it with bags of hot pizza, just in time for the summer season.
It is now known as Pizza Skiff Guy in Tampa Bay.
On Saturdays, Ferraro can be heard trying to get the attention of hungry sunbathers who can sell them a new $20 pizza. He became known for shouting at his megaphone as he roamed around the islands wearing a bright pink hat. When he started, people looked at him like a stranger.
According to Ferraro, the brand is now known throughout Tampa Bay.
“I have to reassure people that I don’t make them in my house or in the back of a truck or anything, they actually come from a real pizza place,” he said.
He said more than 70 boats, each about eight people, docked around one of the islands on Saturday. This is its main market.
“These guys are stuck there for hours and after a while I get tired of eating a cold sandwich or some chips,” Ferraro said.
When asked what kind of pizza he sells on the water, he said, “Very simple, just cheese and pepperoni.”
He drives between 12 pm and 3 pm and allows “people to work a little appetite before lunch”. Customers then begin standing in long lines in the water or on the boats, waiting for Ferraro and his assistant to take their orders.
On average, Ferraro sells between 30 to 40 pizzas. “After 40-50 it’s stressful…so I usually throw in the towel.”
The boat job didn’t increase sales of Madison Avenue Pizza significantly — Ferraro said sales were up 5% overall. But he said the goal of the boat project is long-term, highlighting and marketing his restaurant more than the money it directly generates.
“The pizza project is like a side hustle,” Ferraro explained. “It’s not a massive income stream for us, but it’s definitely a huge side hustle on the days I can go out.”
Since starting the boat business, the chef said he’s seen an increase in people eating pizza on Madison Avenue, which brings in the bulk of the money. He added that the restaurant had been crowded all summer.
“It’s like a hack in the system,” he told Insider. “I can ride on a boat and sell pizza.”
Read the original article on Business Insider
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