Pizza Express recently gave word that it had added a new variety of Dough Ball to its menu.
Small, baked pieces of dough, Dough Balls are a popular starter option at the brand's eateries.
The new variety, available throughout the chain until the end of this month, are called Dough Balls Speciale and incorporate Gran Moravia cheese, both in the body of the dough itself and on top.
New additions to the menu, as anyone in restaurant hospitality jobs will attest, can be an important way to keep customers interested by offering them novel experiences. Though they will often have their favourites, regulars will oftenbe excited by finding that they can try something new at an eatery.
The new Dough Balls can be ordered with garlic butter as standard, or soft n'duja dip or pesto for an additional charge of 50 pence.
Pizza Express has just ended a special competition, carried out to help promote the Dough Balls 'Speciale'.
Tying-in with the popular and trendy social network Instagram, customers were asked to follow the official Pizza Express account, then post a picture of them eating at one of the brand's restaurants and tag it #pizzaexpresscontest.
Three gift card prizes worth £30 were offered up as prizes in this social media contest.
The chain recently ran a competition which featured prizes including Golden Dough Balls valued at £5,000 each, which was used to promote the 45th anniversary of the starter arriving on its restaurant menu.
Pizza Express is one of several popular nationwide restaurant brands that are known for Italian-style food. Others include Ask, Zizzi and Carluccios.
They may not have all the resources of a large chain, but independent restaurants can also run competitions if they wish. Even something as simple as a charity raffle could potentially help to engage customers.
Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.