NORWALK, CT — A Norwalk pizzeria is offering customers a chance to win free pizza for a year as a way to say thank you for their support. From now until the end of the month, patrons of Letizia's Pizza can win one large cheese pizza per week, for 52 weeks, smply by creating a 30-second video.
According to Danny Segers, who co-owns the pizzeria with Dave Cook and founder Dennis Letizia, the contest entry video can showcase "anything about Letizia's," as long as it's creative and fun.
"We didn't want to put too many rules on [the video]," Segers said, "because we want people to be creative and have fun with it. It can be anything."
Submission thus far have included one participant doing a Barstool Sports-inspired review of Letizia's, while another involved a live video of a customer picking up their pizza. (To sign up for Norwalk breaking news alerts and more, click here.)
Once a customer makes their video, which can be up to 30 seconds in length, they are asked to post the video to their social media account and include the hashtag "#freeletiziasforayear," then tag Letizia’s in the post and direct message the video to the pizzeria's Instagram account.
All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will then choose a winner. The deadline for submissions is July 31, and winners will be announced Aug. 1, Segers said.
The judges include Ken Tuccio, who runs the Connecticut-based Best Trivia Ever, food blogger Andrew Dominick and social media influencer Micaela Marshall.
"We wanted to take ourselves out of the judging, because we didn't want there to be any bias," Segers said. "The cool thing is all three judges are customers of ours, and they have been for a long time...so we think it fits nicely."
Segers also noted each judge has some connection to media and area food. If enough submissions are received, Segers said there may be a second place and third place prize awarded as well.
The idea for the contest stems from the pizzeria owners' desire to thank their loyal customers, who recently voted Letizia's the "Best Pizza" in the Best of the Gold Coast Awards, presented by Moffly Media.
"We always like to give back when we win something, predominantly when it's voted on by the fans," Segers said. "Our customers went to bat for us, so we wanted to do something fun for them."
The owners are want to show their gratitude to customers for supporting them during a particularly tough year for the pizzeria and all area restaurants, many of which were forced to close their doors for most of the year due to government restrictions put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Connecticut.
While Letizia's has remained open the past few months, there was a time when everything seemed uncertain for the three owners.
"When pretty much everything shut down in the middle of March, we were scared," Segers said. "Just like everybody else, we didn't know what to expect."
According to Segers, business was very slow during the second half of March, leaving the owners frightened. As their loyal customers began ordering takeout again in April, business thankfully began to pick back up.
"We soared," Segers said. "Business has been great for a couple of months now, and we want to thank everybody for staying loyal to us."
Segers also hopes the contest can bring customers a little comfort, and levity, at a time when things are still very tense.
"There's still so much uncertainty now," Segers said. "We're all living a life that we have never lived and never expected to live before. There's a lot of fear."
Segers said offering customers a chance to do something fun and creative for 30 seconds, and to then share that levity with other customers and social media followers, is what the contest is all about.
"Submit your videos," Segers said. "Free pizza for a year is not something you see very often, especially from an award-winning pizza place, so we hope submissions really start coming through, because we'd love to have a bunch to choose from."