A few months ago, the Italian businessman Flavio Briatore – known in France for having led the Renault team in Formula 1 – launched his pizza chain, Crazy Pizza. If the idea did not bother anyone at first sight, the tide quickly turned against the one that Italy loves to hate. In question ? The price of pizzas climbs around fifteen euros for a simple margherita pizza. A heresy for many Italians, and especially the Neapolitans who can get excellent ones for only four euros.
Thus began the controversy. But in the face of criticism, and the success of his brands despite everything, Flavio Briatore did not manage to contain his thoughts, which somewhat annoyed Italians, cooks of all kinds and, above all, pizza makers. “We have a very young clientele in Milan and London. But no customer has ever complained about the prices, because the cost is proportional to the service, the quality, the energy of the place and the way the customer is treated”he explained in an interview.
“We had nothing but compliments and all [les clients] think that the pizza is the best they have ever eaten, because it is a pizza without yeast, because the products used are the best we can find in Italy. The same goes for salads. People go crazy for desserts. The ice cream, the same. We offer a different service from other restaurants. We care about the customer. When the customer is happy, we are happy and that’s all that matters.”
On social networks, many pizza makers have attacked Flavio Briatore, accusing him of making money on the backs of people and distorting the values and codes of pizza. Once again, the businessman failed to hold his tongue and said, in a very solemn video posted on his Instagram account: “I’m a genius and you’re not: that’s the difference”. Ouch.
In this strange video, Flavio Briatore launches into a long counter-argument and a strong defense of his pizza and his gastronomic concept which he is now also developing as far as Saudi Arabia. But he mainly attacked the Neapolitan pizzaiolos whom he implicitly accuses of using poor quality ingredients to be able to offer such attractive prices.
“But to keep prices so low, selling a pizza for 4 euros, what ingredients do you use?”he wonders, not without insinuation. “What do these gentlemen put in it? They pay wages, rent, ingredients, gas, electricity, depreciation… Either you sell 50,000 or there is something I don’t understand. The normal reasoning is that we continue to offer customers a very high quality product.”
To put an end to this soap opera, Gino Sorbillo, one of the pizza bosses in Naples, decided to take up the subject and opt for pedagogy rather than attacks. A few days ago, he organized a workshop around pizza “to explain how the pizza is made and at what price”. On the street itself, the lecture ended with a distribution of free pizzas.
“On Neapolitan pizza, we do not accept lessons from those who have no qualifications to make them. Once again Flavio Briatore intervenes inappropriately without knowing the least bit what he is talking about”got carried away Francesco Emilio Borrelli, regional councilor of the Greens, who also decided to convene a joint commission, to listen and audition the masters of the pizza and the experts of the sector.