Pizza Pizzazz Competition


Whether your pie is gourmet or traditional, bring your best for the test and cook for the cash! 

Using a rigorous blind-judging format, this contest sees 40 contestants battle in our competition area with their best pizza. Six finalists are chosen to prepare two pies for an ultimate judging that decides first, second and third place finishers.

The first-place winner receives a cash prize of $5,000. Second- and third-place winners receive $1,000 and $500 respectively.


Pizzazz Registration

The Pizza Pizzazz competition will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

8:00 a.m. Registration opens with a complimentary breakfast for competitors
8:30 a.m. Orientation (mandatory for all competitors)
9:00 a.m. Competition begins
3:30 p.m. Awards ceremony

Winners receive a top prize of $5,000, while second and third place winners receive $1,000 and $500 respectively. 

Registration will open in FALL 2020, and is $125 per competitor. Registration includes admittance to the Mid-America Restaurant Expo for the named competitor and one guest. Additional guests may purchase tickets at

Please contact Shoshanna Gross at or call 877.265.7469 with any questions. 

Pizza Pizzazz Rules

  1. All entries must include toppings that appear on the contestant's regular restaurant menu. A copy of the entrant’s restaurant menu must be sent with the registration form by the registration deadline or the entry is ineligible. Include the name of the pizza to be made and toppings on the registration form. Dessert pizzas are not permitted.
  2. The competition is limited to the first 40 entries; no more than one person per store location; and no more than three people per company—regardless of the number of any company’s locations. 
  3. Contestants must bring enough supplies (pre-made dough, sauce, cheese and toppings) for three (3) pizzas in the event they make it to the final round, where their entries are made once more for final round judging. Contestants must bring their own work utensils (ladles, pans, screens, rollers, etc.) Transport products in plastic containers only—no glass!
  4. Show management will provide the following: prep tables; one conveyor oven and one deck oven. Pizzas must be prepared and baked only in the competition area with the Expo-supplied ovens.
  5. Contestants are required to attend an 8:30 a.m. orientation meeting. Contestants who are late will receive a deduction from their Round 1 score of 1 point for each 5 minutes the contestant is tardy. The Expo will provide an official time clock.
  6. All contestants will be notified of their bake order the morning of the competition. Pizza preparation may begin after the orientation meeting at 8:30 a.m. When the contestant's number is called, he or she will have 20 minutes to finalize one pizza and prepare it for the oven. Pizza size must be a minimum of 14" and a maximum of 18". If not ready, the contestant risks disqualification. Pizzas will be cut in the judging area into sample sizes according to shape after whole pies are presented to the judges. Only registered contestants are allowed in the competition area to prepare pizzas (assistants are not permitted in the competition area). Once contestants have submitted their pizzas, they must clean and sanitize their prep areas. Contestants are not permitted in the judging area.
  7. The top six finalists will continue to Round 2, when they will make two pizzas identical to that submitted in Round 1.
  8. The first-place winner receives a cash prize of $5,000. Second- and third-place winners receive $1,000 and $500 respectively.
  9. Overnight refrigeration space is available at the convention center for contestants’ pizza ingredients. Call 877-265-7469 for more information.
  10. Contestants must be 16 or older to compete.
  11. Pizza Pizzazz Floor Coordinator has the right to inspect all coolers and products.
  12. All Pizza Pizzazz contestants must be in compliance with all Expo rules and regulations. Violators may be subject to disqualification.
  13. Decisions made by the Pizza Pizzazz judging panel are final in all aspects of this competition.


Pizzazz Images