NONNO – The World’s Thinnest Pizza TM 

Described as the life of a fashionista, NONNO was inspired by models, actors and other celebrities that take vigilant care of their bodies. After working closely with celebrities across the world, NONNO was carefully designed to reduce the carbs and increase the level of nutrients in its ingredients. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? We couldn’t resist interviewing the person behind it, so we did. Here’s the exclusive interview with Mr. Talal Thabet, CEO, NONNO.

1. The World’s Thinnest Pizza – How did it all start?

We started through extensive research and found that there wasn’t a pizza brand that was speaking to today’s generation. The research took a turn when we tried all the pizzas in the market with several focus groups and found that pizza is generally considered unhealthy and women tend to steer away from pizza because of the grease and the sugar and the carbs. We then engaged super models and celebrities and made pizza for them while taking note of their issues. Although we can’t take names, it should suffice to say that we made pizza for over 25 A list celebrities who are directly linked to the way they look and appear on TV, film and magazines.

2. Describe your company’s internal culture or atmosphere in one sentence?

We are a locally born brand with global aspirations as long as everything we do is FABULOUS.

3. What is the ‘x’ factor in Nonno? What is your distinct competitive advantage?

► The only pizza designed for women

► Our extra slim pizza box is delivered with a ribbon wrapped around it.

► The only pizza with no salt, no sugar, no preservatives, no colorants, no additives.

► We are the only pizzeria that has a fabulous coffee lounge.

► We are the only pizza brand positioned to be associated to the fashion industry.

4. Who would you like to sign up as a Brand Ambassador?

► Cindy Crawford

► Angelina Jolie

► Manahel Thabet

► Carol Smaha

5. Tell us something quirky about your Head Chef.

He loves pizza and he is very particular about cleanliness to the point that everyone is always cleaning in the kitchen that has taken our cleaning budget sky rocketing.

6. Name 4 signature Dishes and 4 Signature Drinks that you think everybody should try at Nonno.

► On Location on a brown base and ask for it served open

► Super Model pizza on a brown base and ask for it served open

► Absolutely Fabulous on a brown base and ask for it served open

► Ham and Cheese waffle with brown flour

► The Slim Fit on a white base and ask for it to be served rolled

7. Who names your dishes?

Our CEO, Talal Thabet in conjunction with our marketing advisory, CommFirm.

8. Do you’ll follow a specific concept or format? Or is it random?

We follow strict guidelines for the concept that was designed in conjunction with our CEO Talal Thabet and our marketing advisory firm, CommFirm.

9. Are your pizzas only designed for women? Would you start something new for men as well?

Although our pizzas are designed for women, men eat them too. We are not going to design for men as there is enough for them in the market. However, if men choose to eat healthy which many of them do, then they can eat the same NONNO Pizzas already available. They are low in calories, high in nutrients, and low in carbs. We choose to say that we are designed for women, as no one else is communicating to the female sector.

10. Your marketing philosophy is very unique; who conceptualizes your designs? Are they inspired by someone or something?

The conceptualization came as a result of an extensive research on why women fell out of love with Pizza. We tried to find out how to make women fall in love with pizzas again. The concept was further developed by our CEO Talal Thabet and his team.

11. What are your expansion plans in UAE and internationally?

We are looking for franchisees in Dubai first before we go to any other regions in the UAE. After which the brand is already ready to go abroad. We have already received several interested parties that have shown serious territorial rights interest for markets like, London, Paris, Manchester, Vienna, Berlin, Budapest, LA, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Bangkok, Jeddah, Riyadh, and others. However, as a company we are not built to support master territorial franchisees yet, and therefore we are seeking to sell the IP rights to these markets or globally, or find an investor from the sector who can add value to our efforts, or sell to someone who can exploit the huge opportunity that has manifested itself over the past year.

12. If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?

A Chanel bag. What else?

13. What would you name a book about your life at this point?

In Stitches.

14. NONNO is a life-style, music, fashion – How would you relate that to food?

Food is a major part of your lifestyle. What you wear. What you listen to. What you eat. Where you hang out… all a major part of your daily decisions… And therefore they are intertwined and correlated.

15. You seem to be a fashion lover – what brands do you wear most?

No I am not. I am primarily a marketeer and understand how to communicate. Fashion is a positioning vehicle. I wear tailored Kandoorahs, shirts and suits mainly. My casual clothing consists of Levis 501’s, Gap, Gant, and more tailored shirts.

16. What do you like more – Fashion or Food?


17. What media channel works best for you?

Word of Mouth and Social Media.

Popularity Barometer

Socio Meter

1. How many likes on FB as of date?

  • 4800

2. How often do you post?

  • We post on Instagram on average 14 times a week.
  • On Facebook we have scaled it down to twice a week.
  • On twitter we are on 10 posts a week.

3. Do you have a planned schedule?

  • Yes we do.

4. Is there a dedicated agency? Who?

  • Yes, CommFirm

5. What is your SM strategy?

  • Our strategy is to inform and associate.
    • We associate ourselves with the fashion and health industry. We provide free food for fashion bloggers and fashion photographers during a shoot to collect content and report about it.
    • We engage other fashion brands and fashion bloggers to introduce to the brand.
  • This has achieved a call rate where 82% of our callers are women which in itself is a world record we are led to believe.

How Sweet is you Pie?

  1. What is your marketing mix in percentage?
    • 100% social media and product placement.
  2. Are your plans quarterly or yearly?
    • Quarterly

Outdoor is in

  1. What outdoor mediums do you use?
    • None
  2. Do you target a specific location? If so, Which?
    • No we don’t. We’re targeting Dubai as a whole.
  3. Total how many locations?
    • We only have a single test site at Business Bay’s Bay Avenue where Nonno is located. Our brand is only just over a year old… still in its infancy.
  4. How important do you think outdoor marketing is for your brand?
    • The cost of outdoor is too high for the margins that we secure therefore never.

Does your brand do something for nothing?

  1. How many CSR activities do you engage in every year?
    • Twice
  2. How many regional/ international?
    • Local only
  3. Do you have any tie ups? How many? With whom?
    • None
  4. What according to you is the importance of CSR?
    • The good it does for the people you are targeting to help. We don’t do it for PR. That’s why we don’t talk about it.
  5. Why does your brand do CSR?
    • To do our part in the community. We want to do our part in making the world a better place. One good deed could just be the change in some one’s life. NONNO is a lifestyle brand that is accessible to everyone. We are not expensive but we are quality. So everyone can appreciate it, live it, and enjoy it.

End of Page