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Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival Review: Big Disappointment

The festival, billed as a unique event in South Florida featuring more than 120 vendors doling out some of South Florida's best pizza-related creations, has provoked a wave of unhappy people voicing their disappointment on social media.

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On Saturday I wrote a Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival review that was published early in our Sunday edition. I expected a flood of positive reviews and sharing of the many photos our photographer took and posted to Facebook.

What I did not expect was waking up to a mud slide of negative feedback in the comment section of the article and a link to the Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival Facebook Page to read a display of complete disappointment and frustration from people who were supposed to enjoy the festival. To me, it is also a big disappointment because I experienced a totally different version of the Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival from a little after 12:30 until 2:30 that me and my team left.

When a Mayor of a city makes a proclamation is a serious stuff. I was excited to know an unusual kind of event was getting a date in the City of Fort Lauderdale’s calendar, and specially because a young millennial entrepreneur was the recipient of, what I believed, must have been the result of days and hours of painstaking work.

I enjoyed different slices of pizza during my visit. No tickets were requested by vendors —maybe my wristband meant something different to them. I even gave my tickets to a family on my way out.

But more than 120 vendors doling out some of South Florida’s best pizza-related creations, plus wings, wine, craft beer, and more?
Fact check: this was not true.

I first learned about the above-mentioned statement coming from one of our readers who purchased the ticket through Groupon. Now I understand the dismay people went through at the festival. Now I understand the long lines.

We reached out to the organizers of the event. No answers to our questions have yet been received.

So many people can’t be wrong.

I have never witnessed so many negative comments about an event as it is the case here. Our Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival review can’t now be as positive as it was in the first place in our story here.

There’s no way that months of planning on what could have been a first of its kind event in South Florida, is now a ridiculous thread of unhappy customers who feel scammed. It seems to me people who bought tickets did not know at all of a list of participating restaurants before making the decision to purchase.

Maybe it was an oversold festival.

Perhaps it was a lack of entertaining related activities to add value to the admission ticket other than two slices of pizza per person, unlimited samples from vendors like Fresh Meal Plan, Hoffman’s Chocolates, or Vita Coco, and a beverage.

Whatever it is – getting politically correct – is a learning curve for the Lais Pontes Group and its sponsors. There’s seldom a second chance to make things better, though it is in their interest to hear what unhappy customer want to say. They have offered a way for them to voice concerns by email to info@fortlauderdalepizzafestival.com for any comments, questions, complaints, and refund requests.

The Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival has apologized through their Event Facebook Page to anyone who was unhappy, and promises to improve the attendee experience for 2018.

The only restaurant that we have heard of issuing a statement in regards to what happened is Sapirno’s who appreciated dearly all people who came to the festival and visited Sarpino’s Pizzeria booth for samples. They are also offering a FREE personal pizza of any kind at their restaurant at 100 E Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (just bring your paper ticket or an online image) or use promo special “PIZZAFEST” to get 25% OFF on the entire order – Valid till April 15th – when ordering any other menu item online for delivery.

Our initial review stands and can be read here. It is about a personal experience, true to its story. But the big disappointment many attendees experienced will be pivotal in the luck of future editions of Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival.


Here’s the latest Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival Review. The event run out pizza. Long lines and fewer vendors than advertised. Attendees were disappointed.

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