Restaurant Boss Sells $20 Pizza to Boat Swimmers

  • A restaurant magnate has started a side hustle to sell pizza from a boat to people in Tampa Bay.
  • Sean Ferraro yells into the megaphone and wears a flowered cap to get the attention of the swimmers.
  • The side job increased sales by only 5%, but more people are eating at the restaurant, he said.

Swimmers and sunbathers on Florida’s west coast are in for a delicious surprise this summer.

All thanks to Sean Ferraro, the boss of Madison Avenue Pizza in Dunedin, he decided to take his business on a different path.

Ferraro told Insider that he and his colleagues joked about buying a boat and including it in a pizza restaurant two minutes’ drive from the beach.


While searching the Facebook Marketplace one day, a small, light boat – also known as a kik – came up and thought the Ferraro would be perfect for the job. He bought the boat, restored it and equipped it with pizza bags that were heated in time for the summer season.

Now known as the Pizza Skiff Guy in Tampa Bay.

Sean Ferraro is known as a pizzeria in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Known as the Pizza Skiff Guy in Tampa Bay, Ferraro, Florida.

Sean Ferraro

On Saturdays, Ferraro’s can be heard trying to attract the attention of hungry sunbathers, where it can sell its $20 fresh pizza. He is known for yelling into his megaphone as he drives through small islands in a bright, flowery hat. When he first started, people looked at him like a weirdo.

According to Ferraro, the brand is now recognizable in Tampa Bay.

“I have to convince people that I’m not doing these at my house or in the back of a van or anywhere else, it’s actually coming from a real pizzeria,” he said.

On a Saturday, more than 70 boats dock around one of the islands, each carrying about eight people. This is its primary market.

“These people are stuck there for hours and after a while you get tired of eating cold sandwiches or potato chips,” Ferraro said.

When asked what kind of pizza he sells in the water, he said, “It’s really easy, just cheese and pepperoni.”

Sean Ferraro, the boss of Madison Avenue Pizza, sells pizza to swimmers from his boat.

Sean Ferraro, the boss of Madison Avenue Pizza, sells pizza to swimmers from his boat.

Sean Ferraro

He drives between 3 pm and pm, allowing the “people to have some appetite” before lunch time. Customers then queue up in long queues in the water or on boats, waiting for Ferraro and his assistant to take their order.

On an average day, Ferraro sells 30 to 40 pizzas. “It gets tiring after 40-50… so I usually throw in the towel.”

The boat business hasn’t greatly increased Madison Avenue Pizza’s sales — Ferraro said sales were up 5% overall. However, he said the purpose of the boat project is long-term and more related to the visibility and marketing of his restaurant rather than the money he earns directly.

“The pizza project is like a little side hustle,” Ferraro said. “It’s not a huge revenue stream for us, but it’s definitely a great side job for days when I can go out.”

Sean Ferraro delivers pizza to swimmers and people on boats.

Sean Ferraro delivers pizza to swimmers and people on boats.

Sean Ferraro

The chef said he’s seen an increase in the number of people dining at Madison Avenue Pizza since starting the boat business, which brings in most of the money. The restaurant has been brimming with diners all summer, he added.

“It’s like a hack in the system,” he told Insider. “I could cruise around on a boat and sell pizza.”