Author Archives: Big Dave Ostrander

Ask Big Dave: Employee morale

Photo by Josh Keown

Q: I have a large group meet here on Thursdays, and they spend a lot of money. My staff gets bummed when they come because it’s frantic for a few hours. What gives? A: One of my customer service counter people turned to the kitchen and announced that four carloads and a tour bus justMore »

2009 December: A Pizza My Mind

2009 December: A Pizza My Mind

Big Dave’s always closed early on Christmas Eve (6 p.m.) so that my crew could get home and enjoy their family time. The key word here is family. Many families gather together on Christmas Eve. Since the following day will be filled with traditional home-cooked feasts, the cooks in charge (Moms) are looking for anMore »

2009 November: A Pizza My Mind

2009 November: A Pizza My Mind

Just over half of my gross sales came from home and business deliveries. Over the years, we stumbled on a few ideas that made us stand out from the competition. We were the fi rst company in our area to use car-top signs. It was so long ago I had to make my own fromMore »

2009 November: First Impressions

2009 November: First Impressions

If I had to choose between the best counter and phone person or the best pizza maker, I choose the best customer service rep. Pizza makers are made through a mentoring training program. You make and shape them into pizza assembly machines. On the other hand, I believe that CSR’s are a blend of trainingMore »

2009 October: A Pizza My Mind

2009 October: A Pizza My Mind

I’m a big believer in measuring how much time it takes to complete almost every task in the restaurant. If you determine how long a task takes, then you can measure it and often improve the elapsed time to accomplish the task. My POS system had a built-in timer. When the phone was answered theMore »

2009 September: This Too Shall Pass

2009 September: This Too Shall Pass

I have been asked to summarize many of my beliefs and words of wisdom as if this were my last shot to speak to you. I have had the great honor to intercommunicate with our wondrous industry for the past 15 years. It has been quite a ride, and I would not have traded itMore »

2009 August: A Pizza My Mind

2009 August: A Pizza My Mind

Independent operators get a failing grade on a huge issue: They do not have readable financial statements. For the moment, I won’t even consider the problem of getting information too late to be of any real help. Some operators just rely on their accountants to work up the figures and accept what they are given.More »

2009 July: A Pizza My Mind

2009 July: A Pizza My Mind

One of my first assignments as a consultant was to implement a turnaround for a group of pizzerias. They were hanging on by a thread. They had cashed in all of their CDs, 401(k)s and charged their credit cards to the max. I had made several visits to the operations. They were buying their foodMore »

2009 June: A Pizza My Mind

2009 June: A Pizza My Mind

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of spending a few days with a client, Carl Hixon. Carl is the proprietor of Georgio’s Pizza in Pensacola, Florida. Every morning, he picked me up at his oceanfront condo and we went to work. One morning was different than the rest. When I walked out toMore »