Author Archives: Big Dave Ostrander

2010 February: A Pizza My Mind

2010 February: A Pizza My Mind

It was surreal. All that was missing from a scene from the Soprano’s were the candles and violins. I was being inducted into the management family of a growing pizza chain in Detroit. At 18 years old, I had earned my bones by running a very high volume delco while a senior in high school.More »

Ask Big Dave: Start-up worries

2013 January: Ask Big Dave

Q: I’m ready to do it, Dave. After attending International Pizza Expo and reading the magazine for a year now, I feel like I’m learning what it will take to succeed with my own pizza shop. I’m scared to death. Should I be? Phil Cross Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania A: Like many things in life, you justMore »

Ask Big Dave: Supplier Discounts

2012 December: Ask Big Dave

Q: Do you know of any independents grouping together to get discounts with suppliers? Darren Larson AllStar Pizza, Clute, Texas A: For the most part, suppliers are not keen on pricing with a loose group of independents. They are looking for groups that have been around for a while and have the authority to speak/representMore »

CSR That First Impression

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 »

Ask Big Dave: Dough Rounding

dough balls, dough stacking, dough storage

Q: We currently make up our dough, round it and put it in baggies. We use it within a couple of days, and this works well for us. My question is: Do we need the rounding step, or could we just cut and bag? Eliminating the rounding step could save a substantial amount of timeMore »

Thrive in the Pizza Biz

The pizza business is currently drifting in unchartered waters. The old model of making, baking and serving a praiseworthy pizza with a smile just isn’t enough to pay the bills anymore. What are we to do to prosper in the future? I’ve heard this question a thousand times at International Pizza Expo and other eventsMore »

To Catch An Employee Thief

I’ll never forget the night it happened. It was dinnertime on a Friday night. My best-ever crew was getting ready for the rush and I had all of my aces in their places. I realized that I had forgotten to restock the petty cash box with small bills and change. No problem, the bank drive-thru doesn’t close forMore »

2012 October: Ask Big Dave

2012 October: Ask Big Dave

We are expanding our restaurant from one to two locations. Our second location is three miles away from the first in a small town. We are very concerned about logistics relating to deliveries. Do we divide the town or hope that some custom­ers just call the second location? Do you have any independent pizza shopsMore »

Get a Grip on Labor Costs

Right behind food cost is your second most expensive controllable expense: labor. Labor cost, or L/C, is usually referred to as a percentage of gross sales. I stayed on top of hourly labor like a hawk. My point of sale system served as my time clock and provided real time labor amounts in dollars asMore »

New Year Strategy

New Year Strategy

It’s time to think strategically about the new year. If you want to achieve growth you need to organize your tasks, set clear goals and implement a plan of attack. Each business has different needs, but there are some things all operators should take into consideration when making their New Year’s Resolutions. Here, then, isMore »