Author Archives: Big Dave Ostrander

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 »

Employee Theft Warning Signs

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, 401ks and charged their credit cards to the max. I had made several visits to the operations. They were buying their food at good pricing andMore »

Is Pizza Recession Proof?

To a certain point we are masters of our own destiny. To a certain point. The current economy is in uncharted waters. I hope our elected government officials are up to the task of putting the economic train wreck back on the tracks. I’ve seen and lived through some similar economic times. I remember when,More »

Poor Performers

If you sales are increasing, give yourself a big pat on the back. If your sales are flat, and you are barely breaking even, welcome to the new normal. If you are afraid of what the future has in stock for your store, the clock is ticking. The longer the restaurant runs unprofitably, the lessMore »

Cross Train for Rushes

Big Dave Ostrander Crunch Time Remedy Cross training covers all your bases By Big Dave Ostrander Its late afternoon Friday. Within an hour, the phones will be ringing off the wall. Your best crew is checking and double checking stock levels and doing their last minute prepping and fine tuning of their work stations. Then theMore »

Common Number Problems

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 »

Cheese Prices

Did you ever get the feeling you were being overcharged for cheese? How does your supplier set the weekly price of cheese? How do the big chains buy their cheese? What does Block Plus stand for? Why does my cheese seem to be soft and wet sometimes and dry and hard at other times? WhatMore »

Cross Training

The more your crew can do, the better your operation will run. In baseball, triple threats — players who can hit, field and run brilliantly — are rare gems. Entertainers who can sing, dance and act are called triple threats. In our world, my definition of a triple threat is crew people who can “makeMore »

Downsizing Pizza Sizes

It was a hot summer night. I was cruising with my friends. We were a carload of young guys, fresh out of high school, approaching a college campus, looking for a good time. The driver pulled into a drive thru burger place. He said “these burgers are great. I bet you can’t eat two andMore »

Establish Measurements

Big Dave’s delivered a lot of orders. I’m convinced that one of the biggest reasons we dominated the delivery market in my area was that we measured the amount of time that elapsed from the phone call, in the oven, time out the door and time to the customer’s door. I became very obsessed withMore »