Author Archives: Big Dave Ostrander

2012 February: Turn Around

2012 February: Turn Around

If your 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 »

2012 January: Ask Big Dave

2012 January: Ask Big Dave

Banks aren’t lending. Where do I go for growth money?Louis Phelps Kansas City, Missouri In the current economic freefall we’ve been destined to play out due to very bad decisions made by ‘too big to fail institutions,’ you are suffering. When all else failed, I borrowed from friends, family, my distributors and even secret fraternalMore »

2011 December: Ask Big Dave

2011 December: Ask Big Dave

I recently had a request for a vegan pizza. What do you suggest? John Noe via PizzaToday.com Hi John. I did a little research in veganism and found the definition from a quick Google search. A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetariansMore »

2011 November: Ask Big Dave

2011 November: Ask Big Dave

Dave, I need to trim costs considerably in just about every facet of my business. Where do I start? I can’t afford to cut quality of my product, I know, but I can’t afford not to make cuts everywhere else. Peter White San Diego, California Peter, I feel your pain. And I’m glad you knowMore »

2011 October: Ask Big Dave

2011 October: Ask Big Dave

Amir F. Detroit, Michigan A few years ago I would have said that it was a novelty that we wouldn’t be talking about by now. I didn’t understand it. Boy, was I wrong. Once I started to get requests to assist new and old locations that wanted to get into the Neapolitan game, I knewMore »

2011 September: READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE?

2011 September: READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE?

Depending on how you look at it, this is either a horrible or a fantastic time in the pizza industry — the entire restaurant industry, really. Just like our nation has divided into political polar opposites, the pizza segment has separated into two basic categories: cheap pizza and fantastic pizza. No-limit $5 medium pies orMore »

2011 August: Ask Big Dave

2011 August: Ask Big Dave

Hey Dave, I currently own a counter service joint and am looking to open my second location. This location I’m looking to do more sit-down. So my question is, is 30- to 35- percent labor cost reasonable for this type of restaurant? Ryan Olson Montana I think in a full service operation, 30- to 35-percentMore »

2011 July: Ask Big Dave

2011 July: Ask Big Dave

Dave, I really need to raise prices, but fear I can’t. I don’t know what to do and need your advice. What do you tell your clients on this issue? J.B. Linter Portland, OR How long has it been since you really re-did your menus? If you haven’t done it yet this year you areMore »

2011 June: Ask Big Dave

2011 June: Ask Big Dave

I’m experimenting with how many ounces of dough to use for a stromboli and calzone, as well as 10-inch, 12-inch, 14-inch, 16-inch, 18-inch and 20-inch pies. Can you please help me out? Josh Johnson Syracuse, New York Hi, Josh. Here is my rule of thumb for dough ball weights: multiply the area of the circleMore »

2011 May: Valued Partner

2011 May: Valued Partner

Imagine this: never asking your sales representative the cost of cheese or the price of any other ingredient ever again. You quit the weekly dance we call placing the order. In fact, you personally delegate that task to an employee. You stop writing a check for deliveries. And finally your food cost drops 3 toMore »