Author Archives: Heidi Lynn Russell

On the Floor

interior_0019

Is there a magical formula for floor plans?   In Somerville, Massachusetts, a small pizzeria called “A4 Pizza” packs a punch in just 1,200 square feet. Customers who sit at the end of the bar have a front-row seat to the main attraction: a well-loved pizza oven. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you’ll find the Pizza Man,More »

Tip Pooling: Can you legally mandate it in your pizzeria?

tipping, check

Lynn’s Paradise Café, a funky and popular eatery for 22 years in Louisville, Kentucky, suddenly closed down in January after employees publicly complained about a tip pooling arrangement. The owner was requiring servers to carry $100 cash at all times to “tip out” coworkers. Kentucky Jobs for Justice, an organization that advocated for the workers,More »

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

wheelchair ramp at enterance

Minding the complexity of the Americans with Disabilities Act may make your head spin with worry. Face it –– this law creates frustration for many, not only because of the business cost it incurs, but also because of fear that an unhappy customer will sue you for an overlooked incursion. But take heart, because theMore »

Food Allergies & Your Pizzeria: How to Prevent Cross-contamination

thai chicken pizza nuts

Tucked in the technology enclave of San Jose, California, Willow Street Wood-Fired Pizza’s three restaurants draw a hip, sophisticated and highly educated clientele. And with all of that education comes a high demand for not only healthy food, but also customer knowledge about food allergies and sensitivities, says Nancy Reineking, the company’s director of operations.More »

The Science of Servers

2012 September: The Science of Servers

CRITICAL ISSUES: Employee Hiring Retention Hiring right people can make or break your restaurant It might surprise you to hear Brett Steiner’s No. 1 priority for his servers at Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Germantown, Tennessee: “School comes first,” says Steiner, who owns one of the 30 Houston-based franchises. Five years ago when he launchedMore »

Exterior: Putting Up A Facade

Davici's Pizza Exterior Facade

Attract customers with eye catching exterior Magic occurs when the wall between you and your customers disappears. That’s the slight-of-hand trick used by architect Ed Shriver for a perfect building façade. Shriver is principal at Strada LLC, an architectural firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “The best restaurant facades I’ve ever seen open up the wall, andMore »

Get Served!

counter service customers

Counter-service operations provide host of challenges for operators Energy and synergy define the dining experience at DeSano Pizza Bakery, an authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Los Angeles. But the cardiac epicenter for DeSano’s pulse and tempo is not the place you’d expect: It’s the service counter, where the simple act of taking an order for aMore »

Seating: Going big

party room barry's pizza, houston, tx

Manage large parties with creativity Granted, large crowds are a good business problem. Who doesn’t love being known for their pizza? That said, you and your staff may still get that deer-in-the-headlights expression when large dining parties hit your hostess stand at the same time. But there are ways to manage large crowds and alsoMore »

‘Move over, darling’

pizzeria, interior, dining area

Dining room expansion gives you plenty of options Eight years ago, when competing pizza chains choked his business, Jim Jacobs renovated his dining room, adding a lunch buffet at Pisanello’s Pizza in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The result was magic. Customers on lunch breaks crammed the place. Ironically, that triggered a new challenge: “People I knowMore »

Sound Check: Live Entertainment

music guitar on stage

Sleeping at the base of the snow-capped Wallowa Mountains on the Historic Oregon Trail is Baker City, a picturesque town of 10,000 people. But on Friday nights in summer, this hamlet wakes up to music on the outdoor patio at Paizano’s Pizza. Two-and-a-half years ago, owner Kina Allen invested $30,000 of her business profits intoMore »