Author Archives: Heidi Lynn Russell

‘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 »

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 »

Waiting for a Profit

Photos by Rick Daugherty & Josh Keown

On weekdays, the lunch crowd from the local police academy and nearby industrial park pack out Lido’s in Meriden, Connecticut. And on Friday and Saturday nights, it’s all about serving it up to the kids — soccer teams and Brownie troops alike. Although the folks at Lido’s pride themselves in turning the tables quickly, sometimesMore »

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

FOOD ALLERGIES & YOUR PIZZERIA: HOW TO PREVENT CROSS CONTAMINATION

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 »

What A Pane

Photos by Rick Daugherty

The types of window treatments for Pierro’s Italian Bistro and A’mis Italian Restaurant are as far apart as the geography between them. At Pierro’s, a former five-and-dime-store-turned-hip-hangout in the historic district of Fayetteville, North Carolina, fabric draperies showcase tall windows. Owners Mike Laurenceau and Daniel Fair wanted a classic look to blend with a sophisticated,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 »

2012 September: The Science of Servers

2012 September: The Science of Servers

CRITICAL ISSUES 2012 Employee Hiring Retention 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 launched Russo’s, Steiner started with “a choppy, sketchy staff.”More »

2012 July: Exposed

2012 July: Exposed

In his new hip restaurant where seasonal artisanal pizzas are delivered from a wood-burning oven, Mike Isabella wanted just one thing: exposure. Isabella, who appeared on season six of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in 2009, opened Graffiato in June 2011, in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C. He deliberately sought a place to expose the building’sMore »