Author Archives: Nora Caley

Pushing Appetizers

2011 February: Pushing Appetizers

When San Ramon, California-based Straw Hat Pizza wanted to increase appetizer sales, they turned on the TVs. The 61-unit company partnered with Coca-Cola and created a three-minute video showcasing the chain’s Snack-A-Tizers and Coca-Cola products. Store owners bought television sets that they placed on the order counters, and customers watched the Snack-A-Tizer loop –– which,More »

Restaurant design trends take on classic good looks

Garage Bar Communal Table

Nothing goes better with pizza than reclaimed wood. At least that’s one big trend in restaurant design right now. Operators and design experts say as the new year opens, emerging concepts and longtime restaurants are looking to classic finishes to make dining areas warm and inviting. Among those finishes is reused wood for tabletops. “WhatMore »

Efficient Climate Control Saves Money and Energy

SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY WITH EFFICIENT CLIMATE CONTROL

Kim Fiorcello flips on the A/C as early as mid-April at Antonio’s Pizza in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. That’s because even on a mild spring day when temperatures hover at 70 and summer’s dripping humidity is yet to come, the dining area can become rather stuffy. And the kitchen can be downright hot, too. It’s a challengeMore »

Employee Incentives: Winning Attitudes

2013 May: Winning Attitudes

Pizza Antica was not selling much bottled mineral water. The servers at the four-unit concept, part of the Bacchus Management Group of restaurants in San Francisco, were not even mentioning bottled water to customers. So Pizza Antica launched the Bottled Mineral Water Sales contest. The winning server was taken, as guest, to one of BacchusMore »

2009 December: Hurry Up & Wait

waiting area, seating

It’s a busy Friday night, people are lining up at the hostess stand, and someone asks you the question, “How long do we have to wait for a table?” You want to tell them 20 minutes and hope you’re right. If you underestimate and they end up waiting longer, they might walk out the door,More »

2009 November: Crunching Numbers

2009 November: Crunching Numbers

If you run a full service restaurant, it’s difficult to figure out how many tables to assign to each server. You want customers to be served promptly and accurately so they return. You also want servers to earn enough tips to keep them happy. Robert Smith, director of operations for Pizza Antica in California, saysMore »

2009 October: Quick & Easy

bar seating, seating, place setting, dining

In June, Pizza Hut announced it would spend $5 million to renovate its locations in Jacksonville, Florida. The investment would pay for a “transformation to a more contemporary look and improved customer experience” in the seven dine-in and 23 delivery and carryout restaurants in the area. If you want to update your restaurant’s look andMore »

2009 August: Check Please!

2009 August: Check Please!

The job candidate you just interviewed is a hard worker who shows up on time and knows how to deal with customers. At least that’s what the eager applicant told you. You want to make sure, so you call some of the references the person gave you. The only problem is that some previous employersMore »

2009 July: Pizza on the Go

2009 July: Pizza on the Go

When Dallas-based Pizza Patron opened its newest location in San Antonio in October 2008, the chain called it its quick service pizza concept, or QSP. The restaurant has a drive-thru window and an outdoor menu board. Customers order by speaking into a microphone, then drive a few more feet to a window to pick upMore »

2009 April: First Course

2009 April: First Course

Some customers, when they need to cut their spending, order either an appetizer or dessert with their entrée, but not both. Brett Corrieri, corporate chef of MAFIAoZA’s in Nashville, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama, prefers that customers order appetizers. “Desserts have a lower margin,” he says. “For most desserts, the food costs run 50 to 60More »