Author Archives: Pamela Mills-Senn

Mobile pizza units add sales, street cred

food truck

Lloyd Helber owns six Pizza Cottage restaurants located throughout Central Ohio, but ask him about the wave of the future and he’ll tell you mobile kitchens. “Food trucks are the next generation of restaurant,” says Helber, who launched his first mobile unit this April. “We see a trend that’s starting to explode and we wantMore »

Laundry: Hang to Dry

2009 August: Hang to Dry

For some pizza restaurant operators — such as those who use front and center items like table linens or who have extremely high-volume locations — whether or not to do the laundry in-house or use a laundry service is a no-brainer. In these instances the vote comes down squarely in favor of turning this aspectMore »

2009 June: Stage Act

2009 June: Stage Act

I In these increasingly competitive times, standing out has become more important than ever. Offering top-notch food and service is the first step, but sometimes you’ve got to take it a little further. Featuring live entertainment may give you the edge you need to move ahead of the pack. Need convincing? Consider Brian Hogan, co-ownerMore »

Employee Termination: Hit The Door

Photo by Josh Keown

Last year, the week before Christmas, Carmelo Lamotta needed to fire a server. He did not want to wait until after the holidays because then other workers would suffer. “If you keep someone an extra week because of the holidays, business drops because customers do not come in because of the poor customer service,” saysMore »

2009 May: Location, Location, Location

2009 May: Location, Location, Location

Thinking of expanding to another location? Now, more than ever, intelligent site selection is essential — who can afford a hit or miss approach in this economy? Some larger operations, like Marcos Pizza, use site selection software. With 170 locations, this chain, headquartered in Toledo, is poised to open hundreds of additional restaurants. Their software,More »

2009 March: Falling Short

2009 March: Falling Short

Unexpected staffing shortages can make your life — and your employees’ — an unholy nightmare. If customers are negatively impacted by the reduced manpower, your bottom line can take a pretty horrifying hit as well. And yet, in this economy, where operators are focused on cost-cutting, encountering this problem has become likelier than ever. WhileMore »

2010 August: In Your Face

2010 August: In Your Face

It’s a given that restaurant staff should present a well-scrubbed appearance; after all, who would want to patronize an eatery where employee personal hygiene is unappetizingly sub-par? But beyond this (hopefully universal) baseline, restaurant operators grapple with other appearance related issues — such as whether to hire or retain those sporting tattoos, body piercings orMore »

2010 May: Reward Your Customer

2010 May: Reward Your Customer

Frequent diner programs abound and there’s good reason for this, says Arjun Sen, president of Zen Mango, a Centennial, Colorado-based consulting company. “A frequent diner program gives you a share of the customer’s wallet space,” he says. “It also helps build a habit. Those who experience a brand three or four times have a revisitMore »

2010 March: Tabels vs. Seats

2010 March: Tabels vs. Seats

Restaurant operators tend to think of capacity in terms of the number of seats, but this is incorrect, says Dennis Lombardi, executive vice president-food strategies for WD Partners, a design development fi rm in Columbus, Ohio. Instead, capacity depends on the number of tables. “The tables will get used up first,” he explains. “And ifMore »

2010 January: Cross Training

2010 January: Cross Training

Delivery drivers are as valuable an asset as any other worker, and yet many pizzeria operators fail to make maximum use of this resource. Sure, they may have drivers fold boxes or do minor prep work when not out delivering, but there’s more these employees could contribute. Cross-training them on key tasks throughout your operationMore »