Keep cool

inside, walkin, cooler, refrigerator, refrigeration

Cleaning and maintenance key to refrigeration care When Rocco DiGrazia planned the layout of his back-of-house operation at Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizza in Tucson, Arizona, there was just no room for a walk-in cooler. Solution: DiGrazia opted to house the walk-in unit behind the restaurant, exposed to the elements of Tucson’s desert climate. “We areMore »

Stop the topping overload

Denise Greer

Some customers are just like my father and say, “toppings — the more, the merrier.” But when that mentality is on your make line, it can scream disaster for your pizza quality, food cost and your bottom line. The other day I grabbed a quick bite at one of the new fast-casual pizzerias that seemMore »

Reputation Management

2011 November: Reputation Management

“Your pizza sucks,” signed an ambiguous online customer reviewer. Most operators can relate to receiving a similar review on one of the many user-generated customer review Web sites. It’s just sitting out there for the world to see when someone searches for your pizzeria online. There’s a buzz from owners who are finding online user-generatedMore »

Details matter with regulars

Denise Greer

I can still remember this sweet, older man who used to come into a restaurant I worked at two to three times a week nearly 20 years ago. He always ordered an ice tea with two lemons and very little ice. He liked to talk about his garden and his grandchildren. Two decades later, IMore »

Respect to the Pizzaiolo

Denise Greer

I spent my Memorial Day weekend primitive style, camping with my entire family in Hoosier National Forest. I wanted to do something special for them and also take some of the knowledge that I have gained through our pizza visits, in the Pizza Today test kitchen and through the study of our Dough Doctor TomMore »

Keep point-of-purchase products focused

Denise Greer

The front counter is often a carryout customer’s only physical impression of the restaurant. The products you choose to display can be money-makers –– or bomb completely. While shopping in a Southwestern city I visited recently, I popped into a pizzeria that I noticed from a promo in the window offered “two-for-one cookies.” It wasMore »

Five ways pizzerias are growing gardens on site

Denise Greer

My green thumb is more of a “green thumb in training.” I’m still a bit apprehensive but here we are, it’s May and green leaves are sprouting up everywhere in my garden. Can a pizzeria grow its own produce? I’ve come across several pizzerias doing just that. Explore the following creative ways pizzerias are growingMore »

Harness your events with social media

Denise Greer

It’s Kentucky Derby Week in Pizza Today’s home city of Louisville. My social media feeds are jam-packed with restaurants trying to get me to come to their special Derby events. The effectiveness of restaurants’ social media efforts can make or break events like these, especially when there are so many options all happening at theMore »

Pizza got game

Denise Greer

Last week’s Pizza Headline about New Zealand-based Hell Pizza and its rabbit-pelt covered billboard sparked my curiosity about game and alternative meats. Rabbit meat is so plentiful in the region that it became a viable pizza topping for Hell Pizza’s LTO specialty pizza. Alternative and game meats are not new to restaurant menus. With beefMore »

Is a weekend brunch right for your pizzeria? (with recipes)

Denise Greer

It’s the week of Easter and I opened my alternative weekly newspaper to a full spread introducing the best spots in my city to have Sunday brunch. We’ve witnessed so many restaurants adding a weekend brunch to their operating hours — from burger joints, taquerias, American fare and, yes, pizzerias. Executed effectively and brunch canMore »