Author Archives: Tony Gemignani

Respecting the Craft: Lean and Mean

Tony Gemignani headshot

I had to make an executive decision. I realized at the 11th hour that my kitchen at Tony’s of North Beach in the Graton Casino would not be able to handle the original menu I planned for it prior to opening. Simply put, we would not be able to execute it perfectly due to aMore »

Respecting the Craft: Opening Day

Tony Gemignani headshot

Three restaurants opening within 10 days — How am I going to do it? I am literally 10 days away from opening two new restaurants in Northern California at a casino called Graton. This is one of the biggest tribal casinos in the U.S. and we were selected to be there. There we will beMore »

Respecting the Craft: Know your demographic

margherita pizza

When I opened Pizza Rock II in Las Vegas, I tailored the menu very much like I did in the first store in Sacramento. However, I did add a few new styles. You see, I have a restaurant in San Francisco where my Neapolitan line is the busiest and my Margherita pizza is the mostMore »

Respecting the Craft: Down and out in Las Vegas

Tony Gemignani

Honestly, I have never been a fan of a certain nationally known food distributor. Early in my career I disliked their approach and practices when it came to their reps. Over the last 23 years I have always bought from independent Italian distributors. And I still do. Opening a new restaurant and going into aMore »

Respecting the Craft: Delayed Start

Pizza Rock, logo, oven

How social media prevented us from opening for two weeks Like most new restaurants, the opening of our Pizza Rock II in Las Vegas had to be delayed beyond our initially planned opening date. As we scrambled to get our final inspections passed, we realized something scary: we needed to open ASAP. Every day thatMore »

Respecting the Craft: Ready for expansion?

Tony Gemignani

As I write this article, it’s December 2013 and I have seven restaurants. But six weeks ago I had four. Over the last 12 months we have been building three new ones, including Pizza Rock Two in Las Vegas. My first Pizza Rock is in Sacramento. They say your second restaurant is harder to openMore »

What Type of Alcohol Licensing is Best?

Tony Gemignani

Q: Is it better to have a full liquor license, a wine and beer only license, or none at all? A: Years ago when I was traveling a lot, Todd King, a VP for Green Mills in Minnesota, told me to always have a full liquor license if possible. Originally, I came from a fastMore »