Back Office

2009 November: Wicked Web

website, web, online

On a February evening in 2007, a Boston computer programmer named Jascha Franklin-Hodge received a call on his cell phone. He noticed the caller ID displayed a Chicago number. He was asked to create a robust, Web-based communication strategy for some guy named Barack Obama. That evening, history was set in motion. The Web, forMore »

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 September: Menu Magic

menu, design, diagram

Your menu is the one piece of marketing your customers are guaranteed to read — at least to some degree. But its influence doesn’t stop with helping the diner make an ordering decision. The menu’s role is actually much greater — it directly impacts not only sales, but the entire ebb and fl ow ofMore »

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: Main Menu

2009 July: Main Menu

At any restaurant, the quality of the food served is the most important factor in a customer’s happiness. But it’s not the only thing that matters. Consciously or not, customers are forming an opinion about their dining experience from the moment they enter your establishment. “Consumers can go anywhere to eat, but they’ll pay aMore »

Moneymaking Menu Must

Photo by Rick Daugherty

According to the National Restaurant Association, the most profitable menu items are soft drinks, followed closely by alcoholic drinks and then pastas and pizza. The largest pizzeria chains in the world do not sell alcohol, and until just a few years ago they did not even sell pastas. Yet, they still make a lot ofMore »

Menu Engineering

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Photo by Josh Keown

So much of what happens in a restaurant is creative. All cooks like to think of themselves as artistes. It is, after all, called the culinary arts. But when it comes to the menu, that’s where science kicks in. In fact, too much creativity on a menu can have negative consequences. That isn’t to sayMore »

Mobile Marketing: Legal Mobility

2013 March: Legal Mobility

Eager to cultivate deeper relationships with customers, the Thiels added mobile marketing to their advertising arsenal in 2010. Today, The Capri has built a growing database of customers’ mobile numbers, all of whom stand willing to receive information on special offers, Happy Hour deals and other Capri store happenings. “Text messaging’s been a nice additionMore »

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 »

Dress Code: Spell It Out

Photo by Josh Keown

There is something noticeable about the staff’s look at Cocco’s Pizza in Primos, Pennsylvania, — expression of individuality and brand awareness. Employees sport graphic T-shirts with the pizzeria’s name and logo. Owner Michael Cocco says his dress code reflects his crew’s personalities. Everyone is wearing something just a little different from one another. They canMore »