Front Of The House

2012 August: Frequent Diners

2012 August: Frequent Diners

Here are some tips for setting up your own frequent-diner program: • Train your employees about the importance of your frequent diner program. Offer incentives to employees who sign up the most customers. Also train them to remind the customer to present any type of loyalty card during the transaction to ensure customers remember. •More »

2012 July: Using Secret Shoppers

2012 July: Using Secret Shoppers

If you plan to utilize secret shoppers, be sure they answer the following questions: • Were you greeted with a friendly smile when entering the pizzeria? • Was the restaurant clean? • How long did it take for the food to be served? • Was the pizza hot and presented attractively? • Was the serviceMore »

Exposed

2012 July: Exposed

Exposed ceilings present pros and cons for operators In his new hip restaurant where seasonal artisanal pizzas are delivered from a wood-burning oven, Mike Isabella wanted just one thing: exposure. Isabella, who appeared on season six of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in 2009, opened Graffiato in June 2011, in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C. HeMore »

Al Fresco

2011 June: All Hands on Deck

Patio service requires right employees, finesse Patio dining. Some restaurant operators say their business wouldn’t be the same without it. Barbara Reeve, general manager for the Tivoli Restaurant in New Milford, Connecticut, is one of them. The three-year-old restaurant sits right on the large New Milford Green. Inside, there’s seating for 90, and the coveredMore »

2012 May: SHOWTIME

2012 May: SHOWTIME

For Brixx, a southeastern-U.S.-based chain of brick-oven restaurants, having a performance kitchen was just a natural extension of the restaurant’s branding strategy. “Making the pizza in the brick oven is all part of the show,” says Eric Horsley, Brixx managing partner and lead design strategist. “Guests are fascinated by the inner workings, and it’s justMore »

Operating a Bar: Serious Business

2012 March: Serious Business

Dram shop laws, underage drinking, over serving, altercation risk, staffing and training: operating a bar within a pizzeria can be a mess of liability. But managed effectively, a bar can enhance your pizzeria and drive traffic with not only alcohol sales but also food sales. A bar is not something an owner enters into lightly.More »

2012 March: Deal Breakers

2012 March: Deal Breakers

While the recession is coming to an end, many operators are still struggling. The good news? Your landlord is feeling the squeeze, too. According to the National Association of Realtors, retail vacancy rates nationwide were at 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and retail rents actually declined during the year. With empty spaceMore »

2012 March: Walls Speak

2012 March: Walls Speak

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what hangs on an operator’s walls says a lot. Whether it is comprised of pictures, artwork, awards, sports memorabilia or a little bit of everything, a restaurant’s wall décor speaks volumes to customers. An elegant piece of art reveals a restaurant’s style; framed sports memorabilia representsMore »

The Price of a Remodel

2012 January: Remodeling By The Numbers

Investing in updated look can breathe new life into restaurant At a time when budgets are tight, investing in a remodel or upgrade may seem like a risky plan. Operators have to wonder if updating the look or equipment in their restaurant will bring in more customers. How big of a remodel is necessary? WhenMore »

2012 January: Curb Appeal

2012 January: Curb Appeal

What’s better on a cold night than a hot pizza that you didn’t have to leave the warmth of your car to pick up? Even on a summer day when it’s sizzling outside, not having to leave the cool of an air conditioned car to pick up a pizza is an appealing idea. That’s theMore »