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2012 March: In The Know

2012 March: In The Know

You receive a notice in the mail that an ex-employee is filing for unemployment. But he quit the company and one doesn’t receive unemployment for that. He wasn’t fired; he wasn’t demoted and sulked off in dejection; he wasn’t harassed into submitting his resignation. Even though you believe that, in these tough times, ex-workers needMore »

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: Affinity For Artichokes

2012 March: Affinity For Artichokes

When G. Terrill Brazelton, head chef at Slice Stone Pizza and Brew in Birmingham, Alabama, developed his pizza menu, including artichokes was a no-brainer. After all, Brazelton grew up eating steamed artichokes from his parent’s California garden. Today, he places artichoke hearts on the “Very Veggie” pizza alongside spinach, mushrooms, Kalamata olives, onions, jalapeños, garlicMore »

2012 March: Ask Big Dave

2012 March: Ask Big Dave

I haven’t updated my menu in a couple of years except for price adjustments. Is it worth it to pay a professional company to do this for me? Austin Rodigero Phoenix, Arizona I’m rarely stopped dead in my tracks. A few years ago, however, I did a double-take as I passed an exhibitor’s booth atMore »

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: Dough Doctor

2012 March: Dough Doctor

Q: We get a lot of requests for a whole-wheat pizza, but all of our attempts to make one end up with dry, hard texture and poor flavor. What is the secret to making a good whole-wheat crust? A: Like so many other things in life, once you know the secret, it really isn’t allMore »

2012 March: In Recovery

2012 March: In Recovery

One of the biggest concerns about receiving a bad health code score — other than rectifying the violation(s) as immediately as possible — is how this might affect patronage. Where the problems causing the infraction are negligible or the violations small in number, traffic probably won’t be unduly affected. Major and/or numerous violations, however, areMore »

2012 February: Il Pizzaiolo: Mangia Italiana

2012 February: Il Pizzaiolo: Mangia Italiana

When Tony and Dana Constantino were looking to increase family cash flow so their kids could attend top-flight schools in Omaha in 2003, they did what any reasonable person would do in that situation: they started a food truck business. All joking aside, the Constantinos either didn’t know or didn’t care that food truck operationsMore »

2012 February: Turn Around

2012 February: Turn Around

If your sales are increasing, give yourself a big pat on the back. If your sales are flat, and you are barely breaking even, welcome to the new normal. If you are afraid of what the future has in stock for your store, the clock is ticking. The longer the restaurant runs unprofitably, the lessMore »