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2011 September: READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE?

2011 September: READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE?

Depending on how you look at it, this is either a horrible or a fantastic time in the pizza industry — the entire restaurant industry, really. Just like our nation has divided into political polar opposites, the pizza segment has separated into two basic categories: cheap pizza and fantastic pizza. No-limit $5 medium pies orMore »

2011 September: SOCIAL HOUR

2011 September: SOCIAL HOUR

When Facebook was first introduced, the site was the online version of the Wild West, devoted primarily for collegiate use and of little consequence to a young suburban mother like myself. Fast forward a couple of years, and just about everyone I know –– including my in-laws, my 83-year-old great aunt and my friend’s dogMore »

2011 September: LINKED IN

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2011 September: LINKED IN

Making sausage in your restaurant is easier than you think, and fresh sausage cannot be beat. Take a minute and think about how many dishes use sausage. Go beyond topping your pizza and consider sausage sandwiches and even soups like sausage and roasted red pepper soup. Sausage is a main ingredient in many dishes inMore »

Sauces: Basic is best

2011 September: BASIC IS BEST

“Made in house” is a unique marketing mantra that should be on your menu. The more items you prepare from scratch, the more you stand out from your competition across the street. Granted, some items are easier to make than others. And some items are more labor intensive than others. The good news? Sauces areMore »

2011 August: Advice from seasoned independents

2011 August: Advice from seasoned independents

Less than three years removed from high school, childhood friends Mark Gold and Lou Siecinski moved from pizza-happy Detroit to Milwaukee to open a pizzeria. Twenty-six years later, Pizza Shuttle is one of the nation’s highest grossing single-store independents. It’s a place many envy, yet, not a spot Gold and Siecinski reached by accident. “EveryMore »

2011 August: Dough Doctor

2011 August: Dough Doctor

TIP: Be sure to use a wood or wood laminate peel for your prep peel. The metal blade peels are best reserved for use as oven peels. We bake in a deck oven and we are presently baking on aluminum screens because when I use a peel to bake on the deck, the dough endsMore »

2011 August: SERVING EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

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2011 August: SERVING EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

When a gas station stops letting customers use the restrooms because some people use them without making a purchase, or when a grocery store refuses to accept responsibility for mistakenly selling spoiled food, they lose business and create negative feelings in potential customers. What they are doing, says Domino’s Pizza franchisee Scott Flaherty, is marketingMore »

2011 August: Ask Big Dave

2011 August: Ask Big Dave

Hey Dave, I currently own a counter service joint and am looking to open my second location. This location I’m looking to do more sit-down. So my question is, is 30- to 35- percent labor cost reasonable for this type of restaurant? Ryan Olson Montana I think in a full service operation, 30- to 35-percentMore »

2011 August: Turn the Page

2011 August: Turn the Page

When the hostess stand at Buddy’s Pizza becomes mobbed with hungry customers, the hostess hands out pagers shaped like coasters. That seems to calm everyone down, says Wes Pikula, vice president of operations for the nine-location Detroit pizzeria. “It’s a stress reliever if you are a guest,” he says. “You don’t have to listen forMore »

2011 August: CHOP IT UP!

2011 August: CHOP IT UP!

In the Kitchen // Ingredients CHOP IT UP! Herbs and spices add panache across your menu By Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Photo by Josh Keown Familiarity breeds intent, and those of us in the food business are quite familiar with that duet of herbs: basil and oregano. Generally, our intent is to use them in everyMore »