Front Of The House

Light it up

boombozz exterior lights and signage

Easy ways to improve external security   Criminals are always looking for easy targets. They will take advantage of any opportunity that makes a business look weak or vulnerable. Burned out lights hide their lurking. Unlocked doors invite them inside. Young employees with deposit bags leaving late at night grab their attention. Because criminals areMore »

On the Floor

interior_0019

Is there a magical formula for floor plans?   In Somerville, Massachusetts, a small pizzeria called “A4 Pizza” packs a punch in just 1,200 square feet. Customers who sit at the end of the bar have a front-row seat to the main attraction: a well-loved pizza oven. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you’ll find the Pizza Man,More »

Tip Pooling: Can you legally mandate it in your pizzeria?

tipping, check

Lynn’s Paradise Café, a funky and popular eatery for 22 years in Louisville, Kentucky, suddenly closed down in January after employees publicly complained about a tip pooling arrangement. The owner was requiring servers to carry $100 cash at all times to “tip out” coworkers. Kentucky Jobs for Justice, an organization that advocated for the workers,More »

Service: Is this going to be on the test?

Emmas Server

Educating servers can keep customers satisfied and increase check averages   Restaurant customers ask many questions, ranging from “What’s the special?” to “Is there gluten in the salad dressing?” Servers need to be educated so they can answer even the most difficult queries about the menu, daily specials and wine pairings. They also need toMore »

Restaurant design trends take on classic good looks

Garage Bar Communal Table

Nothing goes better with pizza than reclaimed wood. At least that’s one big trend in restaurant design right now. Operators and design experts say as the new year opens, emerging concepts and longtime restaurants are looking to classic finishes to make dining areas warm and inviting. Among those finishes is reused wood for tabletops. “WhatMore »

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

wheelchair ramp at enterance

Minding the complexity of the Americans with Disabilities Act may make your head spin with worry. Face it –– this law creates frustration for many, not only because of the business cost it incurs, but also because of fear that an unhappy customer will sue you for an overlooked incursion. But take heart, because theMore »

Engaged: Five critical moments of service

2013 February: Engaged

I was traveling the interstate close to midnight when I stopped by a restaurant still open in the small community of Canyonville, Oregon. My 18-year-old waiter, Kyle, graduated last year from his small high school in a senior class of 12 students. He was not the best in the technical aspects of formal tableside diningMore »

Don’t fall flat

Silverware

Keep tabs on your flatware count   Noble Pie Parlor in Reno, Nevada, stays open until 5 a.m. on weekends, and that means one thing: the flatware is going to disappear. “In Reno the bars don’t close, technically,” says co-owner Trevor Leppek. “We are serving pizza to customers who don’t realize there is a forkMore »

Food Allergies & Your Pizzeria: How to Prevent Cross-contamination

thai chicken pizza nuts

Tucked in the technology enclave of San Jose, California, Willow Street Wood-Fired Pizza’s three restaurants draw a hip, sophisticated and highly educated clientele. And with all of that education comes a high demand for not only healthy food, but also customer knowledge about food allergies and sensitivities, says Nancy Reineking, the company’s director of operations.More »

Digital Menu Boards

Photo by Rick Daugherty

Walk the average commercial block and you may notice a lot more digital signage about.The retail sector, including restaurants, has seen a surge in digital displays. Raf Vanreusel, managing partner at TelemediaVision in Baltimore, Maryland, says retail is one of the fastest growing markets for digital signage. The QSR industry was an early adopter ofMore »