Front Of The House

The Science of Servers

2012 September: The Science of Servers

CRITICAL ISSUES: Employee Hiring Retention Hiring right people can make or break your restaurant It might surprise you to hear Brett Steiner’s No. 1 priority for his servers at Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Germantown, Tennessee: “School comes first,” says Steiner, who owns one of the 30 Houston-based franchises. Five years ago when he launchedMore »

Exterior: Putting Up A Facade

Davici's Pizza Exterior Facade

Attract customers with eye catching exterior Magic occurs when the wall between you and your customers disappears. That’s the slight-of-hand trick used by architect Ed Shriver for a perfect building façade. Shriver is principal at Strada LLC, an architectural firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “The best restaurant facades I’ve ever seen open up the wall, andMore »

Get Served!

counter service customers

Counter-service operations provide host of challenges for operators Energy and synergy define the dining experience at DeSano Pizza Bakery, an authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Los Angeles. But the cardiac epicenter for DeSano’s pulse and tempo is not the place you’d expect: It’s the service counter, where the simple act of taking an order for aMore »

BYOB: Bring it in

wine bottle

BYOB creates an array of unique considerations When Joe Burke Jr. opened TreVi Pizza three years ago in Glenside, Pennsylvania, he was excited by liquor sales’ robust profit margins and the food-and-beverage pairings he could promote with a curated selection of wine, cocktails and beer. Unfortunately, Burke could not digest the expense of a $200,000-plusMore »

A Hostess: Stand and Deliver

2011 January: Stand and Deliver

It looks like an easy job. There’s a lot of smiling involved, a lot of handing out menus, a lot of “follow me this way and I’ll show you to your seat.” But, as with most things, looks can be deceiving. A hostess is responsible for the first impression of a restaurant, quick and carefulMore »

Seating: Going big

party room barry's pizza, houston, tx

Manage large parties with creativity Granted, large crowds are a good business problem. Who doesn’t love being known for their pizza? That said, you and your staff may still get that deer-in-the-headlights expression when large dining parties hit your hostess stand at the same time. But there are ways to manage large crowds and alsoMore »

Eating With The Eyes

2012 March: Eating With The Eyes

Front-of-the-house display cases put ancillary products in customers’ sights Whenever Tony DiSilvestro designs a new YNot Pizza, an endeavor he’s tackled three times since opening his first restaurant in 1993, he encounters the same conundrum: where to put the 28 feet of display cases he says are vital to his business. In each of DiSilvestro’sMore »

Got it Covered

2012 August: Got it Covered

Be proactive and prompt with upholstery care At home, it is easy to camouflage spills, messes and mishaps to furniture. Cover a stain on the carpet with a rug Hide a nick in a table with a cloth. Bury the mess on the couch by flipping the cushion over. But in a restaurant, furniture mishapsMore »

Restaurant Interior: By Design

2013 February: By Design

Five common dining room design problems — and how to fix them Years ago, architect Jim Lencioni recalls being called into a casual restaurant concept based in the Southeast. Despite solid marks for its food, business continued falling. In surveying guests, Lencioni soon discovered that diners preferred carryout because they were so uncomfortable in theMore »

‘May I Suggest…’

pouring, wine, pizza, upselling, tomatoes

Successful upselling requires enthusiasm and sincerity Servers walk a fine line in customer service. In order to be successful, servers must inform their customers about specials and recommend fantastic menu items without stepping over the line and making their customers feel “sold.” Because no customer wants to be pressured into making unwanted purchases or engageMore »