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2009 May: Il Pizzaiolo: Pizza Perfect

2009 May: Il Pizzaiolo: Pizza Perfect

Brothers Amir and Ali Arab have been in the pizza business a long time. Though they didn’t exactly enter the circle of pizzeria owners by choice, they couldn’t imagine any other career these days. When the Arabs graduated from college in the 1970s, tensions between America and their native Iran were high. As was discrimination.More »

2009 May: Location, Location, Location

2009 May: Location, Location, Location

Thinking of expanding to another location? Now, more than ever, intelligent site selection is essential — who can afford a hit or miss approach in this economy? Some larger operations, like Marcos Pizza, use site selection software. With 170 locations, this chain, headquartered in Toledo, is poised to open hundreds of additional restaurants. Their software,More »

2009 May: Pork Projects

2009 May: Pork Projects

The assignment: How to Make Sausage for Pizza. What kind of sausage? That would be my first question. Italian? Well, the assignment did use the word “pizza,” so I am assuming it’s Italian sausage. But wait. There are as many versions of Italian sausage as there are regions in Italy. Not a problem (not thatMore »

2009 May: POS-itive Thinking

2009 May: POS-itive Thinking

Megan Nicholson and her partners run seven high-volume pizzerias in Wisconsin. On an average day at one of Nicholson’s Glass Nickel Pizza Company locations, approximately 800 to 1,000 orders will filter into the kitchen. One POS misstep and Nicholson knows the trouble that could follow: a kitchen in confusion and frustrated customers none-too-eager for aMore »

2009 May: Protecting Plastic

2009 May: Protecting Plastic

When Mario DiBiase opened Brooklyn, New York’s Aperitivo Cafe in April 2008, he set high priority to customer convenience and security. Such aims are what led DiBiase to become a testing site for VeriFone’s pay-at-the table wireless system, which allows DiBiase’s wait staff the ability to run a customer’s credit or debit card transaction directlyMore »

2009 May: Run for the Rosé

2009 May: Run for the Rosé

It’s almost automatic: think of a wine that goes well with pizza, and spicy reds come to mind – Barbera, red zinfandel and, of course, Chianti. But why not think pink? Not too long ago, pink wine in the United States was looked down on by oenophiles –– mostly because it’s the same color asMore »

2009 May: Success!

2009 May: Success!

The state of the U.S. economy is no laughing matter, but pizzeria operators are serious about remaining profitable in the face of the recession. That’s the message that came out of International Pizza Expo 2009 this spring. Nearly 5,700 operators attended the 25th Anniversary edition of the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center MarchMore »

2009 April: Ask Chef Jeff

2009 April: Ask Chef Jeff

Q: I know you can save a lot of money buying in bulk, like pallets of sauce. But then you’re tying up inventory dollars that can be used for operations. So, to what extent should you buy ahead? A: It all depends on your cash flow. Cash is king. When you have it and canMore »

2009 April: Marketing Matters

2009 April: Marketing Matters

Saturday morning, February 7th, 2009: I paused from an early morning jog. The earth was rotating into position and I had to be ready. Then, right on schedule at 6:47 a.m. Honolulu time as the sun peaked over Diamond head, I turned 50. The only glitch in this picture perfect day was that the restaurantMore »

2009 May: Commentary

2009 May: Commentary

We are now nearly midway through the second quarter of 2009. The pizza industry has felt the burden of the greater American economic picture, but the dismal landscape outside our piece of the foodservice sector hasn’t kept operators from moving forward. There is no doubt times are tough. If your comp sales are fl at,More »