Sign Language

Pitfire Pizza, exteior, sign

Signage plays an important — but often overlooked — part in restaurant success   A restaurant’s sign spells out more to customers than just its name. It says who you are and what customers can expect when they walk in the door. Casual or fancy, kid friendly or not, pizza or more, a sign isMore »

‘Move over, darling’

pizzeria, interior, dining area

Dining room expansion gives you plenty of options Eight years ago, when competing pizza chains choked his business, Jim Jacobs renovated his dining room, adding a lunch buffet at Pisanello’s Pizza in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The result was magic. Customers on lunch breaks crammed the place. Ironically, that triggered a new challenge: “People I knowMore »

Give Your Interior A Spruce

Photo by Josh Keown

When Sara Griffith, husband Joe and partners Shawn and Barb Griffith bought a Sam & Louie’s franchise location in Omaha, Nebraska, in August 2012, Sara was looking to update the pizzeria’s interior. She found inspiration from Pinterest, a visual-based social networking site, to use chalkboard paint to cover the entire wall behind the order counter.More »

Dinnerware: Permanent Solution

Pie dinnerware

Serving up the right dinnerware impacts restaurant image In the restaurant world, there are no easy decisions, because every choice from the menu to the lighting impacts the restaurant’s image, the guest experience and the ultimate success or failure of the establishment. So, it makes sense that choosing between disposable and permanent dinnerware is aMore »

Sound Check: Live Entertainment

music guitar on stage

Sleeping at the base of the snow-capped Wallowa Mountains on the Historic Oregon Trail is Baker City, a picturesque town of 10,000 people. But on Friday nights in summer, this hamlet wakes up to music on the outdoor patio at Paizano’s Pizza. Two-and-a-half years ago, owner Kina Allen invested $30,000 of her business profits intoMore »

Pushing Appetizers

2011 February: Pushing Appetizers

When San Ramon, California-based Straw Hat Pizza wanted to increase appetizer sales, they turned on the TVs. The 61-unit company partnered with Coca-Cola and created a three-minute video showcasing the chain’s Snack-A-Tizers and Coca-Cola products. Store owners bought television sets that they placed on the order counters, and customers watched the Snack-A-Tizer loop –– which,More »

Waiting for a Profit

Photos by Rick Daugherty & Josh Keown

On weekdays, the lunch crowd from the local police academy and nearby industrial park pack out Lido’s in Meriden, Connecticut. And on Friday and Saturday nights, it’s all about serving it up to the kids — soccer teams and Brownie troops alike. Although the folks at Lido’s pride themselves in turning the tables quickly, sometimesMore »

What A Pane

Photos by Rick Daugherty

The types of window treatments for Pierro’s Italian Bistro and A’mis Italian Restaurant are as far apart as the geography between them. At Pierro’s, a former five-and-dime-store-turned-hip-hangout in the historic district of Fayetteville, North Carolina, fabric draperies showcase tall windows. Owners Mike Laurenceau and Daniel Fair wanted a classic look to blend with a sophisticated,More »

Efficient Climate Control Saves Money and Energy

SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY WITH EFFICIENT CLIMATE CONTROL

Kim Fiorcello flips on the A/C as early as mid-April at Antonio’s Pizza in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. That’s because even on a mild spring day when temperatures hover at 70 and summer’s dripping humidity is yet to come, the dining area can become rather stuffy. And the kitchen can be downright hot, too. It’s a challengeMore »

Building a Better Brand

menu sign

Operators know that reinvention is critical in the restaurant industry because there’s always a new trend to chase or create. Colors and décor go out of style before the paint dries. Customer service can up its game with a new gadget or technology tweak. And food allergies and the “hot” new dish can dictate aMore »