Front Of The House

May 1, 2015

In the Customer’s Shoes

Handle difficult customers with care   Getting people in the door is half the battle for a restaurant. Then it is up to you and your team to guarantee a great dining experience. Despite your best efforts, there will be disgruntled customers. Sometimes there’s a valid reason –– slow service, for example — but some people… Read More

April 27, 2015

Sound Check: Live Entertainment

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 into… Read More

kid-friendly restaurant, pizzeria

April 1, 2015

Fans for Life — Kid-friendly restaurants build generational clientele

Mia Figlia (pronounced, “Mee-ah Fee-lee-ah”) is Italian for “My Daughter.” When John Boudouvas gave his Chicago restaurant that name in July 2010, it was to reflect “the two loves of his life” –– his daughters, Ellena and Angelina. And the restaurant name says it all. Boudouvas works hard to strike a balance between offering fine… Read More

Scott Wiener

April 1, 2015

Man on the Street: Upselling

The fine line between helpful and harmful   My first job in the food business was at Chili’s in Clark, New Jersey. As a busboy, I was pretty much working for the waiters. The more of their tasks I covered, the more they tipped me at the end of the night. This meant that I… Read More

dirty dishes, plates

March 16, 2015

Dining Room Red Flags

Stamp out these five potential problems to make a better first impression Customers walk in hungry and toddle out satisfied — hopefully to return again and again. This cycle is the core of a successful pizza business. But what happens when the customer walks in, looks around and leaves — hungry? Rarely do such customers… Read More

pi pizzeria dining room st louis

March 1, 2015

On the Line

How to manage the logistics of customer wait times   Olive oil and fresh basil, spinning dough and sparkling drinks: the sights and smells of a pizzeria delight customers — and frustrate them. Waiting to be seated, waiting for the order and waiting for the check are all regular elements of service and can either… Read More

bar space with decor

March 1, 2015

Coexistence: Dining Room and Bar Space

Can you serve both the over-21 crowd and families?   You would think that an Irish tavern in New England, which opened its doors after Prohibition was repealed in the 1930s, would place a high priority on alcohol sales. You would think wrong. In fact, the tables have flipped, as it were, at Colony Grill… Read More

expeditor manages order flow to customers

March 1, 2015

Make It Snappy

Expediting orders takes consideration, planning   We live in an accelerated world where patience is frequently in short supply — a reality placing increasing pressure on pizzeria operators and their staffs when it comes to speeding up thru-put. After all, who wants to see tables full of guests restlessly waiting for their orders to arrive?… Read More

February 23, 2015

Food Sampling Builds Sales and Relationship with Customers

Giving your product away for free to build sales may seem like a business oxymoron. But as the old saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. And although there is no such thing as a free lunch, food sampling is the next best thing for operators and for customers. For operators, it… Read More

pizzeria, interior, dining area

February 17, 2015

‘Move over, darling’

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 know… Read More

Restaurant Customer Service is Critical for Success

When a customer first walks through you door, they make a quick assessment of their surroundings, including your floor plan and restaurant design. After that, it’s up to your employees to get them to come back. Many customers admit poor service will keep them from returning to a restaurant despite enjoying its food. Staff training and management are critical for success. Front-of-the-house employees should look –– and act –– the important part of host in a dining room, and proper training is the key to making that happen.

Explore ways to make your front of house operation more effective and profitable.


Restaurant Design and Floor Plans Set the Tone of Your Business

How well does your restaurant design fit with your concept? Not only does décor play a part in creating your brand but also the type of service you offer. Dine-in, counter service, delivery and carryout can all play a part in creating customers’ opinions of a restaurant’s business. If a restaurateur is ready for a rebranding, renovation and remodeling floor plans may create fresh eye appeal and breathe new life into an ailing concept.

Discover restaurant design trends and advice in the Front of the House at Pizza Today.