How to Talk the Talk That Brings in Customers

Joel Cohen

Over the years, in my many speeches, I’ve talked about the importance of differentiation—the need to separate your restaurant from the pack and the importance of standing outby making an impact and becoming memorable in the minds of your customers. The fact is, customers only remember the last three to four restaurants they’ve visited. If you’re not one of those restaurants, then you’re forgotten. SoundMore »

The Service Command Center

Steel City Pizza Server station

Server stations keep the kitchen and dining room flowing When Aaron Baumhackl, chef and co-owner of Solstice Wood Fire Café, relocated the restaurant to Hood River, Oregon, in December 2013, he consulted an expert about where to put the server stations. “I needed more input from the floor manager,” says Baumhackl, who moved the eateryMore »

Now serving: Adding a bar

bartender making cocktail Tutta Bella

Incorporating the sell of alcohol into a pizzeria operation comes with obstacles, but the rewards may be too big to ignore its revenue potential. Darryl Meadows, co-owner of Manhattan Pie Company in Georgetown, Texas, sought to add a bar long before it become a reality in May 2012. But, Texas had rules against bars beingMore »

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 »

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 »

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


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 »