Interact — November 2014

BrianandWife

The September “Take-over issue” release party   (Above) Brian Weavel, owner of Anna’s Pizza and Pasta, in Winnebago, Illinois, threw a release party for September’s “Take-over Issue” of Pizza Today. He gave samples of dishes he made in our test kitchen. The party even caught the attention of local Rockford, Illinois TV news stations. (Left)More »

Light it up

boombozz exterior lights and signage

Easy ways to improve external security   Criminals are always looking for easy targets. They will take advantage of any opportunity that makes a business look weak or vulnerable. Burned out lights hide their lurking. Unlocked doors invite them inside. Young employees with deposit bags leaving late at night grab their attention. Because criminals areMore »

On the Floor

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Is there a magical formula for floor plans?   In Somerville, Massachusetts, a small pizzeria called “A4 Pizza” packs a punch in just 1,200 square feet. Customers who sit at the end of the bar have a front-row seat to the main attraction: a well-loved pizza oven. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you’ll find the Pizza Man,More »

Act like they own the place

EmployeeSignRetouch

Employee ownership can boost productivity   Operators want to reward their best workers, but there are only so many promotions an employee can earn. One way to keep key employees is to offer them ownership in the company. That can mean anything from shares of stock to franchise ownership. It’s a good way not onlyMore »

Let the adventure begin — sauceless pizzas

pizza frozinone

Creative pies defy the norm to become menu stars   Years ago, the late, great Pat Bruno, who spent decades as Pizza Today’s resident chef, predicted the rise of white pies — that is, pizzas without a sauce. Today, sauceless pizzas become mainstays on pizzeria menus. No sauce? But that goes against the holy trinityMore »

Places that Rock: The Backspace / My Father’s Pizza / Blind Lady Ale House

The Backspace Austin roasted mushroom.pepperoni.margherita pizza

The Backspace 507 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, TX 78701 (512) 474-9899 thebackspace-austin.com Residing in a restored 130-year-old building, the pizzeria’s interior is rustic with vintage hanging church lights over the bar, wagon wheel wall décor and stools made from old wine barrel staves. Add intimate seating for 30 and The Backspace is a hip, casualMore »

Respecting the Craft: Classic Chianti

Tony Gemignani headshot

For many years Chianti has been called the wine of Italy. Well known for its original straw bottle, Chianti goes very well with pizza and pasta due to its light character and good acidity content. Other wines, such as Barberesco, Lambrusco or Gragnano, are also amazing and considered to be pizza wines — but ChiantiMore »

Marketing Theme Nights

Marketing Theme Nights

Everyone loves your pizza, but sometimes people need another reason to visit on a weeknight. Some operators find that theme nights are a good way to attract customers on a slow night, create buzz about the restaurant, and most importantly, build relationships with people who become repeat customers. Chris Ransom, owner and manager of GrandMore »

Sizzle Pie, Portland, OR — White Hot

matthew jacobson, bob peyton, sizzle pie, owners

Solid menu and theming keeps Sizzle Pie from burning out One hears the phrase “this is a foodie town” often. Just search social media for photos of consumers’ culinary exploits and you’re likely to find a number of hits for the city of Portland, Oregon. “Eclectic,” “local” and “cool” are words you’ll see used inMore »

Tip Pooling: Can you legally mandate it in your pizzeria?

tipping, check

Lynn’s Paradise Café, a funky and popular eatery for 22 years in Louisville, Kentucky, suddenly closed down in January after employees publicly complained about a tip pooling arrangement. The owner was requiring servers to carry $100 cash at all times to “tip out” coworkers. Kentucky Jobs for Justice, an organization that advocated for the workers,More »