2009 October: Il Pizzaiolo: Westshore Pizza

Robert “Bob” Vasaturo

If you had to classify Tampa using one phrase, the term “melting pot” would certainly be accurate. That’s because the warm climate, sand and surf are a Mecca for retirees and Spring Breakers alike. That’s what brought Philadelphia native Robert “Bob” Vasaturo and his Philly-themed pizzeria to the area 15 years ago, and it wasMore »

2009 November: Dough Doctor

2009 November: Dough Doctor

Oil is a truly multi-functional ingredient in pizza dough production. It can affect everything from the crispiness to flavor of the crust, as well as the way the dough handles during shaping. The type of oil used can influence the flavor of the finished crust, providing anything from a neutral flavor to characterizing flavor. ForMore »

2009 November: Crunching Numbers

2009 November: Crunching Numbers

If you run a full service restaurant, it’s difficult to figure out how many tables to assign to each server. You want customers to be served promptly and accurately so they return. You also want servers to earn enough tips to keep them happy. Robert Smith, director of operations for Pizza Antica in California, saysMore »

2009 October: Quick & Easy

bar seating, seating, place setting, dining

In June, Pizza Hut announced it would spend $5 million to renovate its locations in Jacksonville, Florida. The investment would pay for a “transformation to a more contemporary look and improved customer experience” in the seven dine-in and 23 delivery and carryout restaurants in the area. If you want to update your restaurant’s look andMore »

2009 November: Fired Up

wood fired oven

Cooking with wood has been around since the dawn of civilization, so there’s no singular revelation attached to that method of cooking. On the other hand, cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven has been going on only since the turn of the century in this country. In recent years, however, the fire has been bankedMore »

2009 November: Prep School

prep chicken

Adam Goldberg, owner of Fresh Brothers in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, was slammed — on a Monday. The restaurant’s volume was up way more than normal. The lunch rush had extended to 3:30 p.m., leaving staff only one hour to prep before dinner service. Remarkably, staff never fell behind. Goldberg doesn’t attribute itMore »

Dough storage can make or break your operation

2009 October: Dough Doctor

Dough storage –– this is one of those topics that I continually get questions about, so it’s probably time that we go back and revisit the basics. The way in which we store our dough has changed over the years. Back in the 1950s it was common to allow the mixed dough to remain inMore »

2009 October: Cool & Creamy

ice cream, brownie, sundae, dessert

As temperatures rise this summer, diners look for ways to cool down. Ice cream presents a practical solution. Sure, you can sell it by the scoop, but why not pair ice cream with cookies or brownies? Ice cream lends itself to many easy-to-prepare desserts. It’s a tasty — and profitable — menu addition. “Ice creamMore »

2009 September: Toss Up

2009 September: Toss Up

When I was 18, I tossed my very first pizza. It was my brother, Frank, who taught me the basics. Then I practiced every day. I noticed that customers were amazed when they came into our pizzeria — and back then I really didn’t do much … just a simple toss and catch. It hasMore »

2009 September: Italian Classics

Classic Margherita Pizza

If we do a time machine scenario and zip back to May of 1889, we find Queen Margherita and her husband, King Umberto I, being served pizza at the palazzo in Naples where they were staying. The king and queen had heard about the famous pizzas of Naples, so naturally they wanted to try them.More »