2009 December: Hurry Up & Wait

waiting area, seating

It’s a busy Friday night, people are lining up at the hostess stand, and someone asks you the question, “How long do we have to wait for a table?” You want to tell them 20 minutes and hope you’re right. If you underestimate and they end up waiting longer, they might walk out the door,More »

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 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 November: Launched

Tony Gemignani, Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Tony Gemignani has already made quite a name for himself in the pizza industry. His dough-tossing prowess is well publicized, and his list of awards and honors seems to grow by the day. From cookbooks to children’s books, from leading the World Pizza Champions to teaching the art of pizza at his newly minted pizzaMore »

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 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: Done with Style

2009 November: Done with Style

From parsley and Parmesan to lemon slices and dustings of powdered sugar, plating food is an art form that delights guests. I want to teach you some plating techniques to let your passion for food shine through. I’m sure you’ve heard it a hundred times: people eat with their eyes! It’s important to understand exactlyMore »

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: Pasta Primer

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti with Meatballs This recipe is very close to how my mother did her meatballs, but there are as many recipes for meatballs as there are Italians. This recipe makes 18 meatballs, each about 2 inches in diameter. Makes 6 servings (scale up in direct proportion) 1⁄2 pound ground pork 1 pound lean ground beefMore »