Dress Code: Spell It Out

Photo by Josh Keown

There is something noticeable about the staff’s look at Cocco’s Pizza in Primos, Pennsylvania, — expression of individuality and brand awareness. Employees sport graphic T-shirts with the pizzeria’s name and logo. Owner Michael Cocco says his dress code reflects his crew’s personalities. Everyone is wearing something just a little different from one another. They canMore »

Employee Termination: Hit The Door

Photo by Josh Keown

Last year, the week before Christmas, Carmelo Lamotta needed to fire a server. He did not want to wait until after the holidays because then other workers would suffer. “If you keep someone an extra week because of the holidays, business drops because customers do not come in because of the poor customer service,” saysMore »

Going Pro

2013 March: Going Pro

Is a professional chef needed in a pizzeria’s kitchen? The performance kitchen at Cane Rosso takes center stage. Built around a wood-fired oven, the workspace is home to leading man Dino Santonicola, the Naples-born master pizzaiolo hired by owner Jay Jerrier to put his restaurant on the map. And he’s not alone –– more attentionMore »

Il Pizzaiolo / Home Slice Pizza, Austin, TX

Photo by Josh Keown

The story has been repeated time and again in cities all across America: an aspiring man or woman moves to a new locale after years in New York and is disappointed by the pizza offerings of the adopted city. This time, the city in question is Austin, Texas, and the heroine of this twice-told taleMore »

Clean Sweep

Photo by Josh Keown

Customers are restaurants’ biggest allies and their harshest critics. They are not shy about expressing their joy, concern or displeasure with an eating establishment. The wilting plant in the corner, the dust on the ceiling fan or the empty paper towel bins in the bathroom are details easily overlooked by operators and staff. But customersMore »

Mobile Marketing: Legal Mobility

2013 March: Legal Mobility

Eager to cultivate deeper relationships with customers, the Thiels added mobile marketing to their advertising arsenal in 2010. Today, The Capri has built a growing database of customers’ mobile numbers, all of whom stand willing to receive information on special offers, Happy Hour deals and other Capri store happenings. “Text messaging’s been a nice additionMore »

Moneymaking Menu Must

Photo by Rick Daugherty

According to the National Restaurant Association, the most profitable menu items are soft drinks, followed closely by alcoholic drinks and then pastas and pizza. The largest pizzeria chains in the world do not sell alcohol, and until just a few years ago they did not even sell pastas. Yet, they still make a lot ofMore »

Menu Engineering

Photo by Josh Keown

So much of what happens in a restaurant is creative. All cooks like to think of themselves as artistes. It is, after all, called the culinary arts. But when it comes to the menu, that’s where science kicks in. In fact, too much creativity on a menu can have negative consequences. That isn’t to sayMore »

Perfect Pasta Prep

Rigatoni al Filo di Fumo

Many of you have contemplated adding pasta to your menu but may still be reluctant. Well it’s time to cast your worries aside. I’ve written about pasta in the past and have even lead demos at International Pizza Expo. My goal now is to bring you through the most important part of making it happenMore »