2011 March: Hiring a Manager

July 21, 2014 |

Hiring a Manager

In 1993, Tony DiSilvestro and his wife, Cynthia, opened Ynot Pizza and Italian Cuisine in Virginia Beach. “We were 24 years old and doing it all,” DiSilvestro recalls, operating a store with little more than hope, previous experience and used equipment. Within the first year, DiSilvestro had a revelation. Neither he nor his wife could…Read More

2011 March: Weights and Measures

March 1, 2011 |

Weights and Measures

Weighing ingredients is crucial — are you doing it?   Very early in my career I was referred to as a “pizza boy.” After about a year of learning the ropes, you earned the title of “pizza man” –– or washed out. The difference was a couple of thousand hours of being the gopher, grunt,…Read More

2011 March: Tour the Island

March 1, 2011 |

Long Island, NY – Tour the Island

DENINO’S We rolled up to Denino’s Pizza Tavern –– an unassuming pizzeria in a working-class neighborhood on Staten Island –– at about two on a bright Wednesday afternoon. A few regulars peppered the granite countertop, and we took seats at a high table overlooking the street. This is a no-delivery, cash-only place with a long…Read More

2011 March: The Tax Man Cometh

March 1, 2011 |

The Tax Man Cometh

12 ways to maximize the tax season   It’s that time of year again. You know the drill. You hope to pay as little as possible while staying within the rules. Your CPA, accountant, enrolled agent, or tax preparer does the calculat­ing, gives you the results and you write out the checks. This year, don’t…Read More

2011 March: Swipe and Pay

March 1, 2011 |

Swipe and Pay

5 things you need to know about taking credit cards   Pull out your wallet or pocketbook. What’s in there? Probably your driver’s license, some receipts, a few photos … and lots of plastic. But is there cash? For many Americans, the answer is no. Business owners know that cash is no longer king for…Read More

2011 March: Stand and Deliver

March 1, 2011 |

Stand and Deliver

Shoes can make a difference for employee comfort, accident prevention   Once a year, Los Angeles-based Rosti Tuscan Kitchen buys new shoes for kitchen employees at its two locations. As owner Kevin Goldfein sees it, it’s an investment in his staff that pays off. Good shoes with non-slip soles prevent accidents, particularly falls, which can…Read More

2011 March: Spicy Alternative

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Spicy Alternative

What exactly is soppressata? In a nutshell, it’s a form of dry- cured salami. A specialty of southern Italy, it is traditionally made using pork (beef is used on occasion). The basic seasonings include cracked red pepper and garlic. Depending on who is making it, some versions are hotter than others (in other words, more…Read More

2011 March: Private Practice

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Privacy – Private Practice

In a business setting, the importance of maintaining privacy extends beyond the scope of one’s personal privacy to that of each employee. Con­fidentiality should be at the top of every pizzeria owner’s maintenance checklist. How safe is your staff’s personal infor­mation? Regulations vary by state, but all employees have a general right to privacy. Consult…Read More

2011 March: Passing the Torch

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Succession Plan – Passing the Torch

What do you want to be doing 10 years from now? If you’re the owner of a family-owned pizzeria, and your dream is to kick back on a sunny beach with an umbrella drink in your hand while a suc­ceeding generation continues the business, then it’s not too early to start planning. Ample time, along…Read More

2011 March: My Turn 

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: My Turn 

In 1970, Pogo, a famous and beloved cartoon character, uttered the phrase, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” While the reference was made with regards to man’s negative impact on the environment, those words certainly apply to today’s pizza industry as well. In my conversations with pizzeria operators around the country, I…Read More

2011 March: My Bad

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: My Bad

We all make mistakes (ever forgot a birthday or anniversary?). Usually we can make amends in some fashion (roses? dinner out?) and life goes on. In the business we are in, mistakes can cause a deeper problem –– like a customer not coming back –– so we strive to get it right the first time…Read More

2011 March: Mascot Marketing

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Mascot Marketing

A mascot can help you boost sales, but you have to create the right mascot and use it effectively. Whether it’s a costume that an employee wears or a cartoon character on your logo, the mascot can help you differentiate your­self from competitors. “A mascot adds personality to the brand and helps you to connect…Read More

2011 March: Marketing Matters

March 1, 2011 |

Marketing Matters: Branding, not just a pretty word

What does the word “brand” mean to you? Unless you are the marketing director of a large organization, it may carry little importance, as people will likely not make the mental connection when they hear your name. Your marketing dollars are in short supply and the economy is uncertain at best, so why should an…Read More

2011 March: Keep it Neat

March 1, 2011 |

Restaurant Kitchen: Keep it Neat

A neat, clean and organized kitchen is always a happy kitchen. Life in our pizzerias can be hectic. When compared to other restaurants, I think we put out a larger menu with a much smaller space, for the most part. It creates a lot of work and a lot of prep –– all in tight…Read More

2011 March: Fruits of the Sea

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Seafood Pasta – Fruits of the Sea

Frank McCarron, general manager/ chef at Portino’s Fresh Italian in Valley Center, California, wanted to freshen up his menu. So he decided not to introduce a new type of pizza, but instead opted to incorporate seafood pasta specials. “Seafood pasta spices up the menu and offers variety for customers,” says McCarron. At Portino’s, seafood pasta…Read More

2011 March: Dough Doctor

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Dough Doctor

From time to time, I get questions from operators wanting to know what the secret is to making a decent thin-crust or thick-crust pizza. To answer this question, I’d like to share some tips for making both thin- and thick-crust pizzas. Thick-crust pizzas always seem to be a bit problematic for those who haven’t made…Read More

2011 March: Catering to Kids

March 1, 2011 |

2011 March: Catering to Kids

When Ray Perkins, owner of Chubby Ray’s Louisville Pizza Company in Louis­ville, Kentucky, was approached by a group of Girl Scout Brownies to do a pizza workshop for one of their badges, Perkins agreed, even though he’d never really worked with kids before. In fact, his establishment is known more for game day excitement, poker…Read More

March 1, 2011 |

Business Solutions: Sweat the small stuff

If you’re about to open the doors of a new pizzeria, you’ve no doubt given lots of thought to your oven and POS selection, but have you taken the time yet to thoroughly examine the massive amount of smallwares you’ll need to run your new location? Whether it’s your first restaurant or your 10th, sometimes…Read More

2011 March: All Choked Up

March 1, 2011 |

Artichokes: All Choked Up

Sure, pepperoni, onions and mushrooms will always be beloved pizza toppings. But as patrons’ palates evolve, so does their desire for trendy toppings. Filling this of-the-moment-ingredient spot is the artichoke. The artichoke is a member of the thistle or sunflower family. While it is a formidable plant to tackle, the edible “heart” provides a nutty,…Read More