Brianne Chrisenberry and Mike DeNunzio will be heading to Las Vegas in March for their sixth Pizza Expo. The first year, as owner-operators of DeNunzio’s Brick Oven Pizza and Grille in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, they gave the trip to each other as a Valentine’s Day gift. Since then, they’ve learned to pick new areas of focus for each show to maximize the experience.
In 2015, they focused on what it takes to start up a second location, and last October they opened Fine Folk Pizza in Fort Myers, Florida. Business has been really great at both the seasonal DeNunzio’s on the boardwalk and the new Fine Folk in Florida, says Brianne. The couple are super-busy, but remain committed to attending Pizza Expo. “Each year we try to get better,” she says. “This year we plan to focus on operations and procedures in more than one location.”
That means attending workshops and seminars on growth and operations, as well as walking the Exhibit Hall to find products for both locations. With an emphasis on branding the new store, they’ll be searching for ways to customize their pizza boxes, cups and other items. They’ll be bringing their general manager with them.
“This year I think we’re going to stagger our arrivals,” says Brianne. “That way we can keep things going down here. If worse comes to worst, we’ll close for a couple of days because we think it’s so important to go.
“Pizza Expo gets us fired up again each winter to get back to the business. Each year we’ve found something that’s saved us thousands of dollars. Going to the Expo is worth every penny.”
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