December 14, 2011
Feel like you can’t turn your back or your staff will walk out with product or cash? Employee theft is one of the restaurant industry’s many hard realities. That doesn’t mean you have to be a victim, however. There are plenty of steps you can take to minimize loss at the hands of unscrupulous workers.
According to the National Restaurant Association, up to 30 percent of all restaurant failures can be attributed to employee theft. That’s scary.
Pizza industry consultant and Pizza Today contributor Big Dave Ostrander knows firsthand the effects employee theft can have on an operation’s bottom line. That’s why we asked him to write an article detailing some of the most common thieving methods and steps pizzeria owners can take to counteract them.
To read Big Dave’s article, click here.
While most pizzerias will do a substantial percentage of their sales between the hours of 5-8 p.m., the lunch rush can be quite a busy time as well. If you’re located near an office park, on a street with lots of foot traffic or if you’ve marketed a lunch special, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. can be another sweet spot in your day.
Handling the lunch rush with ease takes solid preparation in advance. Your customers don’t have time to linger at lunch, so you need to service them well while still getting them out the door quickly.
For a list of lunch rush “do’s and don’ts” from Pat Bruno, click here.
An e-mail campaign can be a solid and inexpensive tool in your marketing arsenal. If you are a “do it yourself” kind of person and prefer not to hire an e-mail marketing firm, it all starts with building a list. Offer your customers something in exchange for their e-mail address: a free menu item or drink might do the trick. However, to avoid getting labeled as a spammer, make sure your customers are aware that by providing the address they are giving you permission to e-mail them special offers and marketing messages.
From there, it’s about tailoring the right message and following through on your offers. Some things to keep in mind include:
• Making sure your subject line reflects the content of your e-mail.
• Mixing up your e-mail with images and text.
• Avoid using rented lists.
For more advice on executing an e-mail campaign, click here.
Looking to avoid the revolving door of employees that plagues so many pizzerias? Hoping to get turnover below 100 percent? Tired of constantly training new employees only to have to do it again a few weeks later?
Good employee retention methods can save you countless training hours, thousands of dollars and scores of headaches. Getting it right begins during the interview process, where good operators don’t simply hire any warm body and instead focus on building a relationship.
Darryl Reginelli, founder of New Orleans-based Reginelli’s Pizzeria, says that “Understanding your applicant’s values is important when deciding who has the potential to be a long-term match.”
He also advises operators to “use a systematic approach to measure where your candidate stands in relation to your company values.”
To find out how to do this, and read more of what Reginelli has to say about employee retention, click here.
Quick Sales Punch
Limited Time Offers (LTOs) can be a pizzeria’s secret weapon … provided the operation doesn’t turn to them too often. A well-executed LTO will excite customers and pack a quick sales punch. If business is lagging, an LTO might be the best method to turn things around.
Remember, however, LTOs are not long-term business drivers. Instead, they are meant to provide short bursts of sales. Many operations make the mistake of constantly hammering customers with a steady stream of limited time offers. This actually works to desensitize the customer over time to your messages, so don’t fall into that trap.
Click here for advice on making an LTO work for you.
Winter brings with it heartier appetites and a return to comfort food. Sure, pizza nearly always fits the bill. But when it doesn’t, what’s better than a classic Italian pasta dish that features sausage and a rich cream sauce?
In this Quick Tip’s featured recipe, the Pizza Today editors chose a dish that incorporates the familiar flavors of basil and mushrooms, but uses them in a unique way.
Sausage-Stuffed Ravioli with Basil Cream Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 basil leaves, chiffonade
To see the rest of this delicious recipe, click here.