2010 December: Five Questions
Q. When formulating your new concept, how did you want it to differ from your smaller location, Italian Gator?
A. The smaller location is a walk-up, window service pizzeria specializing in slices and with only 122 square feet of space. It is the feel and flavor of authentic New York City. Piesanos Stoned Fired Pizza was built to be a full service restaurant seating 125 people — with a blend of Italian entreés and pizza cooked in our unique, granite, stone-fi red pizza oven.
Q. Your menu is an eclectic blend of pizzas, fresh-baked breads, seafood, burgers, calzones and plated entreés. How are you controlling your food costs with such a large offering?
A. When creating the menu, we decided that a lot of the ingredients would be interchangeable in most of our dishes, ensuring everything stays fresh. With 20 years of experience and a well-trained staff, we have minimal waste.
Q. You bake your own breads in stone rotary ovens. How well do items like the garlic cheese knots and garlic breadsticks sell?
A. Even with complementary stone baked rolls, our garlic cheese knots are a big dine-in seller. The garlic bread sticks are very popular in our express take-out portion of the restaurant.
Q. You have a series of lunch specials at prix fixe prices. How do these boost your lunch sales?
A. We believe you need to give people excellent food for a fair price with quick, friendly service. Our lunch specials are very popular with customers, starting at only $6.99. When creating the menu, we had to have a system to put out lunch in a timely manner. Our fresh soups, salads, slices and personal pizzas make it very easy to put out high volume and control costs.
Q. As a new business, dining Web sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon. Do you keep up with these reviews and use them to make your business better?
A. These Web sites allow us to gain valuable insight into our customer’s perception of our business, allowing us to correct issues that we otherwise would miss. This allows us to focus on all aspects of the restaurant — including service, food quality and marketing.