Five-time World Pizza Games champion Brittany Saxton. A 13-year veteran of the pizzeria industry, she recently acquired ownership of Six Hundred Downtown in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where she was previously the assistant general manager.
Brittany lets us in on making the transition from employee to owner
Six Hundred Downtown is a concept that holds the true art of pizza as a priority. We have a classic Italian base with our old-world style, brick-oven pizzas. Our menu ranges from normal pizza favorites to out-of-the-box gourmet offerings. The atmosphere offers a cozy, casual, family-oriented establishment. Our guests have a large menu from pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches. We also have offerings from our full bar, which features a selection of local craft beers and usual patron favorites.
When transitioning from management to owner, the biggest lesson I learned was proper balance. I started off thinking it would not be much different than normal — I would go in to run daily operations and do administrative in the afternoon. Easy, right? I learned rather quickly that I could not be dedicated fully to both and readjusted the flow of our shifts to add the balance I needed.
In my honest opinion, having so much time in the company was hindering during my transition. I was always a working manager. I would run shifts while balancing my manager functions and do just fine. A lot of the things I used to be able to do had to be delegated down the line, and it made for a little tension at the start. Change is difficult in the work force. One day I was their assistant general manager, and the next I was the owner. It was almost like a culture shock, and we are still working on smoothing out the final bits of changes.
On performance — My one piece of advice in this area would be to have a firm stance on company policy and procedure, but have an understanding that you are dealing with people. It’s all about respect at the end of the day.