Michael DeNunzio and Brie Chrisenberry co-own Fine Folk Pizza in Fort Myers, Florida. The pizzeria has a popular customer experience program where its certified dough acrobats toss pizza dough to entertain diners.
PT: Tell us more about Fine Folk’s tableside interactive dough tossing?
Michael DeNunzio: The whole idea happened by accident in our sister location in Sea Isle City; New Jersey called DeNunzio’s Brick Oven Pizza and Grille. We were backed up in the kitchen and needed to buy some time. Families were hungry; kids were crying, so we started doing pizza tricks in the dining room. All of a sudden the crowd was cheering and morale was high. The next day a bunch of new people came in requesting the “dough show.” We knew we were on to something. Now in both of our restaurants, no family meal is complete without a dough-tossing lesson.
The process has evolved over the years, but it’s pretty simple. We bring out pizza dough to tables with kids (and kids at heart) and have them help us stretch it and toss it around. During that period we do some acrobatic tricks to wow the crowd, and the dough usually ends up on someone’s head. It sounds crazy, but it’s an enjoyable experience for all the guests and our team. Parents snap photos and record videos of the experience which in turn ends up on social media to drive traffic back to the restaurants.
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