Business Builders

Boosting Sales

All-Weather Shelters

Where outdoor dining has been permitted, resourceful restaurateurs have beat inclement weather by creating attractive dining shelters featuring heat, greenery, and often twinkly lights!

Beyond traditional catering tents, special structures include mini-greenhouses and even storage “PODS” remodeled into “dining villas!”

Pizzaiolo Woodfired Pizza Oakland, CA


Spotlighting Special Sanitation

To help protect his guests from COVID-19, Dave Kuban had special virus resistant coatings applied to his tables and chairs.

To help reinforce guest confidence, Dave then tastefully displayed photos and an explanation of the process in his restaurant. That’s just one more step in reminding his faithful regulars how much he values their well-being!

Dave Kuban, Owner Planet Pizza Nor walk, CT



Doggie Cookies!

To boost sales, some restaurants have expanded takeout menus with unique offerings. At Pesto’s Wine Bar, that includes selling “freshly baked Doggie Cookies made with yummy, all-natural ingredients.” Adding pet snacks to their order is popular among homebound dog owners spending far more time with their furry companions!

Pesto’ s Wine Bar Chandler, AZ


Donation Scoreboard

For months, restaurateurs Michael and Vicki Nelson have encouraged their generous customers to donate pizza in support of community hospital workers. To keep the ongoing drive top of mind, they post a “Donated Slices” scoreboard on Instagram.

These visual reminders keep donors engaged and giving. And Michael and Vicki have earned community praise for spearheading the campaign!

Michael and Vicki Nelson, Owners Little Pop’s New York Pizza Naperville, IL


Truly Touchless Takeout

Located in Estes Park, CO, Antonio’s Real New York Pizza has satisfied locals and seasonal visitors for two decades. Pre-COVID, more than half the restaurant’s revenue came from its 200 seat dining room.

But when the first COVID cases appeared in the US, owner Anthony DeSousa decided to voluntarily close his dining room and begin operating on a 100% touchless takeout basis. His wife, Tracey, a critical care nurse, had explained that respiratory viruses like COVID-19 spread fastest wherever large groups “share air.” Since they couldn’t isolate their kitchen crew from their often-crowded dining room, the DeSousas chose instead to seal off the entire restaurant to non-employees.

Here’s how Anthony’s “touchless takeout” system minimizes staff/guest/staff exposure.

1) All customers order and prepay via the restaurant’s website, which was already equipped to process customer transactions. At the end of the purchase, guests provide their cell number, which will direct their order pickup.

2) As soon as Anthony’s POS accepts their order and payment, customers get a confirmation email with their receipt and estimated pickup time. The email also reminds them to watch their smartphone for pickup instructions via text message.

3) Outside the restaurant, guests wait comfortably in their vehicles. When their order is ready, they are texted to approach one of three curbside tables labeled A, B, and C.

4) Just before texting, employees double check each completed order for accuracy and completeness.

5) A masked employee then exits the restaurant with their order. After placing it on the table, the staffer politely confirms the guest’s name and order contents, thanks them for their business, and returns inside. The guest then carries the order to their car.


  • Beyond minimizing face to face contact, portions of Anthony’s approach can also help restaurants streamline their takeout operations long after COVID-19 fades.
  • Requiring online prepayment for takeout makes pickups faster and easier for customers. The moment their food is ready, prepaid customers can grab and go without further delay. Eliminating cashiering from the end of the process also frees up employees, especially during peak demand.
  • Alerting takeout guests via text (vs. voice) when their order is ready reduces customers having to crowd forward to hear their names. Guests no longer have to concentrate on hearing EVERY SINGLE NAME CALLED to not miss theirs. It also reduces order mixups from misheard names.
  • Double-checking each order before summoning customers and reconfirming their name and order contents before releasing their order further prevents customer disappointment. Insisting on both steps also greatly reinforces an employee culture of excellence.

Anthony DeSousa, Owner Anthony’ s Real New York Pizza Estes Park, CO