Business Builders

Courting Newcomers

Remaining Attractive

“Guests eat first with their eyes” isn’t just about attractive plate presentation. Restaurant appearance also subconsciously reinforces (or detracts from) how customers perceive the quality of your food. That is why brothers Phil and Ted Minissale regularly upgrade their place’s looks, from repainting walls to retopping their wine bar with granite to replacing aroma absorbing carpet with sparkling tile. Steadily upgrading appearances over time helps the Minissales keep their restaurant feeling attractive and vibrant to potential new regulars along the way!

Phil Minissale and Ted Minissale, Owners Minissale’s Wine Bar Troy, NY


Keeping “Bosses” Happy

In Jerry DeMarco’s white tablecloth ristorante, loyal regulars request favorite servers by name. Jerry credits server popularity (and customer longevity) with helping his team internalize the concept of the customer being the boss. He tells new hires, “Don’t worry about me, make your customers happy. I can’t fire you, but they can. They are your boss. They are the owners. I just do what they say.” Because other staff members already model this behavior, new employees quickly learn to do the same!

Jerry DeMarco, Owner Ristorante DeMarco Itasca, IL


Sharing Passion

Guests feel closer to a favorite restaurant when, in addition to loving the food, they also get to know the owners and what fuels their passion for excellence.

That is why, instead of just verbally telling their story to individual guests, David and Barbara Roth use their menu to introduce every guest to their family and their dedication to quality. Recognizing that anyone can claim “we use only the best ingredients,” the Roths boost their credibility by specifically naming some of the premium ingredient brands which add to their success!

David and Barbara Roth, Owners R Pizza Place Columbiana, OH


Leveraging Floor Mats

Cutting Kitchen Fatigue

Recently, Fred overheard some of his prep cooks complaining how tired their feet got standing on hard kitchen floors all day. Seeing an opportunity, rather than a problem, he researched ways to cut kitchen fatigue and eventually invested $150 in thick rubber mats for his prep area floors.

The non skid floor mats provide cushioning for his standing workers, resist grease, and have to be washed only once a week. Not only are his prep cooks happier, but Fred says that the mats also greatly reduce the risk of kitchen slips!

Hard Hat “Welcome”

With several active construction sites nearby, Fred Filleti wanted to attract lunchtime business from construction workers. Sure, occasional construction dust accompanied their visits. But sales were also up. So Fred decided to tackle the dust before it entered the shop, by adding new doormats outside the front door.

In noticing how carefully some construction workers wiped their feet before entering, Fred suddenly had an epiphany. Some workers probably feel self conscious about possibly tracking dirt into the restaurant. So providing dusty customers a mat to wipe their feet is as much a courtesy to make them feel comfortable and welcomed as it is a way to help keep the restaurant clean!

Fred Filleti, Owner Filleti’s Pizza Dundalk, MD