Success Stories

Fratelli Village Pizzeria

Along with their father, Gaetano, brothers Matteo and Salvatore Pocchi (Poe-key) own a successful upscale wood-fired pizzeria and Italian restaurant in Scarborough, ON. In addition to insisting on superior quality ingredients, they leverage the freshest seasonal produce and seafood to create an ever-changing mix of flavorful daily specialties. In turn, how the brothers “merchandise” their offerings helps reinforce their restaurant’s “fresh focus” in customer minds!

To many restaurants, menus are an afterthought, a catalog of items the kitchen is prepared to make. However, to the Pocchi family, the menu represents a prime opportunity to influence how guests perceive their restaurant.

Less is more. By wisely limiting their printed menu to a short list of their most popular offerings, plus a few distinctive upscale specialties not available elsewhere, the brothers encourage guests to see the restaurant as specializing in exceptional, upscale fare.

Furthermore, steering guests toward exceptionally good dishes helps increase the odds that guests won’t just like their meal, they will LOVE it!

In terms of layout, the brothers designed their printed menu to look especially clean and uncluttered, which helps reinforce its upscale feel. Additionally, they set their prices to end in $0.50 or $0.95, which takes advantage of psychological “price points,” reflecting how consumers subconsciously round-up prices when choosing between menu options.

The medium is the message. When trying to emphasize something unique about your offerings, how you choose to merchandise them can greatly influence how guests perceive them.

So, for example, because Matteo and Salvatore want guests to think of their ristorante as specializing in fresh, seasonally intense flavors, they decided to display their ever-changing daily menu on a large, freshly-written chalkboard in the dining room.

Why a chalkboard? Because as long as it is rewritten daily, the subtle message to guests is “our fresh, seasonal ingredient mix is changing so frequently that we need to use chalk to keep current.” (In other words, foods and beverages listed here will be exceptionally flavorful and well worth a premium price.)

Furthermore, posting the daily menu (vs. just having servers recite it) is a continuing visual reminder that the restaurant takes its “freshly chosen ingredients” mission seriously.

Editor’s note: Chalkboards reinforce a “uniquely fresh” message only as long as they are used that way. If guests perceive that “daily specials” were chalk-written days or weeks earlier, they naturally conclude that listed items are the opposite of fresh, seasonal, or otherwise worth a premium price.

Making consistently superior food, limiting their offerings to exceptional choices, and merchandising fresh daily menus in a way which reinforces that focus in customer minds has helped the Pocchi family stand out from the crowd. BRAVO!