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Key Idea: The Right Stuff

January 2020

Testing for the “It Factor”

Finding good employees isn’t easy. That is why pizzeria owner Derrick Tung “hires for attitude and trains for skill.” He begins by looking for people who seem curious and sharp.

KEY IDEA -To test whether candidates have the right stuff, they are invited to participate in a two stage “tryout” process. First, candidates spend two hours in the store learning how to stretch dough. The two-hour session lets the employee training them observe whether they are eager learners and get a gut feel for how well they might fit in with the existing team. If so, candidates are then invited to shadow team members on a busy night. If they naturally try to pitch in without being asked, they have the right stuff. Otherwise, they probably aren’t a good fit with Derrick’s team!

Derrick Tung, Owner
Paulie Gee’s Logan Square
Chicago, IL

Connecting with Customers

Restaurateur Giovanni Pellegrino spends most of his time in the dining room as the public face of his restaurant. Here are a few ways he works to make customers feel especially valued.

KEY IDEA – Rather than treating his family photos as passive wall décor, Giovanni frequently points them out to guests as a way to introduce himself, his family, and their Old Country roots!

KEY IDEA – When regulars bring guests to his restaurant, Giovanni seizes the opportunity to warmly greet the regulars and then personally brings by “a little something special to try.” Such genuine gestures, especially in front of friends, make customers feel like VIPs!

KEY IDEA – After the meal, Giovanni avoids asking “How was everything?” It is human nature to avoid uncomfortable situations, so even most unhappy customers respond “Good” automatically. Instead, he finds he gets more genuine, actionable feedback by asking for help: “My name is Giovanni and I am the owner. Please tell me anything that would have made your visit more enjoyable.”

Giovanni Pellegrino, Owner
Pellegrino’s Trattoria
Troutman, NC