Pizzeria owner Brian Kelleher has built a loyal, younger following among Amarillo, TX, locals by focusing on superior ingredients; creating a youthful, merit-based employee culture; and using event marketing to attract activity-based social groups around town.
KEY IDEA – Besides great food, paired with an ever-rotating selection of flavorful craft beers, part of what helps 575° Pizzeria stand out is its enthusiastic, youthful employee team.
One way that Brian attracts like-minded employees is by posting quality-oriented job expectations for each staff position on his restaurant’s website for potential applicants and customers to see.
For example, Brian’s Hosts are expected to:
- Exhibit excellent phone and customer service skills.
- Offer stellar service to every guest from their car door to the time they leave.
- Properly quote wait times and handle all seating requests and accommodations.
Similarly, Salad Makers are expected to:
- Prepare the BEST salads, desserts, and appetizers.
- Manage ticket times to ensure timely delivery to the guest.
- Maintain a clean and organized working environment.
KEY IDEA – Pre-establishing the importance of excellent food quality, service, and cleanliness in the minds of potential employees (and guests) helps reinforce and attract the right type of employees who are key to Brian’s everyday operations!
In addition to attracting quality-minded employees, Brian keeps them in his employment longer by rewarding them for mastering additional value-added skills. For example, the pizzeria slices its pepperoni daily, so demonstrating that they can safely operate and sanitize the slicer qualifies kitchen staff to work this station and earn a modest raise.
KEY IDEA – To reward superior performance, Brian’s team can earn extra 25¢ to 50¢ hourly increases by demonstrating superior proficiency at one or more tasks, including training/coaching others.
To attract potential new customers, Brian strongly believes in event marketing. He specifically looks for opportunities to attract local activity-based social groups.
KEY IDEA – For example, there is a sizeable community of ping-pong enthusiasts in the Amarillo area. So Brian hosted a Saturday afternoon ping-pong tournament at one of his two locations, attracting more than 50 entrants. Entry fees included a buffet pizza lunch spotlighting his signature pies. Besides getting a large group of socially active locals to try his food for the first time, he also helped them feel more connected to his place.
Similarly, by courting other activity-based communities, from competitive cyclists, pickle ball clubs, and skiers to poetry students from a local college, Brian has positioned his restaurant as an especially friendly, welcoming environment for younger, socially active locals.