Business Builders

Showing Appreciation

Free Military Wings

Pizzeria owner Joe Ashkar thanks active duty military personnel in his neighborhood for their service by giving them a free bucket of chicken wings when they wear their uniform in his pizzeria. Joe announces the offer via his weekly flyer.

Not only does this gesture help local servicemen and servicewomen understand how much he personally appreciates their service, it also lets the community know that Joe stands behind our troops.

Joe Ashkar, Owner Gumbo Joe’s Pizza & Chicken Cleveland, OH


Welcoming Surprises

From time to time, restaurateur Carmelo Prestipino surprises his guests with a baked Italian treat or a complimentary taste of something delicious, “just because.” These spontaneous gestures help his customers understand how much he appreciates their business and their friendship.

In this personal way, Carmelo has encouraged many first time guests to become regulars, and many regulars become die hard fans. On a personal note, making guests feel good makes Carmelo feel good. From a business perspective, these small contributions have paid for themselves many times over. Salute!

Carmelo Prestipino, Owner Tony’s Restaurant and Pizzeria East Stroudsburg, PA


Picture Books

Pizzeria owner Paul Coury found a neat way to make his youngest guests (and their parents) feel special. While they’re waiting for their food to arrive, Paul surprises them with their own children’s book to read and take home.

Not only do the little books delight the tykes, keeping them from fidgeting delights their parents! Paul managed to get a great price on the books (ten cents each) when the local dollar store was hopelessly overstocked.

Paul Coury, Owner Paolo’s Pizza and Pastaria Charleroi, PA


Taking Outside Pride

In addition to making their ristorante look its most inviting on the inside, Sal and Lina Pagliarulo believe their guests’ first impressions actually begin outside when they first arrive. That’s why their dishwasher’s job description includes making sure their parking lot and entryway are swept clean, first thing every day.

This is hardly rocket science. However, the Pagliarulos believe that demonstrating pride in how the restaurant appears on the outside subtly communicates to every team member how far Sal and Lina expect them to go to make guests feel welcomed inside!

Sal & Lina Pagliarulo, Owners Lina’s Ristorante, Bloomingdale, NJ


Finding Apprentice Cooks

It isn’t always easy to find motivated, eager to learn kitchen staff, that is, unless you know where to look. That’s why Chef Luigi Vitrone makes a point of regularly conducting cooking demonstrations for foodservice classes at the local vocational high school.

By teaching area students firsthand how to evaluate fresh fish, decorate dessert plates, conduct side by side ingredient tastings, etc., Luigi has also come to know individual students and vice versa. As a result, some of the classes’ best students have become apprentice cooks in his kitchen!

Luigi Vitrone, Owner Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities, Wilmington, DE


Tangible Attaboys/Attagirls

When encouraging employee excellence, sometimes a whisper is more effective than a shout. That’s why during team meetings, pizzeria owner Sharon Wetsch will occasionally surprise a particularly hardworking employee with a pair of movie tickets or other small reward.

The genuine gesture is not meant to shame others into action. Instead, Sharon wants everyone to know that she recognizes their individual contributions. As a result of well-deserved attaboys and attagirls, Sharon has noticed that her entire team takes personal pride in their work.

Sharon Wetsch, Owner M & M Pizza and Café, Forsyth, MT