Business Builders

Smart Ideas

Newborn Pizza Welcome

New babies make their families proud. So when restaurateur Tony Uva runs neighborhood errands, he carries business card-sized gift certificates. That way, if he encounters a new parent with an infant carrier or stroller, he can congratulate them and offer to treat them to a pie at his place. This simple but effective generosity is often the first step to a long, loyal customer relationship!

Tony Uva, Owner Allegra’s Neapolitan Pizza Denver, CO



The website encourages consumers to share specific comments about restaurants they rate. By checking TripAdvisor daily, Joe Ventrice is able to promptly post a personal thank you whenever his guests share feedback. A quick, public thanks makes his guests feel recognized and appreciated. It also helps potential diners recognize Joe’s dedication to customer satisfaction!

Joe Ventrice, Owner Dolce Vita Bluffton, SC



Feast of the Seven Fishes

The holidays are fast approaching, and at Giovanni’s Inn, Julie and Giovanni Mennella help guests celebrate by hosting a traditional Italian-American “Feast of the Seven Fishes” dinner. The Sunday before Christmas, reservation-only attendees gather to enjoy each of the seven courses together as a group. Guests also receive a special keepsake menu explaining the feast’s history and symbolism!

Julie & Giovanni Mennella, Owners Giovanni’s Inn Wurtsboro, NY


Quickly Qualify Cooks

Having to replace a valued cook on short notice can be a challenge. But as an experienced executive chef specializing in staffing new restaurants for others, David Sammarco has developed a rapid way to screen potential lead cooks. He invites applicants into his kitchen and, without offering further details, asks them to:

  • Cook a pound of linguine
  • Prepare a steak medium-rare
  • Cook two eggs over easy without a spatula or breaking the yolks
  • Dice an onion and julienne a carrot as quickly and safely as they can

Properly preparing pasta to “al dente” firmness (without being told), cooking meat and eggs to requested perfection, and solid knife-work quickly demonstrate who is truly experienced and “work-ready” (and who, with training, might fit line positions).

Chef David Sammarco, Owner David Sammarco Catering Arlington, MA


All for One and One for All

Finding and then keeping good employees isn’t easy. But Lizz Aquarian boosts her odds by seeking individuals who are personally motivated by a need to financially support their family. Once they are hired, she regularly reinforces with each member how doing their job well ultimately helps satisfy customers.What most earns their mutual respect is the example she sets. For example, Lizz proudly ensures the restrooms sparkle every morning, thereby communicating that “the boss never asks anything of you she wouldn’t do herself.” As a result, Lizz has developed a special bond with her hardworking team!

Lizz Aquarian, Owner Downtown Pizza Company Murphy , NC