Success Stories

The Italian Oasis

Even during tough times, Wayne and Lisa Morello have kept their Littleton, NH, restaurant profitably growing by continually striving to further improve food quality and to annually refresh their paint and décor!

The Morellos’ commitment to “continual improvement” began when they first bought their place as a “jewel in the rough” in 1992. Because the business had previously changed hands multiple times, food quality had suffered in the process. To turn things around, they reevaluated the quality of each of their existing ingredients, tasting them side by side against top brands and trading up to the most flavorful options available.

In the kitchen, they also began establishing new routines to increase preparation consistency, including closely inspecting the quality of incoming perishables, properly rotating ingredient inventory, and enhancing freshness by making food in smaller batches more often.

Having previously worked in a number of other establishments, Lisa and Wayne recognized that one challenge to getting new customers to try a restaurant is its appearance. That is, new customers especially tend to notice (and be influenced by) small visual details regarding cleanliness and upkeep.

Because their “new” building looked worn, they focused first on DIY improvements by giving everything a deep cleaning and repairing obvious eyesores. However, even with deep cleaning, it is nearly impossible to make worn, scuffed, or tired surfaces look clean.

So despite cash being tight, they wisely applied a fresh coat of paint throughout as a low cost, high impact investment in making everything in their restaurant appear cleaner and more inviting.

As Wayne and Lisa’s efforts to “freshen” appearances became self evident, curious newcomers began giving the restaurant a try. Impressed by the clean, bright atmosphere, the Morellos’ consistently great tasting food, and friendly, responsive service, many came back to become loyal regulars.

While consistently superior food and personalized service are what bring customers back, Wayne and Lisa never forgot how deep cleaning and fresh paint had helped attract newcomers to come visit in the first place. So they vowed to keep their place always looking new, vibrant, and inviting and began a tradition of freshening paint and rotating in new pictures annually.

The couple has continued this annual tradition despite tough times. In fact, Wayne thinks that keeping the restaurant fresh and appealing has helped attract even more new customers and profitably grow sales in recent years, as some otherwise good restaurants scaled back or postponed reinvestment in their own visual appeal.

Obviously, appearances are only one factor in a restaurant’s success. But to the Morellos, keeping their place looking its most inviting not only feels good, it has helped attract new customers and present their superior food in the best possible light!