Business Builders

Untapped Markets

Moonlit Weddings

Angelica Carrillo has discovered an untapped market for her amply sized restaurant: couples looking for attractive wedding locations. For indoor celebrations, her spacious dining room already featured an elegant “Cinderella”-style staircase for brides to descend. Her romantic outdoor patio, with white gazebo and waterfall, is popular for moonlit ceremonies. Instead of just renting out banquet space, Angelica created a second profitable venture by marketing wedding planning and coordination services as part of wedding packages available through the restaurant.

Angelica Carrillo, Owner Michelangelo’s Little Italy  El Paso, TX


Make Your Own Luck

At Capistrano’s Deli II, owner Larry Fatica has never been content to wait for new catering customers to come find him. Instead, Larry keeps an eye on area storefronts and office buildings for evidence of soon to open businesses. Then, even before the new enterprise opens its doors, Larry drops in with a tasty “welcome to the neighborhood” snack. In the process, he lets them know that his shop is located nearby, and that he’s available, even on short notice, to cater business lunches, employee meetings, grand openings, etc.! As a result, Larry routinely gets first crack at earning these new businesses’ loyalty, before they have a chance to try somebody else.

Larry Fatica, Owner Capistrano’s Deli II  Tempe, AZ


“My Space” Generation

23 year old pizzeria owner Pat Fruin knows that many people his age and younger like to socialize electronically, via text message, e-mail, and by visiting each others’ “My Space” or “Facebook” pages online. (These are free websites which let individuals build personal Web pages.) While Pat isn’t into computers, an Internet savvy customer built a My Space page for Flinger’s Pizza. Pat’s Internet-oriented customers enjoy leaving messages for him and each other. Pat says that as a result, he’s also having more first time customers try his place based on online word of mouth.

Pat Fruin, Owner Flinger’s Pizza  Bloomington, IL


Cost/Quality Education

Some restaurateurs prefer a low key approach to raising menu prices. Not Ria Fox, who feels strongly that her food “is worth the price we set.” So when Ria updated her menu prices for the first time in years, she announced a $1.00 “bounty” per customer to exchange her old red delivery menus for a new black version.

Then, whenever customers “exchanged” the old version, Ria’s employees confidently explained the new reality of rising ingredient costs, and that Ria would rather raise prices than do anything to compromise food quality or quantity.

Ria’s customers seemed to appreciate her direct approach. Even more importantly, Ria’s customer counts in the months following the change have remained as steady as ever!

Ria Fox, Owner Pizza Ria’s Too, Thurston, OH


Start Spreading the News

In general, loyal customers love hearing when their favorite place is recognized for notable achievements. So when The New York Daily News wrote about how The Original Vincent’s, a 100 year old NYC landmark, had achieved perfect health inspections five years in a row, plenty of regulars brought copies to show owner Vincent Generoso.

In response, Vincent hung framed copies of the article in the restaurant and made a copy available on his restaurant’s website for future generations of customers to also enjoy. By tastefully acknowledging the public recognition, Vincent is memorably incorporating another notable chapter into The Original Vincent’s history!

Vincent Generoso, Owner The Original Vincent’s, New York, NY


Home Baked Focaccia

Welcoming guests to their table with fresh bread, still warm from the oven, can help them feel appreciated, take the edge off their hunger, and reduce their perceived waiting time before their order arrives.

Brandli’s Pizza makes this simple gesture even more memorable by instead treating guests to freshly baked pieces of their signature focaccia. Lightly seasoned with thinly sliced onion, crushed black pepper, sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil, it’s simple and economical to make. More importantly, it’s a distinctive way to make great first impressions!

Bruce Brandli, Owner Brandli’s Pizza, Stroudsburg, PA