PMQ Pizza Magazine January/February 2011

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Online at January/February 2011 PIZZA TV: RECENT VIDEOS

Pizzeria Profile: Precinct Pizza

Meet the Team: Cemal Ramusevic

Tag along as PMQ visits Rick Drury, co-owner and operator of Precinct Pizza in Tampa, Florida. For more details, pick up the November 2010 issue of PMQ Pizza Magazine.

Meet the winner of the 2010 American Pizza Championship, Cemal Ramusevic, from Angelo’s Allendale Pizza in Allendale, New Jersey. To find out more, pick up the December 2010 issue of PMQ Pizza Magazine.

THINK TANK 2.0 What’s the Buzz? Log on to find out the latest industry buzz at Price for a large pizza in 1981? Does anyone remember what the price of a large pizza was in 1981? Cheese blends…We are looking to change our cheese blend, and we’re looking for something robust and distinctive. Aversion to online ordering? I’m curious to hear owners’ opinions about online ordering…if you use a service… Using MySpace? So, Mailchimp added a new feature called SocialPro to help analyze data in your email…

PIZZA RADIO Pizza Radio host Andrew Abernathy asks the questions and you get the answers during weekly interviews with industry experts.

Ask the Experts




Scott Wiener Pizza enthusiast Scott Wiener is the founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours in New York. Find out how Wiener has shared his love for pizza with tourists since 2008.

Jason Bennett Jason Bennett is a Flippin’ Pizza franchisee in Encinitas, California. Hear how this pizzeria owner celebrated the holiday season this year with a four-week “doughman” competition for kids.

Thank You to Our PMQ Think Tank Moderators Daddio: Member since June 2006 Tom Lehmann: Member since June 2006 Rockstar Pizza: Member since June 2006 ADpizzaguy: Member since January 2007

Patrick Maggi Patrick Maggi, owner of Pasquale’s Deli in Damascus, Maryland, is one of the newest members of the U.S. Pizza Team. Hear about his winning gluten-free dough making technique and more.

PMQ Pizza Magazine (ISSN #1937-5263) is published 10 times per year. U.S. subscriptions are $25 for one year. Published by PMQ, Inc., 605 Edison St., Oxford, MS 38655. Application to mail at periodicals postage prices is pending at Senatobia, MS, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: PMQ Pizza Magazine, PO Box 2015, Langhorne, PA 19047.


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

o k i ng Se e us c o l i ve a t po P i z z a Ex


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That is what our customers have been telling us. We have touted the WOW! Oven as the most energy efficient, fastest and safest conveyor oven on the market. We have the charts and interactive graphics to show how much energy and money can be saved. But, the main reason our customers purchase the WOW! Oven is because it is the best and most consistent bake they have ever had. So, we admit, we have been stupid in not touting the #1 reason to purchase the WOW! Oven is the same reason for decades the top pizza operators have used Middleby Marshall.


"It's the bake, stupid!"

877-34-OVENS (877-346-8367) See what "Papa" John Schnatter says about the WOW! Oven at


January/February 2011 ON THE COVER 22 No Shipping Required Incorporating local ingredients into menus has moved beyond trendy. Learn how a few small changes can freshen up your menu, support your community and reduce your carbon footprint. By Peggy Ryan

FEATURES 30 Sizzling Spices The addition of spices when cooking can often mean the difference between bland and beautiful. Discover the many uses of spices in a pizzeria—and learn about the new spiced-cheese trend. By Tracy Morin


40 Simplifying Soda Sales Learn how to increase profits with simple tips for increasing takeout beverage sales. By James Latimore

52 Winning Menus

44 Fit to Be Fried

Discover how to entice appetites—and spending— with creative menu design. By Ed Zimmerman

Learn how you can get the most out of the unsung workhorse of the kitchen, your fryer. By Andrew Abernathy

58 D’Allesandro’s Pizza

50 New Lease On Life Whether leasing a building for the first time or renegotiating your current lease, arm yourself with the negotiating tips that will guarantee you come out ahead. By Dale Willerton


In Charleston, South Carolina, two brothers take a laid-back approach to attracting customers with good food, cold beer and a staff that jives with the area’s demographic. By Andrew Ousley


Online at Editor’s Note

12 Letters to the Editor 14


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Pizza Press


Product Spotlight


Advertiser Index


Industry Resource Guide

DEPARTMENTS 16 In Lehmann’s Terms: Saving Time and Adding Garlic Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann explains how to cut time when creating a deep-dish pie and how to incorporate garlic into your dough.

18 New York’s Finest: Ricotta Spinach Cannelloni Chef Santo Bruno shares a wintertime favorite that utilizes oversized rigatoni pasta shells.

20 Accounting for Your Money: The Credit Card Game Michael Rasmussen explains the benefits of accepting credit cards in your pizzeria.

34 Celebrity Slice This column features pizzerias that have had a brush with celebrity.

36 Marketing Marvels: Pizzeria Piccola FR A

Since 2003, this Wisconsin pizzeria has shown that a small store can make a big impact on the community.

48 Pizza of the Month: Seafood In this new monthly feature, we spotlight a favorite style of pizza and recognize those around the country who feature it on their menus.




Coming Next Month Pizza of the Month: Dessert


Meet the Team: Patrick Maggi Meet a member of the U.S. Pizza Team each month in the pages of PMQ. This month, we feature a new member who earned a place on the team by winning the PMQ 2010 Gluten-Free Pizza Contest in Orlando.

Alternative Crusts: From flatbreads to whole grains, find out about various ways to change up your crust.

Marketing With T-Shirts: Recognized everywhere 82 Time Capsule: Papa’s Tomato Pies



Officially the oldest family-owned pizzeria in the United States, this Trenton, New Jersey, landmark is on the cusp of celebrating 100 years in business.

as the leader in free advertising, learn how to get the most bang for your buck from branded T-shirts.

Pizza Cutters: These aren’t your grandpa’s pizza cutters! Discover new technologies and trends in pizza cutting.

Creating a Budget: So necessary, yet often disregarded: Learn how to create—and stick to—a budget for your business.

To hear any of the interviews from this month’s issue, go to and type “January/February 2011” in the search field. To view any of the videos contained in this month’s issue, go to and type “January/February 2011” in the search field.

January/February 2011 •


Editor’s Note Liz Barrett A Growing Trend At a supermarket in Pittsburgh, customers are invited to pick their own hydroponically grown Bibb lettuce straight from a state-of-the-art hydroponic garden located smack dab in the middle of the produce section. A growing number of hospitals across the country are growing their own food or hosting farmer’s markets to provide fresh food to patients and employees. Even big-box store Wal-Mart and fast-food behemoth McDonald’s have been making big strides to bring more locally obtained items into their stores. Ten years ago, urban-dwelling restaurants rarely sourced their food locally; now owners increasingly boast about local farms that supply them with cheese, artisan breads, seasonal produce and more. True, taking the local route, you’ll be at the mercy of Mother Nature, and there will still be items that you’ll need to depend on your distributor for. But as a pizzeria operator, you’re already involved in your local community, so it’s a natural fit for many of you to incorporate local produce and meats into your offerings; some of you have even choosen to start your own gardens. In our cover story this month (“No Shipping Required,” page 22), chef Peggy Ryan discusses the benefits of cooking with locally grown foods, and pizzeria operators across the nation chime in to share their feedback about how using local ingredients affects their businesses and their bottom line.

Menus That Sell It’s a new year—time to start considering overhauling your menu! Did you realize there are ways to list your menu items so that customers choose the higher-profit items over the less-profitable ones? Have you ever noticed, in your own experience, that you will order a menu item purely based on how good the description makes it sound, without even noticing the price? In “Winning Menus” (page 52), Ed Zimmerman walks you through the right—and wrong—way to lay out your menu, and alerts you to the little mistakes that could be costing you a lot.

New Monthly Feature: Pizza of the Month You’ll notice a new addition to the magazine this month, called Pizza of the Month. Each issue will highlight a different type of pizza; we’ll provide a recipe, let you know what makes it stand out, and showcase pizzerias across the nation that offer the style on their menus. Check out this month’s pizza, seafood, on page 48. Want to have your pizzeria recognized on the Pizza of the Month page? Contact me at liz@ Until next time, my door is always open for your questions, comments and suggestions. Best Pizza Wishes,

Liz Barrett Editor-in-chief PMQ Pizza Magazine


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Letters to the Editor Liz Barrett The Drury Duo My wife, Jessica, and I just wantA former New York City paramedic ed to thank you brings Big Apple pizza to Tampa. and PMQ Pizza Magazine again for the awesome article that was written about us in the November 2010 issue. Before we even knew the article or video was available to see online, we were getting calls and emails from all over the country looking for more information about the restaurant—and about us. We sold a lot of hats, shirts and pint glasses to people all over who saw the article and video. Before this, we had sold only a few items of merchandise through the mail, but now we have to order more! Jessica and I decided to donate the profits from all of those sales to our Fallen Heroes Foundation. We have experienced a huge increase of traffic to our website since the article came out. Our Web hits have quadrupled, and our e-club signup list has doubled in a matter of days. We have had about two dozen pizzeria and restaurant owners from all over come by to see our place, chat and have a slice. We have had dozens of emails and phone calls from others looking for information, and some who just wanted to thank me for the job By Andrew Ousley Photos by Liz Barrett

For Rick Drury, life as a New York paramedic was always exciting. Following the tragic events of September 11, however, Drury was forced to reevaluate his career in such an unpredictable ¿eld. Dust and debris from the wreckage at Ground Zero caused nagging respiratory complications, and the fast-paced, high-pressure life of a big-city paramedic was no longer an option. Drury decided that a location change was necessary, but after an unsatisfying stint as a paramedic in Tampa, Florida, the restaurant industry came calling. Precinct Pizza (, located in Tampa’s Channelside Bay Plaza, is the brainchild of Drury and his wife, Jessica. The pizzeria was created as an

See the exclusive interview with Rick Drury on

homage to New York-style pizza and the city’s devoted public servants.

Change in Latitude, Not Attitude

As the warm, humid air of Tampa relieved his lungs, Drury was adamant about Precinct Pizza being an authentic representation of a New York pizzeria, and the remnants of Drury’s days as a paramedic are evident in the attitude and atmosphere. The restaurant’s logo is based on the badge Drury wore on his uniform in his previous career, and emergency medical equipment can be seen hanging on the walls. Decorative signs with mock-confrontational sayings (“Welcome to New York–Give us your freakin’ money,” and “You are entering Riker’s Island”) present customers with a slice of New York’s famous abrasive humor to go along with the New York-style pizza. Meanwhile, paintings of the New York skyline add to the metropolitan theme of Precinct Pizza, and deliveries are even made in a replica of a New York City ambulance. A bustling location was of utmost importance for the business. Opened in August 2006, Precinct Pizza bene¿ted from being the only pizzeria in the Channelside entertainment area. “This area is very high-pro¿le,” says Drury. “It’s the Times Square of Tampa.” Proximity to the St. Pete Times Forum has also provided Precinct with plenty of out-of-town customers who often visit for events such as hockey games and concerts. Likewise, the nearby port often brings in tourists fresh off the cruise ships eager for a hot slice and a cold drink. Drury says his pizzeria’s success is partially attributed to the family-friendly atmosphere he provides in an area ¿lled with nightclub-style restaurants. “Precinct Pizza is homestyle pizzeria, where people can sit down and have a nice meal with their children,” he explains. And, although Drury had to abandon his former profession in the emergency medical ¿eld, he still appreciates the importance of emergency workers and police in the lives of everyday Americans. For that reason, Precinct Pizza started the Fallen Heroes Foundation. “It was

I did in New York. We have made many new friends all because of the article and featured video on On a sad note, just after being interviewed for the article, a close friend of the store, Deputy Mark Longway, who was a Hillsborough County sheriff here at our Channelside complex, was killed in the line of duty. All of the proceeds from the merchandise we sold this month will go directly to his memorial fund. So, again, thank you, and thank you to all who contacted us. Because of the article, my wife has now told everyone to refer to us as the “Drury Duo”! Rick and Jessica Drury Precinct Pizza Tampa, FL

ISSN 1937-5263

PMQ, Inc. Publisher Steve Green ext. 123 Co-Publisher Linda Green ext. 121 EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Liz Barrett ext. 126 Managing Editor Tracy Morin ext. 140 Associate Editor Andrew Abernathy ext. 133 DESIGN/PRODUCTION Creative Director Stefanie Goodwiller ext. 124 Graphic Designer Ellen Kellum ext. 135 Webmaster Mike Cockrell ext. 139 ADVERTISING

I can’t begin to tell you how much it means

Sales Director Linda Green ext. 121

to all of us here at PMQ to receive letters like yours. Knowing that we had a hand in help-

Account Executive Clifton Moody ext. 138

ing to generate so much additional interest

Account Executive Ron Cox ext. 127

in your pizzeria, as well as indirectly help-


ing you to raise funds for your Fallen Heroes Foundation and Deputy Longway’s memorial, makes what we are doing here worth all of the effort. I’m so glad you invited me to come and visit while I was in Florida; you deserve all of the extra attention you’re receiving. I wish you continued success; stay in touch about news and future happenings at Precinct Pizza.

“How much are you paying for mozzarella?” –Gencs2 “Paid C2.01 today; my quote for another was $2.03.” –Italy1978 “V2.19.” –pizzalicious “Just paid $2.14, down from $2.17 last week.” –The Pizza Man “We paid V1.87 this week.” –Pizzatime “We are paying I think $1.65 per lb. Next week, it’s going down to $1.53 per lb.” –jokergerm

We want to hear from you! Have a complaint, compliment or suggestion about something you’ve read in the pages of PMQ? Send your letter via email to with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line, or mail to PMQ, ATTN: Letters to the Editor, 605 Edison St., Oxford, MS 38655. We look forward to hearing from you! Friend us on Facebook! Visit Editor-in-chief Liz Barrett PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Winner of 4 GAMMA Awards


Think Tank Talk


— A Publication of PMQ, Inc. —

Accounting Shawn Brown Circulation Manager Sherlyn Clark ext. 120 Director of Operations, U.S. Pizza Team Steve Lieber ext. 122 Circulation Assistant Emeasha Mitchell ext. 130 Telemarketer Marie Johnson ext. 144 PMQ INTERNATIONAL PMQ China Yvonne Liu PMQ Australia-NZ Tom Boyles Pizza&Food Gabriele Ancona French Liaison Julien Panet EDITORIAL ADVISORS Chef Santo Bruno Tom Lehmann Joey Todaro Ed Zimmerman CONTRIBUTORS Chef Santo Bruno James Latimore Tom Lehmann Andrew Ousley Michael J. Rasmussen Peggy Ryan Dale Willerton Ed Zimmerman

Volume 15, Issue 1 PMQ Pizza Magazine 605 Edison St. • Oxford, MS 38655 662.234.5481 • 662.234.0665 Fax • PMQ Pizza Magazine is published 10 times per year. Cost of U.S. subscription is $25 per year. International $35. Opinions expressed by the editors and contributing writers are strictly their own, and are not necessarily those of the advertisers. All rights reserved. No portion of PMQ may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. We want to hear from you! Email us at

Pizza Press News and Views FLIPPIN’ PIZZA

Doughman Season

(Left to right) Contestants were allowed to bring their choice of decorative materials for each doughman event; Fiorella Burmudez took home top honors.


While it may have been snowman season in many parts of the country last December, at Flippin’ Pizza’s ( four California locations, it was “doughman” season. For three consecutive Mondays in November and December, children and their parents were allowed to visit this 12-unit chain’s Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Costa and Vista locations to get their hands in some dough and create seasonal sculptures. While the stores provided the dough, contestants were invited to bring a selection of decorative “construction materials” and upload photos of the creations to Facebook. The Encinitas owner and creator of the competition, Jason Bennett, says he got the idea from talking to customers. “Sometimes we let kids play with dough when they come in the store,” he says. “Last year, I encouraged one of them to make a little snowman, and he said, ‘Ah, it’s a doughman!’” The winner of the competition was awarded a free family-size pizza party.

Dining Room Drama

Grimaldi’s m

anager Phil La

wson serves

children from

the Fort Mye

rs Boys & Gi

Kids Love Coal-Fired

rls Club.

Last November, 20 children from the Boys & Girls Club in Fort Myers, Florida, enjoyed a free lunch thanks to the staff of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (grimaldis. com), while Grimaldi’s employee and U.S. Pizza Team member Jamie Culliton performed his award-winning freestyle dough acrobatics routine. Children also received a lesson in the art and craft of cooking in a brick coal-fired oven. “The event was important to me and Grimaldi’s, because it’s always nice to give back to the community that helps make us successful,” says general manager Phil Lawson. “It was a pleasure to see the excitement and interest on the faces of the children who attended. I’d like to think that seeing Jamie exhibiting his pizza skills and my enthusiasm for what I do will have a positive effect on these kids.”


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

A dinner at Rocco Ranalli’s Café & Pizzeria ( in Chicago can also become a night at the theater. Last November and December, guests were treated to a one-act play titled The Redeemers, where actors were interspersed among guests in a special dining room. “Basically, guests have dinner before the show, and drinks during and after,” explains owner Art Liss. The play was produced by the New Leaf Theatre group, which was looking for a new venue due to renovations. “They’re good customers, so when they needed a place, I said, ‘Sure, come and do it here,’” Liss says. The play featured three actors—in a dining room that holds only about 12 customers—who interacted with audience members in a play where three co-workers complain about their boss and the stresses of work. The four-week event turned out to be quite a moneymaker and has at least this pizzeria owner keeping his future options open when it comes to mixing pizza and drama.

Outrageous Food host Tom Pizzica and pizzeria owner Randy Hueffmeier top a 48” pie.

Some pizzas are just outrageous! Oakdale, Minnesotabased pizzaiolo Randy Hueffmeier, the owner of Randy’s Premier Pizza (, a shop known for a variety of pizza eating challenges, was featured on the Food Network’s new series Outrageous Food last November. Show host Tom Pizzica, a former finalist on The Next Food Network Star, visited the shop to highlight its nine-person, 48’’ pizza challenge. This pizza is so big, the pizzeria has to make deliveries on a propane-heated trailer! For the show, in addition to helping Hueffmeier make the gargantuan pie, Pizzica moderated the challenge. However, the nine intrepid volunteers didn’t quite beat the 30-minute time limit, earning them a spot on the Randy’s “Wall of Shame.” “They came within a few slices,” Hueffmeier says. “Although they didn’t finish, they reached the halfway mark about 12 minutes in.” After the challenge, Hueffmeier, a former pizza acrobatics champion, gave a dough tossing and wood-fired oven demonstration.





PMQ editors have been getting involved with pizzerias in unique ways as of late: Managing editor Tracy Morin hauled her drums and rock-and-roll band, The Reviews, down to Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint (; August 2010’s profile subject) in Jackson, Mississippi, to provide live music for the monthly arts walk event Fondren After 5. After jamming so loud the neighbors complained (literally!), the band wound down by chowing down on a few slices on the Sal & Mookie’s outdoor patio. Closer to home, editor-in-chief Liz Barrett and Morin tried their hand at making pies at the Sardis, Mississippi, pizzeria TriBecca Allie Café. Pizzaiolo/co-owner Damian “Dutch” Van Oostendorp (who took home second place at the American Pizza Championship) and U.S. Pizza Team trainer Steve Lieber were on hand to teach how to handle the dough, insert the pies into the woodfired brick oven and turn them so they cooked evenly. Barrett crafted a Margherita, while Morin assembled a pie with a spinachartichoke dip base, finished with a shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

(Clockwise from top) The Reviews play a pizzeria gig; Tracy Morin learns how to stretch dough from TriBecca Allie’s Damian “Dutch” Van Oostendorp; Liz Barrett cuts into her freshly baked Margherita pie. January/February 2011 •




Four-Foot Pie!

In Lehmann’s Terms Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann

Visit to hear more tips from Tom Lehmann.

Saving Time and Adding Garlic Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann discusses adding garlic to dough and a user-friendly deep-dish option. QUESTION: Do you see any problem with adding garlic to our pizza dough?

ANSWER: Adding garlic to your pizza dough is a great way to add another dimension of flavor to the finished crust. However, you’ve got to be careful when doing so, since both garlic and onion exert a dough reducing effect; they will have a softening or weakening effect upon the dough. The dough will develop faster in the mixer, so you will need to mix the dough less when garlic or onion is present. I normally recommend mixing the dough about 20% less when garlic and/ or onion is used in the dough. It will also reduce the refrigerated holding time of your dough. I don’t recommend holding dough with garlic and/or onion more than two days in the cooler, because you may find your dough turning to putty. Here are some tips for using garlic and/or onion in your dough: Use a larger particle size, such as granulated, minced or chopped rather than powdered or pureed. The larger particle size will help to limit the amount of reducing agent that is leached into the dough. If you are using a dried garlic or onion product, stir it into the oil that you normally add to your dough and allow it to soak up the oil for a few minutes before adding it to the dough. This will help to keep the reducing agents within the dried product, thus limiting their effect upon the dough. But still keep an eye on the mixing time, as it will be somewhat shorter in all cases. 16

QUESTION: We want to make deep-dish pizzas, but we don’t want to par-bake the crusts or have to worry about running out of dough (proofed) ready to bake. Is there a process that you know of that might work well for us?

ANSWER: You’re in luck—many years ago, when deep-dish pizza was just coming into its own, and discussions raged over whether deep-dish pizza would exceed thin-crust pizzas in popularity, I developed a procedure for making deep-dish pizza dough that was a lot more userfriendly than other methods in that it allowed the dough to be stored and used directly from the cooler, rather than at room temperature or in a temperature humidity-controlled proofing cabinet, which ultimately leads to running out of proofed dough, as always, at the most in opportune time. Using your regular deep-dish dough formula, adjust the dough water temperature to produce a finished dough temperature in the range of 85° to 90°F, with a target of 88° to 90°F. Immediately after mixing, take the dough to the bench for scaling and balling, place the dough balls into plastic dough boxes, and wipe the top of the dough balls with salad oil. Cover the boxes and allow the dough to ferment at room temperature

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

for about two hours, or until the dough balls can be shaped to fit the pan(s) without excessive shrinkage or snapback. Place the shaped dough piece into an oiled or greased deep-dish pan, and cover the pans; if they have a nesting lip, stack the pans and place a cover over the top pan to prevent drying. Take the pans to the cooler for overnight storage. On the following day, pans of dough can be removed from the cooler as needed for dressing and baking to fill customers’ orders. In most cases, you should be able to hold the dough in the cooler for up to two days. If you find that the dough collapses on the second day, this is an indication that you may need to reduce the yeast level slightly in the dough. If you find that the finished crusts are too tough or chewy, this is an indication that the flour protein content is too high, and a switch to lowerprotein-content flour should correct the problem. In our testing, we have found that the best deep-dish pizza crusts are made from flour with between 11.6% and 12.6% protein content. This would be considered a strong bread flour, rather than a “pizza” flour. Tom Lehmann is the director of bakery assistance for the American Institute of Baking (AIB). Need more dough advice? Visit the Dough Information Center at

New York’s Finest Chef Santo Bruno

Ricotta Spinach Cannelloni

See cooking demos by Chef Bruno on

Chef Bruno prepares a wintertime favorite. Cannelloni incorporates oversized rigatoni pasta that Sicilians enjoy because you can stuff them with many different ingredients. One of my favorite cannelloni recipes is one using eggplant, ricotta cheese and ground veal. The one here is stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and you can use your imagination to come up with additional combinations. I love to prepare cannelloni around the holidays and include a side salad of sautéed broccoli and fennel. Cannelloni store well in the freezer for a week, so make some extra to enjoy again at a later date.


Mangia! You’ll Need: 7 oz. (20 tubes) dried cannelloni 9 oz. ricotta cheese 5½ oz. frozen spinach, thawed ½ red bell pepper, chopped 2 scallions, chopped 2 ⁄3 c. vegetable broth, hot 6 basil leaves 1 qt. tomatoes, pureed ½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated Salt and pepper to taste



Check the dried cannelloni package for directions; many varieties do not need to be precooked. If precooking is necessary, bring the pasta to a boil in a large pan of water. Add some oil, and cook the pasta for 4 minutes (it’s easier to do this in batches). In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, spinach, red bell pepper and scallions, adding a little salt and pepper to taste. Lightly butter an oven pan and stuff the cannelloni with the spinach-ricotta mixture. Place the filled cannelloni in the pan side by side. Then mix together the vegetable broth, basil and tomato puree, and pour over your cannelloni. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 25 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.

Bruno shares some cannelloni with Ralph “The Outboard Wizard” Macri, captain and engineer of OMC Racing.

Chef Bruno is PMQ’s culinary advisor, with 40 years of international pizza experience. He is the corporate chef for Marsal & Sons, and the culinary coach of the U.S. Pizza Team. 18

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Accounting for Your Money Michael J. Rasmussen, CPA

Hear more advice from Michael Rasmussen on

The Credit Card Game Find out how card processing can benefit your pizzeria. Regardless of your restaurant’s size, there are many benefits of having the ability to process credit card transactions. By accepting multiple forms of payment, you give your customers options and improve their experiences. You also attract a new group of customers to grow your business. In addition, card processing is an efficient, convenient payment solution that helps you improve cash flow by ensuring timely, automatic deposits to your account. Value-added services—such as gift card and prepaid card programs—can provide a new channel for generating profits and increasing your revenue. Check protection services can help you limit your risk from bad checks.

Weighing the Factors While price is important, don’t let it be the driving force behind your credit card purchasing decision. First, review the service offerings of several credit card transaction service providers. Then consider these other important aspects of your buying decision: Customer support is the most essential, because problems with credit card processing can quickly impact your bottom line. The best way to learn about a provider’s level of customer service is to obtain customer referrals from current clients. Request referrals from merchants that are comparable to your restaurant in size and similarity of customer habits. Then ask these important questions: Do they have to wait several minutes before reaching a customer support rep? Are their needs serviced quickly? How does the provider handle chargebacks? Also ask the provider about their level of support: Do they have phones staffed 24-7? Do they charge per incident? Many factors can influence the fees you pay for the privilege of accepting charge cards. Among those factors: the length of time you have been in business, the percentage of your sales that you make over the Internet, the type of restaurant you operate, the number of years you’ve been a restaurateur, your personal credit rating, the average dollar amount of each sales transaction, and the total dollar amount of sales per month. Service fees tacked on by third-party providers or by their salespeople can also add to your costs. Some companies advertise discount fees less than 2%. Usually, these lower fees are for swiped transactions (sales made by running the customer’s credit card through a machine). Therefore, when comparing processors, be sure to find out what all of the fees will be. Compare not only the application fees and the discount rate, but also the initial cost of equipment, transaction fees (the fee you pay on top of the discount for each transaction you process), monthly minimums, voice verification charges, address verification fees (if extra), monthly statement fees, and any other costs you will incur. A difference of 10 cents on the transaction fee is equivalent to one-half of 1% on the discount rate if your average sale is $20. 20

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Pay close attention to the cost of equipment or software for processing the charges, too. Identical software and comparable hardware can vary in price by $600 or more, depending on whom you purchase it from. If at all possible, do not lease equipment or software. Buy it at the start. By leasing it, you often set yourself up for three or four years of noncancellable lease payments and wind up paying thousands of dollars more than necessary. Be sure to carefully read all application forms and contracts mailed to you. Read all of the small print. Several companies will charge you if you want to stop processing charges through them in less than two to three years. What the salesman says on the phone may not be what the application actually says. If there’s a dispute, what will stand up is what is on the printed contract you get, not what you say the salesman told you. Check to see under what conditions the company can terminate your account, and whether there are monthly minimums or maximums.

The Application Process: What to Expect Depending on which company you’re dealing with, you may have to provide any or all of the following: a copy of your business license or certificate of DBA (doing business as); profit and loss statements; copies of previous years’ tax returns; and a photo of your office. If you’re not using a bank or financial company you recognize, make sure you verify that the company you are investigating is legitimate; there are con artists and scammers who set up fake

processing companies just to collect setup fees, and then vanish. Contact the Better Business Bureau to check the company’s status if you are unsure, and if you find a credit card transaction service provider on the Web, make sure you get a physical address and a phone number. Restaurant owners with small ticket amounts are usually wary of a merchant processing account due to pricing concerns. They seem to overlook the idea that paying for merchant processing is an investment in their business, and they may be surprised to learn that accepting credit/debit cards is not only convenient for their customers, but will ultimately help increase their bottom line. By taking advantage of small-ticket pricing offered through MasterCard and Visa, the per-item cost on card transactions under $15 has a lower-per-item fee.

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained here is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

Michael J. Rasmussen is the owner of Rasmussen Tax Group in Conway, Arkansas. Visit for additional insight into restaurant-specific tax strategies and technology programs.

January/February 2011 •



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Old traditions are making a comeback as pizzerias across the nation bring back the farm-to-table approach. By Peggy Ryan As a child in the ’60s and ’70s, growing up on an Illinois dairy farm, the concept of eating local was simply logical and frugal— and sometimes the only way to eat. Many items on our supper table were raised and grown by my family or harvested from neighboring farms. Raised by children of the Great Depression, “growing your own” and buying directly from the farmer was a fact of life. Oranges, to my folks, were so exotic and precious when they were growing up that we received them in our stockings every Christmas, just as they had. Today, you can walk into the produce department of any major grocery store and find no indication of the season, or perhaps even what part of the country you’re in. If we want it, we can find it growing somewhere in the world and have it in our kitchens the next day. But with growing concerns about the climate effects caused, in part, by the globalization of food and the 22

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

"We try to use as many local products as possible, when available. It's a matter of wanting to support our local farmers and businesses, and local and in-season products generally taste significantly better. For our produce, we turn to places in the Bronx or Union Square. We source our lean turkey from a place in Little Italy, and our chicken comes from Philadelphia. Honestly, the only drawback to using local products is availability. Since everything they sell is in season, if they run out, that’s it, which occasionally forces us to find an alternative option for the time being, but those occasions are few and far between." –Alex Melamedov, co-owner, Revd Up Pi (, New York, NY

“We operate out of my parents’ winery, Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery, and offer two seasonal rotating pizzas—one meat and one vegetarian. I grow many of my own herbs and vegetables in a large garden at my parents’ house. I love to grow heirloom varieties. Any vegetables that I don’t grow are sourced from a local Amish farm down the road. Our meat is sourced locally through small family producers, and we use local cheese whenever possible. Once the tomatoes ” start coming in, I make all my own sauce for the pizzas.” owner, –Mary Jane Challen, co-owner, ), Ovid, NY The Copper Oven (,



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fossil fuels that are used to produce and ship items, not to mention concerns about food security when much of it comes from thousands of miles away, Americans are taking a strong interest in the “eat local” or “locavore” movement. For many of us, the strong rural ties of our parents’ generation lead us to a certain yearning or nostalgia for local farm-fresh produce. But, today, the word “local” next to a food item—along with the name of the farm it came from—also speaks to a company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, which is becoming increasingly important to today’s consumer. According to a USA Today poll, 69% of Gen Yers consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when deciding where to shop. A recent Zagat survey found that 68% of respondents said they thought it was important for food to be locally sourced, organic or sustainably raised, and 60% said they would pay more for that food. Meanwhile, a recent poll by the American Culinary Federation found that sustainable and locally grown and sourced ingredients are a top menu trend among its members. We have polls and surveys attesting to the marketing strengths of adding local foods to our menus, but the biggest draw for many is flavor. Buying tomatoes that were picked red off the vine yesterday—from a farm in one’s own county —vs. tomatoes picked green two months ago and gassed to “ripeness” is no contest. That peach you remember from your childhood—the one that was soft and sweet and needed to be eaten over a sink—isn’t coming to your place on a 53’ truck; it’s from the orchard 50 miles away, and it’s delivered to you by the great-granddaughter of the homesteader who planted those trees. When varieties of fruits and vegetables are being planted that haven’t been hybridized to “ship well” or have a perfect shape, you usually receive the payoff in improved taste. Another draw for purchasing local foods: regional pride and anticipation of peak seasons. Do you have farmers’ markets in

“At one acre, we have the largest rooftop garden in New York—possibly in America. We have an entire team of farmers that helps us manage it, and we even sell the extra produce we grow to other area restaurants. During the summer, most of our fresh ingredients are coming straight from our rooftop garden or our backyard garden, where we grow herbs. We obtain our meats locally as well. “Many New Yorkers are fascinated by what we’re doing and think that they’ve found a hidden gem since a lot of pizzerias in New York have turned to outsourced products. There’s something special about using ingredients you grew yourself; you feel better about it, and the product tastes better.” –Angelo Womack, pizzaiolo, Roberta’s (, Brooklyn, NY


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“I’ve been using local produce for the past three or four years and actually find that I spend $5 to $6 less per case on tomatoes. During the high season (July to September), about 1/3 of the food we oer is obtained from local growers. On average, we charge 5% to 10% more for menu items made with local ingredients, but we don’t openly promote it on the menu; our servers let guests know about specials featuring ingredients from local farms on a case-by-case basis.â€?

your area? If so, there is a good chance many of your customers are visiting those stands. They get to know the local farmers and become familiar with the options. Letting customers know that you won’t have a caprese salad on the menu until the farm in the next township starts harvesting some of the best tomatoes in the world tells them that you’re committed to good food. So your customers want it, your competitors are doing it, and everything simply tastes better. But how can local make its way onto your menu? Here are five simple steps to get you on your way:


–Brett Corrieri, corporate chef and catering director, Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub (, Nashville, TN

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–Lexy Frautschy, owner, Ian’s Pizza by the Slice (, Madison, WI


“We are a Madison, Wisconsin-based regional chain of four restaurants, and a big part of our vision is to use as many locally sourced ingredients as we can. The Madison restaurants probably have the easiest time of this, since this area really supports local growers, and we have a spectacular farmers market that runs year-round. We don’t have a freezer and make just about everything from scratch in a separate commissary kitchen. We are known for our inventive slices with ingredients that all come from Wisconsin. We believe that local food will always be better than food that’s grown thousands of miles away, picked too early, and artificially ripened with gases. “Our Madison restaurants have partnered with Buy Fresh, Buy Local, a project of the REAP Food Group ( that sources local farmers who can help us. The Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign also helps to bring awareness to those who are trying to incorporate local food by hosting various events throughout the year.”

1. Find a farmer. Farmers markets can be a good source. Attend your local farmers markets a few times and do some comparison shopping. Get leads from your fellow restaurateurs. With the local movement so hot right now, other restaurants in your area are likely already buying from a local farmer. Look for restaurants that are promoting sustainable products or a farm-to-table mantra in their marketing and promotions. The Internet can also be good way to find information. Websites such as can provide names of farms in your area with a ZIP code search. 2. Determine your product needs. Do you want a farm that offers a wide range of products or something more specialized? One of the organizations I use is actually a farmers co-op that represents about 30 farms. With one call, I can get an amazing selection of produce, as well as meat, eggs, grains, nuts and cheese. At the opposite end of the spectrum is another farm that specializes only in herbs and lettuces.

“We’ve been open for almost three years and have always worked with local ingredients. I find that they are better for the economy and a lot fresher than having products shipped in. I even obtain pork, lamb, beef and chicken from local farmers and butcher the meat myself. I often pay $2 per pound for a hog, which offsets the additional cost of getting fresh basil brought in two days after it’s clipped. “When you’re just starting with local suppliers, you have to be patient and understand that most farms are usually oneto two-person operations, and you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. When the basil crop freezes, you need to have a backup plan.” –Vito Racanelli Jr., chef, Onesto Pizza & Trattoria (, St. Louis, MO 26

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly


“At first, it was difficult to narrow down which farms would be able to produce for a restaurant. Eventually, a local chef put me in touch with Practical Farmers of Iowa, and it wasn’t long before I found a handful of farmers who could meet our needs. This past summer, we sourced onions, garlic, herbs, salad greens, tomatoes, cream, eggs, Italian-style sausage, prosciutto, prosciutto sausage and coppa all from local farms. We were even able to obtain organic '00' flour from a mill in Kansas. There’s no reason fast food has to be poor quality; we make every pie from scratch in less than five minutes, start to finish.” —Scott Coldiron, co-owner, Vesuvius Wood-Fired Pizza (, Ames, IA

January/February 2011 •



5. Negotiate price. Often, farmers can offer a cheaper, wholesale price. Can you decide on a price together before the season and lock it in? Can you commit to a certain quantity of onions or tomatoes every week so the farm can plant enough while having the assurance of a market for the product?

3. Set delivery procedures. Will your farmer be able to deliver on a day and at a time that is convenient for both of you? Small farmers not familiar with the restaurant business need to know they can’t show up with a delivery at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. Similarly, someone from the rural outskirts of your city might need to be warned of the inadvisability of trying to deliver during rush-hour traffic. 4. Work out an ordering system that works for both parties. How many days in advance will the farm need your order? Will the farmer send you an availability sheet every week? Will you place orders by phone or email? Does your farmer understand that restaurant owners often need to place orders at midnight?


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

One last tip: Keep the lines of communication open; it is a relationship, after all. Farmers need to understand that you’re counting on them to provide the products you order, and if Mother Nature, in the form of hungry rabbits, destroys the lettuce crop, you need to know as soon as possible. On your side, have some understanding and patience when events like this occur, because inevitably they will (it is Mother Nature, after all). With a little legwork, buying local can be done fairly easily, and the payoffs are great. You help your local economy, increase the quality and taste of food for your customers (which keeps them coming back for more), and do your part in controlling global warming. It’s a win all around. Chef Peggy Ryan brings 25 years of culinary and management experience to her role as a chef instructor and daytime executive chef of The Dining Room at Kendall College. A strong advocate for local and sustainable food, she is an expert in the cuisine of Italy and was the former chef and owner of Va Pensiero, an award-winning restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. In 2009, she was named Educator of the Year by the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.



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Sizzling Spices Spices Sizzling In your kitchen and for customers, spices are a must for kicking flavor up a notch. Without the spices of life, food would be a pretty bland proposition. The striking aromas, colors and flavors of the hundreds of spices available make up a cornucopia of tastes to suit anyone—and they’ve even been making news lately for their positive health effects. These subtle yet concentrated flavorings have made their 30

way into products from beer and bread to nuts and condiments, and with the modern consumer demand for higher levels of heat, spices have become a must-have for every restaurant and kitchen cupboard. Add to that the trend of flavor-infused spices (smoked salt or pepper, for example) and harmonized multispice blends,

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

By Tracy Morin and you can achieve impressive depth of flavor with a mere shake of the wrist. Spices may be miniscule in size, but they have certainly hit the big-time in popularity. According to spice purveyors McCormick & Company, based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, spice consumption in the United States is at an all-time high,


Flavor Forecast Every year, McCormick & Company in Hunt Valley, Maryland, releases its Flavor Forecast, a list of on-trend flavors that are predicted to make headlines in the year ahead, put together by its own flavor experts, top chefs, food bloggers and mixologists. For 2011, they found that the key influences shaping consumers’ flavor preferences were: need for customization, reframed ideas about health and wellness, desire for ease and simplicity, love of culinary adventure, and craving for taste experiences. McCormick’s five trend watch categories are: Invigorating and uplifting— pops of flavor that stimulate the palate Soul satisfaction—comforting favorites that are hearty, sustaining, rich and indulgent Flavor with benefits— eating for wellness Craveable contrasts—interplay of tastes, textures and visual cues


Spirit of discovery—international culinary adventures with regional and ethnic cuisines, mobile food, and accessibility to new ingredients and techniques The above Flavor Forecast can help inform your own menu and generate inspiration for new items. If your customers are increasingly seeking comfort foods, for example, use warming cinnamon and clove in a hearty soup; to cater to global-leaning eaters, how about a Thai chicken pizza or Mexico Madness pie with spicy chorizo?

growing more than three times as fast as the population, and currently exceeds 1 billion pounds per year. We explore how you can use the power of spices to inject flavor into your foods and provide a higher value proposition for your customers.

In the Kitchen Spices can play a big role behind the scenes at your pizzeria, adding flavor to

ethnic pizzas, jazzing up your sauce and toppings, or instilling additional flavor in the crust (for advice on how to add spices to your dough formula, see the Zeak’s Tweaks column in PMQ’s December 2009 issue, or find it online at PMQ. com/digital/200912/19.html). You can also use spices on the crust postbake to add additional flavor; major chains and independents alike have caught on to this

technique to transform “plain” crust into one that bursts with flavor. For example, the new Domino’s ( crust is sprinkled with granulated garlic, and Hungry Howie’s ( is known for its eight varieties of flavored crust, including Garlic Herb and Cajun. Spices are also a major player in America’s most popular topping, pepperoni, but the way you use and blend those spices January/February 2011 • 31


Spiced Cheeses

Want to receive an extra kick of spice without stocking a bunch of additional product? Want to achieve extra depth of flavor on your pies through a product you already use? Then you might think about carrying spiced cheeses, which have been growing in popularity after their recent introduction to the market. “Using a spiced or flavored cheese on your pizza is a great way to reduce the number of ingredients, yet maximize flavor,” explains Heather Porter Engwall, director of national product communication for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. “Many cheese makers are creating innovative new flavors with natural ingredients such as whole peppercorns and cumin seeds. The spiced, flavored cheeses blend select ingredients and age them for a sophisticated taste.” Best of all, a wide range of flavors are available to suit your needs, from salads to slices; some pizza-friendly varieties include: Blaser’s USA Pepperoni With Marinara Antonella, and Sundried Tomato With Pesto Antonella: These semisoft cheeses are infused with natural ingredients, aged and then hand-rolled in a spice. Cedar Grove Cheese White Cheddar With Tomato and Basil, and Smoked Cheddar With Smoked Salmon and Dill: Each of these cheeses consists of a spice layer sandwiched in the middle of the cheese for contrasting flavors. Holland’s Family Cheese Pesto Basil Gouda and Foenegreek Gouda: The handcrafted Dutch-style Goudas offer an unexpected flavorful surprise. For more information on these and other spiced cheeses from Wisconsin, visit, or check with local cheese makers to determine if some of their offerings can literally spice up your pies.

can turn even this everyday item into a point of differentiation for your pizzeria while enforcing your business’ image. “We make sure to use natural spices, even in our pepperoni,” says Sid Fanarof, founder of zpizza, an organic/ healthy concept based in Irvine, California, with dozens of locations nationwide. “We actually spent years developing our pepperoni profile to get the right amount of heat, garlic and paprika; we believe it’s important to balance the flavors, and add spices that give definition.” With the correct spice balance, zpizza’s MSG-free pepperoni adds flavor and a unique menu touch that proves popular with the chain’s health-conscious customers. In fact, many spices commonly used in the pizzeria offer the added bonus of health benefits, according to McCormick & Company: Red pepper, or cayenne, provides vitamin C and beta-carotene; stimulates circulation; strengthens the heart, arteries and nerves; aids in digestion; and offers antioxidants. Garlic powder also contains

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antioxidants, decreases LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels, is a natural antibiotic and stimulates immune response. Who knew that these pizzeria staples were actually working to make your food healthier?

Customer Customization Go into many pizzerias and you’ll see a few familiar shakers on the tables: usually, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. But other options are also making their way into pizzerias, catering to modern customers’ penchant for customization. Some pizzeria operators hesitate to provide spices for customers, for fear that their carefully crafted pies will be unfavorably altered, but other pizzerias owners advocate providing spice options. “No matter how good a chef makes the pizza, people are going to use toppings so that their food is more personalized,” explains Matt McClellan, owner of Tour de Pizza ( in St. Petersburg, Florida. “With the advent of cooking shows on TV, everybody likes to personalize their own food, and spices allow an easy way to do that,” agrees Richard Gross, owner of Pizza Packet in Brooklyn, New York. “Some owners are reluctant to give out spices, because they’re proud of how their pizzas taste and don’t want the flavor fooled around with; but in providing spices, you’re also providing quality and value to the customer.” Gross notes that pizza, despite gargantuan takeout business, has never been associated with any

condiment packet, as one would find with burgers or hot dogs, so he sees plenty of room for growth in this area. McClellan finds that the spices he provides for customers from VitaminSpice have additional benefits besides simple customization: They help to set his pizzeria apart and reinforce his image as a healthy choice, because they are infused with additional vitamins and nutrients. “People want to feel good about eating pizza, and these spices make it healthier, while replacing the nutrients that are lost in the cooking process,” he says. “Actually, when I started to carry these spices, half of the bottles disappeared from the tables! Now people ask for them by name; it’s a no-brainer for us to offer them and add flavor and value for our customers.” McClellan offers the company’s vitamininfused red pepper and garlic for flavoring in the restaurant or with to-go orders. Spices not only provide health benefits, added value and improved taste to your pizzeria; they also open up a whole world of inspiration, allowing you to create innovative new menu items and truly unforgettable flavor combinations. Whether you’re using seasonings in the kitchen or providing them for customers, think outside the box and keep an open dialogue with your customers. Whether they crave sweet, smoky, salty or spicy, you can accommodate most any request through the power of spices. Tracy Morin is PMQ’s managing editor.

January/February 2011 • 33


Moonlighting in Venice

Vito’s Pizza. side Vito film crew works outside A film

Hollywood Hits Michigan Vito’s Pizza ( in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was chosen as the setting for the upcoming 30 Minutes or Less, starring Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery boy who is kidnapped and forced to rob a bank with a bomb strapped to his chest. “Once they agreed to keep the Vito’s name, I pretty much agreed to everything,” laughs owner Steve Grinwis. “I’d be a fool not to—I couldn’t turn down free nationwide advertising.” Vito’s underwent a retrofitting process that brought the building more of a “’70s feel.” The production company paid to restore the restaurant to its original look, but Grinwis says he won’t change the decor until after the movie comes out—in fact, he likes the new exterior sign better than his original. For research, Eisenberg spent a day riding around with a Vito’s delivery driver. “We actually had him running pizzas to the door, making boxes, doing whatever a deliver guy does,” Grinwis says. “He and one of my drivers got to be pretty good friends; they even swapped phone numbers.” Have your own celebrity story? Contact us at


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Celebrity Chef Steve Cohn, the owner of Village Pizzeria (, a Brooklyn-style pizzeria in Los Angeles, is a bona fide chef to the stars. During his 14 years at his Larchmont location, near Paramount Studios, Cohn has served celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and more. As a result of his prime location, Cohn has been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he tossed dough with Scarlett Johansson, and has catered to the cast and crew of TNT’s The Closer, Fox’s American Idol and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. He’s even been written into an episode of HBO’s Entourage. “From the beginning, we had a line out the door,” Cohn points out. For celebrity guests, Cohn goes out of his way to ensure their privacy and anonymity. Among the pizzeria’s regulars are rock guitarist Slash, Verdine White from Earth, Wind & Fire, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, Cohn won’t share what celebrities like on their pizza and fiercely protects the details of their business. “Part of the reason they come here is so they can feel relaxed,” he points out. “I’m not going to jeopardize that. Our staff is trained not to freak out over the stars, to just treat them like normal people. We’re going to maintain that, no matter what.”



Acting may be Johnny Depp’s day job, but while on a shoot in Venice last December, the star virtually lived at a pizzeria named La Rosa Rossa. In addition to occasionally serving as a guest bartender, he also left his denim jacket behind, which owner Cristiano Vitale displayed in a glass case. “Johnny was the life and soul of the party, and he treated us like we were part of his family—we had some great nights in the bar, and he brought his wife and children in for dinner a couple of times,” Vitale told the New York Post. “I even let him do a self-portrait on the ceiling of the pizzeria, and he signed it. We have a great picture of him standing on a stepladder painting it.” Upon leaving, Depp promised that he would poke his head in the pizzeria on his next trip to Italy.

Villa illag gee Pizz Pi eria owner Steve Cohn pose s with S Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kim mel.

Marketing Marvels Andrew Abernathy

Pizzeria Piccola

Hear more from Joe Bartolotta on

Since 2003, Pizzeria Piccola operators have shown that even a small store can make a big impact on the community—with time, marketing savvy and quality ingredients.

Photos provided by Pizzeria Piccola Pizzeria Piccola ( in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, isn’t very big. In fact, this restaurant’s name translates from Italian as “small pizzeria.” A modest yet prized brand in the 11-unit Bartolotta Restaurant Group, founded by brothers Joe and Paul Bartolotta in 1993, Pizzeria Piccola measures less than 2,000 square feet but manages to bring in nearly $1 million in average annual sales. What’s key in this hole-in-the-wall success story: Since opening its doors in 2003, the pint-size


Classic flavors and quality ingredients are at the heart of Pizzeria Piccola’s menu.

pizzeria has built a reputation for crafting high-end, wood-fired pies; offering hospitable alternatives for customers with celiac disease; and, more recently, embracing neighborhood causes. Every Sunday night, the rustic-style restaurant lets area charity volunteers man the front of the house

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

for a percentage of the night’s profits and tips. Over time, these “Society Sundays” have raised thousands of dollars for area charities and built customer loyalty, and the program shows no signs of slowing. To dive further into Piccola’s business philosophy, PMQ tracked down

Bartolotta Restaurant Group president Joe Bartolotta to discuss how Pizzeria Piccola has kept business in the black while pioneering wood-fired pizza in the traditionally chain-driven Midwest.

Joe Bartolotta

What was your inspiration for Pizzeria Piccola? When my brother and I opened our first restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta, 17 years ago in Milwaukee, there was a heavy concentration of Sicilian cuisine, but it was typically cooked in deck ovens. We were the first restaurant in Milwaukee with a wood-fired oven—it blew people away! So when a very small space opened next door, we jumped on it. I had always wanted to do a rustic Italian pizzeria. We wanted to do something really high-end and hoped people would get it. So we opened shop, and seven years later here we are. Were there any challenges with having the only wood-fired oven in town? The hardest thing was finding a good source of wood. Most cuts of firewood were much larger than we needed. But we eventually found a good provider. We burn hard woods, mostly oak and hickory. How many people can your pizzeria seat? We have a nice outside patio; that helps in the summer. There’s a small dining room on the second floor that seats about 40. Basically, the whole first floor is an open kitchen. It’s gotten to the point where the restaurant is about as big as we want it. We want a neighborhood atmosphere. We’re definitely a local brand; everything is very localized.

Beyond pizza, Pizzeria Piccola offers sandwiches, pasta and gluten-free alternatives for most menu options.

I would say our customers come from about five to six miles in any direction. Tell us about your menu. We never wanted it to be too big. We have eight pizzas on the menu that are standard, plus a couple of special pizzas nightly. We have a few salads and appetizers; we even have a few pasta dishes. Our menu changes in response to what our customers are asking for, but our biggest strength is cooking in the wood-fired oven. How did “Society Sundays” come about? I wish I could take credit, but our general manager Irene Lannoye came up with the idea. Sundays are typically a little bit quieter, so we wanted to find a way to embrace the community, drive business and keep costs down. The basic concept

January/February 2011 • 37

is to loan the pizzeria out to a charity and let them handle the marketing internally, and create a day in their honor. If a church is doing a Society Sunday, they tell everyone in the congregation, “If you want to eat out on Sunday, go to Pizzeria Piccola, because 10% of the night’s profits and 100% of the tips go to the church.” We use our own cooks, but all of the front-of-the-house people come from whatever organization we’re supporting that night.

have a line out the door. If we’re helping an organization like a Cub Scout group, it’s noticeably smaller. But those guys are just as important; they’re raising money for a good cause, too. People have a blast and because they’re waiting on friends and family, nobody gets upset if service is slow. It’s really just a fun environment. It’s not a huge moneymaker, but it brings the community together. Tell us about your gluten-free offerings. That was us being responsive to the marketplace. It’s important to listen for what customers are asking for. Celiac disease, for some reason, has come out

So this happens every Sunday? Every Sunday. Some nights are bigger than others. With a big church, we’ll

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the past few years. Our gluten-free recipe is something my chef created over a long time, and it’s just as good as a lot of other dough out there. The challenge is that we have to make it in advance and freeze it, because you can’t make it per order and you never know when you’re going to get a call for it. A lot of people buy six dough balls at once and take them home and freeze them. They just bring it with them whenever they want to eat out. We let people bring their own gluten-free pastas, too. We just think that’s good hospitality, and we’re selling more and more gluten-free products all the time. Do you offer discounts or specials? We don’t want to get into a war with the big guys, because we can’t compete with them. But we do have a birthday club and loyalty plans where if you buy nine pizzas you get the next one free. We also have developed a line of frozen pizzas, and we’ll ship half-baked pizzas around the country if a customer wants. But from a marketing standpoint, we stick to charities and good causes. I think Society Sundays have been a really good way for us to connect with the surrounding community and market our brand. What’s your best marketing tool? The best marketing tool is your flavor profile and the quality of your food. That may sound cheesy, but I’ve found that it’s true. The best way to spread your brand is qualitatively. We use quality ingredients, and we cook them well. Every day we serve the freshest, tastiest pizza we can. Is there a magic bullet for marketing pizza? I don’t think so. If there were, the big guys would have already found it. Have you embraced any social media?

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We’re just starting, actually. We hired a social media coordinator on our corporate staff who is doing Foursquare, Yelp, Twitter and Facebook. We’re going to start blogging for all of the Bartolotta Restaurants, too. So, yes, more and more it’s becoming a priority. The market is changing so rapidly—and with young people, you’ve got to keep up. When we tweet that we’re giving a free soda with the purchase of a pizza, we’ll have eight or 10 people come in. This shows that the customers are out there and listening; it just takes time to build up a voice. Andrew Abernathy is PMQ’s associate editor.


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Simplifying Soda Sales Use creativity to build takeout beverage sales. By James Latimore Each year, about 2.2 billion orders leave pizzerias across the country without beverages. That amounts to 6 million orders per day, and a “no beverage” incidence rate of 50%. Imagine, then, if that 50% became 49%. Think about how much additional revenue and profit that would generate for the pizza industry. That seemingly small 1% could translate into an extra 43 million beverage servings for the pizza segment. Growing revenue and profit at a time when restaurants are seeing traffic declines and decreased consumer confidence is no easy task. But it’s not impossible when you consider the opportunity that takeout beverage sales represent.

Capturing Sales To capture these additional dollars, you must first recognize the reasons why a guest might not be purchasing beverages with their takeout orders. Key factors impacting this decision include: A) Economics—Guests are reluctant to purchase what some might call “restaurant-priced” beverages when they believe they can purchase lower-priced beverages elsewhere. B) Convenience—Transporting food and beverages from the restaurant to the car and from the car to the table can require a two-handed balancing act. C) Choice—Guests want more beverage product, flavor and form variety in pizza outlets.

Other Sales-Building Ideas The Gathering Factor: Highlight pizza and beverages as the ideal enhancement for family/social occassions. Bundling: Remind guests that beverages go well with pizza.

While economics and convenience are critical factors, for the purpose of this article, let’s address choice, the high-leverage area where improvement can be gained by understanding what beverage choices your guests want. Consumer research reveals that pizzeria guests in particular are looking for more product, flavor and packaging options from restaurants. Some guests want robust flavors, such as the bite of root beer, that enhance the taste of their pizzas. Others are more interested in beverages that refresh the palate and help wash food down, such as fruit punch flavors. Guests want to drink their beverages in the form—bottle, can or fountain—that suits their life at that moment. The right brands, packaging and equipment are critical to success in beverage takeout. How you market your offerings is equally important.

Getting Your Message Across Guests visit pizzerias because they’re looking for an easy, affordable, youth-friendly meal and dining experience. Communicating to guests that beverages are part of satisfying those needs starts with focused marketing in three key areas of your restaurant: the counter, the beverage station and the door. For example, since 60% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, the counter represents an opportunity to remind guests that a meal is not complete without a beverage. Meanwhile, messaging at the beverage station might communicate the breadth of your beverage options and encourage trial of other flavors, while at-the-door marketing might focus on telling guests about specials and promotions. Because each restaurant is different, each marketing approach should differ slightly. Your marketing strategy should reflect your restaurant’s culture, target audience and operational capabilities. While smart marketing is a necessary component of a well-thought-out plan to increase takeout beverage sales, operators must also consider a three-phase approach to thinking about and growing takeout business. That process looks like this: 1. Understanding the takeout spectrum—The spectrum ranges from “no off-premise food and beverage dining” to “total off-premise food and beverage dining.” 2. Setting objectives and developing plans—Where do you want to be on the spectrum and how will you get there? 3. Plan execution—Implementation is driven by 10 factors, which are grouped into three categories: operations, communications and guest relations. While you do not have to address all 10 of the takeout drivers, to optimize your plan, focus on several.

Curbside Pickup: Develop curbside service to make the transportation of beverages convenient for your guests. James Latimore is a senior marketing manager at Coca-Cola Refreshments USA and can be reached at 40

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

New technology has made deep fryers more affordable to operate over the long term. By Andrew Abernathy As a pizzeria owner, your focal-point appliance will likely always be an oven. But if your pizzeria offers fried foods, you should also do a little research when searching for a new deep fryer to find out what’s best for your operation. After all, the check you write today may buy an appliance that will keep you serving up fried delicacies for decades. When making this investment, it’s important to think of the top three considerations: available space, cost savings and safety.

The Right Fit


The type of fryer you buy will depend on a variety of factors, and your kitchen space trumps them all. However, if you’re remodeling and looking to upgrade your appliances, you may choose to switch to a gas or electric fryer after evaluating your utility costs, says Linda Brugler, operational marketing director for Frymaster, a manufacturer in


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Oil Trends Courtesy of David Dzisiak, Global Leader Oils, Dow AgroSciences

Shreveport, Louisiana. “Gas used to be so much cheaper, but now that’s not always the case,” she says. Brugler also notes that many operators find electric appealing because it can be accommodated in a variety of spaces. “With an electric fryer, there’s no excess gas or a flu, and it can even keep the kitchen cooler; about 80% of all energy goes to heating the oil.” A lack of hood space was influential when Paul Merdasie, owner of Claysburg Pizza ( in Claysburg, Pennsylvania, decided to purchase a used electric fryer in 2006. “We didn’t have much room, and the expense of a hood would have been way too high,” Merdasie recalls. Four years later, he’s still serving up fried appetizers and is satisfied with his decision. His advice: Talk to noncompetitive operators who have a similar kitchen setup. “We chose our particular model because we knew other people who were pleased with their purchase,” he says.

Long-Term Savings While frying oil may not seem like an expensive commodity, it’s an expense that adds up over time and can reach thousands of dollars, depending on your menu. Heavily battered and breaded foods make oil filtration a necessity if you want to save money long-term. Jeff Volker, owner of D.G. Sullivan’s Family Pub in Gibson City, Illinois, specializes

When it comes to frying, the oil makes a difference. Trans fat-free oils are now the Industry standard, so what’s next? Research indicates “good fats” are on the horizon. According to the 2010 Gallup Study of Healthy Fats & Oils, consumers are making about the same amount of effort to include healthy fats and oils in their diet (58%) as they are to exclude unhealthy ones (61%). The same study indicates that 68% of consumers claim they would eat more often in restaurants using healthier oils, meaning that operators would be smart to seek out frying solutions that promote the use of better-for-you fats. The draft recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm that the type of fat consumed may be more important than the amount of fat. They call for a reduction in total fat intake, and the replacement of saturated fat with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to decrease risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. To provide healthy fats and meet these health standards, an ideal frying solution would be an oil that is trans fatfree, with healthy fats and reduced saturated fat content. Common frying solutions include corn, canola, soybean, sunflower and blended varieties. Impending menu labeling legislation provides an incentive for operators to choose oil that will impact their nutritionals—specifically, the disclosure of saturated and heart-healthy fats. And knowing that consumers prefer restaurants using healthier oils, operators can promote their use of healthier oils as a means to drive sales.

in pizza as well as bar food such as fish and chips. When he inherited two gaspowered fryers last March, the need for a new filtration system quickly became apparent—he sometimes replaced more than 20 gallons of fryer oil per week. “We do a lot of heavy breading,” he points out, “and, needless to say, I’m all about cost savings.” Traditionally, operators have simply replaced or drained their oils through a hose and a floor filter, but newer fryers and filter technology can make the ordeal less time-consuming and can significantly extend the life of your cooking oil. Brugler points out that many new models come with built-in filtration systems, which can save time and help achieve maximum oil life. However, other products can help those without this technology. External filtration systems, which can be immersed in your frying oil, are great for fryers with or without an existing internal filtering system, says Michael Kempf, director of SYS Systemfiltration. “The basic

advantage is, there’s no need to drain the oil,” he says. “When used without or in addition to an existing filter system, you can extend the life of your oil by 30% to 50%.” Kempf notes an immersion system can filter the oil up to eight times in four minutes. Many filters remove food particles as small as 20 microns in size, and the latest filters can weed out particles as small as 5 microns in size. “Food particles are responsible for the degradation of oil,” Kempf points out. Regular cleaning will also help you get the most life out of your machine. While you should filter your oil daily— maybe even twice a day if you’re cooking a high volume of battered and/or breaded foods—your machine should be cleaned every time you change your oil to keep your equipment in working order. Fry pots and internal filters are the most important parts to keep clean. Brugler recommends what she calls a “boil out,” where the fryer is filled with oil and an industrial cleaner and then allowed to

January/February 2011 •


clean itself, and she points out that Energy Star-certified equipment can lead to lower utility bills as well.

Safety First


Any fry cook may get the occasional burn, but certain safety measures can help avoid even these little mishaps. Foremost is training. As Volker notes, no one in his five-man kitchen touches the fryer without proper operational knowledge. Mark Cilibrasi, marketing manager for Autofry, a manufacturer in Northborough, Massachusetts, points out that certain features, such as flaps that cover the oil pots at all times and an internal fire extinguisher, can be effective safety measures. “In the instance someone turns the fryer on without oil, these systems protect your employees if a fire starts,” he explains. Merdasie uses fully enclosed fryers in his

kitchen and has yet to have any serious problems; this safety feature even cuts down on his insurance costs. “The only time we see the oil is when we filter it!” he laughs. Cilibrasi and Brugler both point out it’s important to ask your manufacturer about features such as censors that can cut off the machine at certain temperatures, and safety valves on filter pans for fryers with built-in filtration. “There are even fryers on the market right now with automatic-fill features,” Brugler says. “Anytime you can avoid handling oil, it’s a good thing.” Quality fryers can last for decades when properly cared for, and the latest technology has made maintenance and operation even easier for today’s kitchen staffs. Don’t make

any purchases before understanding your space and discussing your options with manufacturer to save room and possibly money on your utility bills. Even if you still depend on an older deep fryer model, you can still benefit from filtration technology that can help cut down on your oil bill for years to come—especially if you fry heavily battered foods. Functionality and sustainability aside, explore available safety features to prevent kitchen accidents. Both manufacturers and operators agree it’s better to spend more money on the front end so you don’t have to spend years paying for excess oil and frequent repairs. Andrew Abernathy is PMQ’s associate editor.

Wanna Fry?


Autofry, 800-348-2976, Chef’s Choice Food Service Equipment, 800-206-7041, Frymaster, 318-865-1711, Henny Penny Corporation, 937-456-8402, Hobart Corporation, 888-446-2278, Remagen Foodservice Solutions, 800-762-2968, SYS Systemfiltration, 908-995-4036, Ultra Fryer Systems, 888-331-5013,


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Pizza of the Month:


Seafood Pizza

Crab and Wild Mushroom Pizza Recipe and photo provided by the Culinary Center at Phillips Foods

2 tbsp. olive oil 8 oz. mixed mushrooms, including baby bella, shiitake, oyster and enoki, thinly sliced 4 prepared 8” pizza crusts 2 c. (16 oz.) fire-roasted tomatoes, diced and drained of juice 16 cloves garlic, roasted and slightly mashed 2 c. (6 oz.) smoked Gouda cheese, shredded 2 c. (6 oz.) low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded 8 slices thick-cut peppered bacon, cooked and finely chopped 8 oz. backfin crab meat Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan, and sauté the mushrooms over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in mashed garlic cloves and hold aside to cool. In a small bowl, mix the Gouda and mozzarella cheeses together. For each pizza: Spread ½ c. diced tomatoes over the crust. Top with about ½ c. mushroom/garlic mixture, then ½ c. mixed cheese, 2 tbsp. chopped bacon, 2 oz. crabmeat, and an additional ½ c. mixed cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toppings are bubbling hot. Makes 4 8” individual pizzas.

Where to Find It Perhaps one of the most famous types of seafood pizza is Frank Pepe’s ( signature White Clam Pizza; according to legend, the menu item was added to the historic New Haven, Connecticut, pizzeria in the 1960s, when clams were already served on the half shell as an appetizer. Though clam pizza may still be considered exotic by some, today all kinds of seafood are used on pizzas—not only in coastal towns, but across the country. In addition to clam, pies are now made with salmon, crab, shrimp, crawfish, mussels, scallops…if you can find it in the sea, it might end up on a pizza. Here’s a look at the innovative combinations that operators across the country have created for their own seafood pizzas:

Blue 13 (, Chicago, IL. “3 Birds” Lobster Pizza: lobster, Manchego cheese, caramelized cipollini onions, roasted garlic puree, fine herbs Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, CT. White Clam Pizza: fresh clams, grated cheese, olive oil, fresh garlic, oregano Isabella’s Pizzeria (, three locations in LA. Shrimp Pesto: sautéed shrimp, red onion, roasted garlic, Kalamata olives, roma tomatoes, pesto Matthew’s Pizza (, Baltimore, MD. Crab Pie: 100% backfin crab meat, mozzarella and Reggianito cheeses, topped with caramelized onions and Old Bay Seasoning Picasso Bistro Pizzeria (, Jackson, TN. Darron’s Bayou Sunset: crawfish, andouille sausage, blackening seasoning, scallions, banana peppers

Americans consumed 15.8 pounds of seafood per capita in 2009. Source: National Fisheries Institute

Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen (, eight locations in AZ. Smoked Salmon: smoked salmon, red onions, capers, organic cream cheese sauce Rowayton Pizza (, Rowayton, CT. Amalfi Drive: clams, bacon, garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley (with or without sauce) Signal Station Pizza (, Portland, OR. The Sauvie Island: Signal pesto sauce, mozzarella and fontina cheeses, smoked salmon, capers, roma tomatoes, walnuts

For more recipes, visit PMQ’s Recipe Bank at January/February 2011 • 49

New Lease On Life Learn how to negotiate a dream commercial lease. By Dale Willerton For many pizzeria owners, negotiating a commercial lease is very challenging. Tenants may go through the leasing process once or twice in their entire lifetime, yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living. In addition, the agent or broker is largely commissiondriven; he will earn a paycheck for each tenant signed. Whether you are negotiating a lease renewal or leasing a new location for the first time for your pizzeria, these are some tips for tenants: Negotiate to win. All too frequently, tenants enter into lease negotiations unprepared and don’t even try winning the negotiations. If you are not negotiating to win, you won’t. With big commissions at stake, you can be sure the landlord’s agent, on the other end, is negotiating fiercely to win. Tenants should remember that it is okay to negotiate aggressively. Be prepared to walk away. Try to set aside your emotions and make objective decisions. Whoever most needs to make a lease deal will give up the most concessions. A good pizzeria in a poor location will become a poor business.

Ask the right questions. Gathering information about what other tenants are paying for rent or what incentives they received will position you to get a better deal. Ask the right questions. Consider that your landlord and his agent know what every other tenant in the property is paying in rent, so you must do your homework, too. Brokers: friend or foe? Real estate agents and brokers typically work for the landlord who is paying their commission. It’s not normally the agent’s role to get the tenant the best deal; it is his job to get the landlord the highest rent, the biggest deposit, etc. The higher the rent you pay, the more commission the agent earns. If you’re researching multiple properties, try to deal directly with the listing agent for each property, rather than letting one agent show you around or show you another agent’s listing. Your tenancy is more desirable to the listing agent if he can avoid splitting commission with other agents. Never accept the first offer. Even if the first offer seems reasonable, or you have no idea of what to negotiate for, never accept the leasing agent’s first offer. In the real estate industry, most things are negotiable and the landlord fully expects you to counteroffer (even repeatedly). Ask for more than you want. If you want three months of free rent, then ask (negotiate) for five months. No one ever gets more than they ask for. Be prepared for the landlord to counteroffer and negotiate with you as well. Don’t be afraid of hearing “no” from the landlord; counteroffers are all part of the game. Negotiate the deposit. Large deposits are not legally required in a real estate lease agreement. Deposits are negotiable


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

and, more so than anything else, often serve to compensate the landlord for the real estate commissions he will be paying out to the realtor. If you are negotiating a lease renewal and your landlord is already holding a deposit of yours, negotiate to get that deposit back. Measure your space. Tenants frequently pay for phantom space. Most tenants are paying their rent per square foot, but often they are not receiving as much space as the lease agreement says. Negotiate, negotiate. The leasing process is just that—a process, not an event. The more time you, the tenant, have to put the deal together and make counteroffers, the better the chance you have of getting what you really want. Too often, tenants mistakenly try to hammer out the deal in a two- or three-hour marathon session. It is more productive to negotiate in stages over time. Educate yourself and get help. Unless you have money to throw away, it pays to educate yourself. Taking the time to read about the subject or listen in on a webinar will make a difference. And don’t forget to have your lease documents professionally reviewed before you sign them. With hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent at stake, plus personal guarantees and other risks, you can’t afford to gamble. In leasing, pizzeria tenants don’t get what they deserve; they get what they negotiate.

Dale Willerton is The Lease Coach and a senior lease consultant who works exclusively for tenants. Willerton is a professional speaker and author of Negotiate Your Restaurant Lease or Renewal. He can be reached at dalewillerton@the or through

Winning Menus

Engineer your menu for increased profits. By Ed Zimmerman What if your top-line revenue remained flat and your bottom-line profit grew by 3% to 5%? How do successful independents and chains grow so rapidly? The answer: through menu engineering. Menu engineering is a sophisticated study that observes how restaurant patrons make item selections, and then designs or engineers the menu to encourage consumers to select certain items over others. Well-engineered menus sell higher-gross-profit items that satisfy the consumer and supply incremental grossprofit dollars to the restaurant operator. If you consider your menu nothing more 52

than a decorative price list, you’re missing opportunities. Your menu is your most powerful merchandising tool. Your menu reflects what makes your pizzeria special and profitable. Menus perform three primary functions: First, they position the restaurant. As an example, paper menus in a carryout pizzeria are appropriate and smart; consumers can take them home for easy reordering. But a paper menu in a whitetablecloth pizzeria with an extensive Italian wine list confuses customers. Second, menus merchandise; they offer choices to the consumer. And, finally, they sell. The

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

purpose of menu engineering is to sell the items you want to sell. Picture that you’re out to dinner with family and friends. The waitstaff visits the table to ask if you made your choice yet. You and your tablemates have been sipping drinks and catching up, but the social pressure to place an order is high, so you grab the menu, scan the pictures and text, and quickly pick an item. Most people dine out primarily to enjoy their time, so many items will satisfy their food desires. Menu engineering encourages consumers to buy the items that your kitchen staff executes well and that drive additional profit.

Typical Pizza Menu

On the Menu

Cheese........................................................ 9.75 Dbl. Cheese .............................................. 11.25 Pepperoni ................................................. 11.25 Vegetarian ................................................ 13.50 Gourmet.................................................... 14.50 Hawaiian ................................................... 13.50 BBQ Chicken ............................................ 13.50 Greek ........................................................ 14.75 Da Works .................................................. 15.25

PROBLEMS: • Makes price most important element • Lists lowest to highest price • Does not make use of most important placement areas: first and last

The first step of engineering your menu: Calculate your theoretical food cost. Simply add the value of all ingredients in a particular dish and divide by the selling cost (see graphic below). Once you determine your cost for each, you must rank them— not by food cost percentage, but by gross profit dollar contribution. Cheese Pizza Cost Dough Ball ..... $ 0.12 Sauce ............. $ 0.47 Cheese ........... 1.53

Profit Selling price ... $ 7.99 Cost ................ 2.12

Total ................ $ 2.12

Gross profit .... $ 5.87

Looking for help with your menu? Start here: Art Printing Company, 800-361-8113, Menu Designs, 800-889-6368, Menu Men, 305-633-7925,, 760-323-4848, The Menu Company, 888-963-6826, The Menu Express, 877-250-2819, MPP Marketing Group, 866-889-8745, Promotion Xpress, 888-310-7769, Taradel, 800-481-1656,

Pizza Cost Analysis Sell Price $

Food Cost $

Food Cost %






Dbl. Cheese






























BBQ Chicken








Gross Profit $ Rank







Da Works






STEPS: • Calculate food cost • Determine food cost percentage • Subtract food cost from sell price (this is gross profit dollars) • Rank menu items • Best items (at left): (1) Greek, (2) Hawaiian, (3) Gourmet, (4) Da Works

Food cost percentage is an interesting management tool, but it doesn’t determine profitable operations. Ask your accountant or your banker: You take dollars to the bank, not percentages. Excellent menu engineering that satisfies customers’ needs and delivers additional gross profit to you is the key to success.

January/February 2011 •


Menu engineering is an established and important study, and many of its teachings and techniques are used by chain restaurants. They pour tens of thousands of dollars into consumer studies, focus groups, eye movement studies, etc., to determine why consumers select the items they buy. Below are some simple improvements you can make to your own menu.

Improved Pizza Menu Greek Pizza – A mouthwatering blend of three traditional cheeses, Greek olives, pepperoncini, fresh grilled onions and chunks of fresh Feta. A Vegetarian Delight...$14.75 Hawaiian Pizza – Featuring Maui pineapple, like a cool tropical breeze rushing down from lush mountaintops...$13.50 BBQ Chicken – Sweet pieces of robust chicken in a spicy blended sauce. A Southern tradition...$13.50 Pepperoni – Our classic rendition with hand-sliced pepperoni...$11.25 Vegetarian – A fresh blend of vegetables from the garden, grilled fresh every day...$13.50 Da Works – Everything we could think of, plus a few items rarely seen on a pizza...$15.25 Gourmet – A delightful blend of sweet peppers, eggplant, fresh mushrooms and ricotta cheese...$14.50

Elements of Menu Success Placement. When consumers choose items from a menu they don’t read, they scan. Statistics show that the most chosen items are in the first and second, and the last and next to last, spots on a list. In the above example, selection behavior predicts consumers will choose, in order, Greek, Hawaiian, Gourmet and Da Works. This corresponds exactly to the ranking in the food cost analysis. Vegetarian options are very important today. The Greek Pizza is vegetarian, as is the Vegetarian pizza “buried” in the middle of the menu. Therefore, a consumer who scans for a vegetarian option finds the Greek first and chooses it. This creates a $10.38 gross profit, vs. the $9.12 of the regular Vegetarian. The consumer gets what he wants, and you make an additional $1.26. Project the effect on your bottom line if you made an additional $1 gross profit on every order. This is the power of menu engineering. Review your current menu; chances are, the first item you feature is cheese pizza, as shown in the Typical Pizza Menu shown on the previous page. Plain pizza is typically a low-profit item, as it is the commodity, along with pepperoni pizza, that drives your coupon shoppers. Additionally, children, who do not even read the menu, usually choose cheese pizza. In featuring the cheese first, you give up 54

MENU your highest-gross-profit placement for a low-profit item that the key buyer does not even notice. Callouts. This is a simple change you can make: Notice the red color used to call out “vegetarian” on the Greek Pizza. Boxes around items also drive eyes to that item. Feature a “House Special” in bold text and surrounded by a box (see the example at right). Boxes placed in

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

House Special

the lower left-hand corner draw the eye; this is a hot spot, so use it wisely. Many restaurants feature a favorite item in this spot; it should be a high-gross-profit contributor, not just an item your patrons like. Promotion of a low-gross-profit item increases your chance of lowering your overall margin. Descriptions. Another technique used to drive sales: the description. Reread the description on the previous page of the Greek and the Vegetarian. Which would you choose? Again, gently encourage the patron to choose the item that satisfies both you and them. Pictures. Yes, people eat with their eyes. Enticing color pictures of your food, not generic pizza shots, sell products. However, menus have limited real estate, so you cannot feature images of all items (except online). Again, choose beautiful pictures of a limited number of high-gross-profit items. Use only color pictures—no blackand-white shots. If you print your carryout menu in one or two colors, do not show pictures. Food in one color looks terrible; either use full color or don’t include pictures at all. Likewise, do not use poor-quality photos. Most people have digital cameras today, but you shouldn’t use them. Food photography is an art; if you are not prepared to spend the money to hire a professional photographer and food stylist, don’t use pictures. Photos only work when done correctly; in this case, less is more, so if you don’t have topquality shots, skip it. Buried prices. Notice where the prices appear on the Improved Pizza Menu on the previous page; they are “buried” in the description vs. appearing in list form at the end after a series of dots. In the Typical Pizza Menu, pizza is listed by lowest price to highest price, so people naturally choose items priced in the middle. Burying prices allows people to buy what they

want rather than buy according to price. Especially in groups, people are hesitant to order higher-priced items, as it appears piggish or greedy. Buried prices give customers permission to buy what they want. Reprints. Many pizzerias are reluctant to reprint menus because of cost and/or because they’re afraid to change prices. When costs spike, sometimes you must raise prices. Pizzeria operators frequently complain they cannot raises prices because they have printed prices on menus that customers have at home in their menu drawers. The simple solution is to print menus with expiration dates, just like coupons. You can always choose to honor “expired menu prices,” but in a case where you have raised prices, you have alerted customers that prices are subject to change. Gas stations never hesitate to change their prices; if the cost of oil rises, they raise the price, frequently that day and never with any notice. Consumers know this and accept it. With digital printing today, you can economically change your menu prices, add new items or offer specials by printing smaller quantities of menus more frequently. This more flexible approach keeps your menu fresh for regular customers. Menu engineering is a topic that takes years to research and perfect; there is much more complexity than can be discussed in a short magazine article. However, the tips discussed here are simple to execute and will provide additional profitability with minimal effort. Meanwhile, begin looking at menus more critically— from your competitors and from restaurants that you visit; you will begin to see that some use these techniques and profit from their inclusion. Try a few of the ideas and see if they work for you; you have nothing to lose but extra profit. Ed Zimmerman is the president of, an online portal that allows consumers to find and buy pizza online while assisting operators in increasing revenues, decreasing costs and improving customer loyalty. Zimmerman began his foodservice career in 1974 and has spent time in restaurant operations and management; the wholesale bakery industry; and foodservice distributor and manufacturer consulting. Zimmerman helped start a group that became the largest pizzeria distribution network in the United States and pioneered a cheese-marketing program for pizzerias that spanned 42 states. January/February 2011 •




Patrick’s Team Tip: When making gluten-free dough, use guar gum instead of xantham gum. People with corn allergies will love you!

POSITION: Chef PIZZERIA: Pasquale’s Deli, Damascus, MD CATEGORY OF COMPETITION: Culinary For more on Patrick Maggi, visit and

COMPETITION WON: PMQ’s Gluten-Free Pizza Contest, 2010




Patrick Maggi is living proof that you don’t need gluten to make delicious pizza dough! As the winner of PMQ’s first-ever Gluten-Free Pizza Contest, held in Orlando in September 2010, Maggi is one of the U.S. Pizza Team’s newest members. A second-generation pizzaiolo, he took home the firstplace pizza peel trophy for a pie topped with a blend of several varieties of mushrooms, red onion and goat cheese, which wowed the judging panel. In addition to bragging rights, Maggi also received the opportunity to march with the team during the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. To find out how his win and team membership has affected his professional life, PMQ tracked Maggi down for a chat. How did you first hear about the U.S. Pizza Team? I was reading a copy of PMQ Pizza Magazine at Valley Restaurant Supply in Roanoke, Virginia. I just happened to read an article about the Orlando Pizza Show that mentioned the U.S. Pizza Team. How has being on the team affected your professional life? When I won the gluten-free competition, my phone started ringing off the hook, with fellow pizza makers and business owners asking for gluten-free tips. How did you learn to make pizza? My father taught me when I was about five years old. He was a great chef, and his passion was pizza. He would let me play in the “pizza corner” when it wasn’t busy at Maggi’s Pizza, our family restaurant in Wheaton, Maryland. I was always trying to make up different combinations. To this day, I still use his tomato sauce recipe.

How much time did you spend preparing for the American Pizza Championship? For the traditional category, I entered a Shrimp & Pancetta Pizza. I spent about two months working out the taste profile for it. As for the gluten-free, I’ve been working on the dough for about two years. The inspiration for the combination of the goat cheese and mushrooms came from a hot pasta dish I had in a liquor store in Rome. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try out for the team? Go for it! The team is packed with great chefs and great people, and it’s an honor to be a part of it. It’s a big family! What was it like to walk in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? It was so much fun! Just watching the talent of the acrobatic team was amazing. It’s definitely one to scratch off the “bucket list.”


If you could eat one pizza for the rest of your life, what would it be? The prosciutto-pear pizza I competed with in 2009!

Want to join the U.S. Pizza Team? Submit an audition video to 56

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly


THROUGH THICK AND THIN At Franco’s Pizza, our customers expect that same delicious east coast flavor in every pie. And Gary, my local distributor, understands that. Gary has been recommending ADM products to me for years. His ADM sales rep, Jim, tells him what’s happening in the industry, the right time to buy and which flour is right for my recipes. That’s why he recommended ADM Gigantic® Flour for Franco’s Original White Pie. Our customers can’t get enough. This type of partnership is important to a business owner like me. After all, whether it’s thick or thin, the crust is the foundation of my pizza; I want to build it with partners I can trust.

See the full line of ADM bag flours at Franco’s Pizza, Buffalo, NY

For customers around the world, ADM draws on its resources—its people, products and market perspective—to help them meet today’s consumer demands and envision tomorrow’s needs. © 2010 Archer Daniels Midland Company


Gigantic is a registered trademark of ADM Milling Company

adm001431_Pizza_Aa_PMQ.indd 1

1/26/10 4:41:04 PM

D’Allesandro’s Pizza Laid-back charm fuels sales at this low-country pizzeria. By Andrew Ousley Pizzerias often rely on a unified theme to bring customers in; positioning themselves as a family-friendly atmosphere or a sports-viewing destination can help create the recognizable image and brand of the restaurant. For years, pizzerias have perfected the art of selling themselves as a side dish to their pizza—a profitable strategy. Occasionally, though, a pizzeria abandons this marketing idea, ditching the flair and detaching itself from any single theme. This kind of pizzeria relies solely on its pizza’s ability to act as a people magnet, and the rest just seems to fall into place. Two Philadelphia-born twentysomethings, fresh out of college and living in Charleston, South Carolina, took the Field of Dreams approach to starting a pizzeria. 58

Not “If you build it, they will come,” but something equally fundamental: “If the pizza is good and the beer is cold, they will come.” And, since 2006, come they have—in droves—to D’Allesandro’s Pizza ( in the Elliotborough neighborhood of downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

A Needed Pizza Like many other graduates, brothers Ben and Nick D’Allesandro didn’t know what to do after college. After finishing his studies at the College of Charleston, Ben convinced Nick, a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, that the sparse pizza selection in Charleston created the perfect environment for a business venture.

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

For Ben, the decision to open a pizzeria in Charleston simply made too much sense to pass up; he thought the addition of a pizzeria with a creative menu would be a hit in Charleston. “I love pizza,” Ben enthuses. “I made pizzas all throughout college, and I’ve been eating it my whole life. My brother and I had just graduated and we thought, hey, why not give it a shot?” This entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to making high-quality, gourmet pizzas have made D’Allesandro’s a favorite with Charleston’s large market of college students (nearly a dozen colleges exist in or around Charleston) and the city’s constant flow of tourists. Nestled inconspicuously on the corner of Bogard and St. Philip Streets, D’Allesandro’s commands little attention. A few neon beer signs flicker in the window while the muted tones of trendy music float out to the sidewalk, mixing with the aroma of baking pizzas. One could easily walk by and not notice what’s going on inside. But once through the door, customers are welcomed by a hodgepodge decor: Chalkboard art hangs on the walls, and trophies from unknown competitions are displayed with an obvious indifference to any strategic interior design. Customers can sit at the bar or at a booth and watch while young pizza makers toss homemade dough and apply toppings liberally. It’s the type of place where a bar-sitting patron can carry on a conversation with the pizza cook while the pie is made just inches from his or her sweaty pint glass. There’s a sense of intimacy to D’Allesandro’s; by the time you eat your pizza, you feel almost as though you’d cooked it yourself.

Customers come in and out constantly. Some arrive and leave quickly, just stopping in for a beer to remedy the burden of heavy and humid Charleston air. Not just any beer will do, though: A clear refrigerated case displays over 20 import and artisan beers in bottles, and draft beer is also available. Crowd favorites such as Blue Moon and Yuengling fill up pitchers and pints for thirsty customers. Wine and soft drinks add further beverage variety, but the libations serve only as a complement to what Charleston residents regularly call the best pizza in town. The true secret to their success: a variety of creative pizza combinations made with quality ingredients. Choices range from basic cheese to a loaded fivetopping supreme. Nick favors the Get Gnarly pizza, with balsamic-marinated chicken, spinach and blue cheese— reminiscent more of a gourmet meal than a pizza. Meanwhile, Ben says The Chaucinator is D’Allesandro’s biggest seller—a twist on a Margherita pizza, minus the tomatoes and with a double helping of pepperoni. However, customers are encouraged to improvise and create their own masterpieces by choosing from any of the 30 sauce and topping choices. In fact, at D’Allesandro’s, any pizza creation can end up on the menu. “Customers and employees are always experimenting with new pizzas. If it sticks and people keep asking for it, it becomes a mainstay,” Ben says. Pies come in 10”, 12” and 16” sizes, and fifteen sandwiches made with bread from a bakery on nearby James Island are also available in 6” or 12” sizes. Panini sandwiches called CalJoes and chicken wings round out the menu. Eight reasonably priced lunch combinations are available

THE STATS: D’Allesandro’s Pizza Website: Headquarters: Charleston, SC Owners: Nick and Ben D’Allesandro Year started: 2006 Total units: 1 Number of seats: 30-35 POS system: Restaurant Manager Oven: Rotoflex Dine-in, delivery, takeout Number of employees: 10-15 Best marketing tool: Outgoing employees January/February 2011 •


every day and include a can of soda or a house salad. D’Al’s, as the locals call it, also has a happy hour every night of the week from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., offering pizzas and subs with a pint for a discounted price. D’Al’s also offers a popular free delivery service to the Charleston peninsula, an area that includes residential and commercial districts along with large numbers of university students living in on-campus housing.

Spreading the Word Ben admits that the marketing strategy for D’Allesandro’s is hardly groundbreaking.

“We have a large clientele of young people, so it’s important for us to hire people that fit the attitude of our restaurant.” “We benefit most from positive word of mouth,” he says. When asked about business challenges in downtown Charleston, Ben can only complain about a lack of parking, but because Elliotborough is more of a pedestrian area, it doesn’t affect business too much. “We’re in a residential neighborhood, so foot traffic is always steady,” he says. D’Al’s owners certainly know how to capitalize on their accessibility in the

Elliotborough neighborhood. They’ve played host to Halloween costume parties and trivia nights, and have featured live music as part of a block party-type celebration. “Those were great ways to get people in the restaurant,” Ben says. “Events like that help people associate D’Allesandro’s with having a good time.” For now, the D’Allesandro brothers are content running just one pizzeria, but don’t count out a second location in the future. “We’re always thinking of ways to make the pizza better,” says Ben. “In this business, it’s necessary to be forward-thinking, and we’re always saving our money in case we want to open another location.” Although D’Allesandro’s has enjoyed sustained success since its 2006 opening, the D’Allesandro brothers have had to deal with a few unexpected obstacles in the restaurant business. “Equipment maintenance is a never-ending battle,” Ben admits. “We didn’t know our equipment would require such constant upkeep.” Likewise, the D’Allesandros have some advice for fellow pizzeria operators or those wishing to get into the business. “Keep up with your taxes,” says Ben. “If you aren’t setting money away for when tax season comes around, it can really sneak up on you!” Ben and Nick are also quick to note that their survival depends greatly on the quality of employees they hire. “We try to hire unique and outgoing employees. We have a large clientele of young people, so it’s important for us to hire people that fit the attitude of our restaurant,” Ben points out. (True to word, a mohawk-sporting waiter pleasantly circled the restaurant the day PMQ stopped in for a slice.) D’Al’s is more than a pizzeria; it’s part watering hole, part social hub. In this unrefined pizza joint, hipster students mingle over pies while camera-wielding tourists hike from the posh shops on King Street and the picturesque views of the famed Battery in search of Charleston’s most popular pie. The D’Allesandros, meanwhile, simply continue to enjoy and develop the unique combination of menu, employees and vibe that seems to please everyone who walks in the door. Andrew Ousley is a freelance writer based in Oxford, Mississippi.


PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

Product Spotlight What’s On the Market

DISHY DISPLAYS IDS Menus offers digital interior and exterior displays for the foodservice industry. The company also offers magnetic menu boards, large-format wall mural graphics, display fixtures and an in-house design facility. 800-542-9779,

BOLD VINO VinDivino imports wine from Italy, Austria, Chile and Argentina and distributes to more than 40 states. The Cusumano Nero d’Avola offers a blend of black cherry and strawberry preserves and was named one of “Europe’s Best Values” by Wine Spectator in 2008. 727569-7517,

DOUBLE DECKER Avantec Ovens’ 2030-2 DualDeck Conveyor Oven, features a small footprint that requires only a 4’-by-6’ hood and two baking decks. The oven also includes airflow and air plate technology to ensure consistent, great baking performance and excellent recovery during highvolume periods. 800-322-4374,


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GROOVY BOX Rippled Pizza Boxes are corrugated cardboard boxes with a rigid bottom that allows air to circulate, keeping your crust crispy with less oil. 215-288-1727,

STICK TO IT NoteAds Advertising offers Super Sticky Doorhanger Notes to keep your message where you want it. With costs as low as three cents per note, they can also be used as box toppers. 800-309-7502,

MIGHTY MIXER Empire Bakery Equipment stationary bowl spiral mixers feature a two-speed spiral and bowl drive, a reversible bowl rotation, stainless steel construction, and a belt-driven arm and bowl for quiet operation and low maintenance. 800-878-4070,

HIT THE ROAD Ideal for small towns and urban environments, Pizza Trucks of Canada mobile pizza trucks are fully self-contained and health-approved. One-month delivery and financing are available. 204-297-7667,

AT YOUR SERVICE A pizza can take up half the room it usually does on the table when you use The Pizza Butler. This stylish Z-shaped invention makes it easier to put two pizzas on a table or allows you to use smaller tables, creating more seating room in your restaurant. The trays are made of 18-gauge stainless steel. 718-894-1212,

CLEANER OIL The VITO oil filter system from Germany is an in-tank filtration device for your deep fryer. Simply place the unit in your fryer after each service and micropressure filter your frying oil. Benefits include reduced cost of frying oil (saves up to 50%); improved taste and quality of fried foods (removes suspended sediment and carbons); fast filtration (takes four minutes to filter oil); and an easy-to-use, maintenance-free system. 908-995-4036,

ATTENTION GRABBER The Menu Express offers full color menu designs for takeout menus to help generate revenue and increase repeat business. Direct mailing service is available. 877-250-2819,

January/February 2011 •



PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Businesss Monthly

January/February 2011 •


Deliver Your Best with

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7 9 11 13 14 15 17 19 21 22 23 24 26 28 29 30 34 36 37 38 42 43 44


Popular pizza making concept (3 words) Approve Period just before To-do ____ Pizza topping choice Pizzas have to be served ___ Santa Fe locale Cool down Popular item One of the Kennedys Divide into categories ___ mode or carte (2 words) Pizza box material Finely divided strain of dry yeast, for short NFL position, for short Second word of a flower to remember Like some pizza lovers Dried fruit Italian river Provolone, for example One of the original founders of Cyberslice, Steve ____ From head to ___ Assistant Famed tomatoes for pizza from Campania in the Naples area of Italy (2 words) Goes with behold

2 3 4

5 6

8 10 12 16 18 20 25 27 31 32 33 34 35 36 39 40 41

One of the largest pizzeria distribution networks in the U.S. Form of salt with larger particle size Flavor Author of “American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza,” Peter ____ 4th in the family Internet search ranking technology that can increase your business, for short Worked with dough Promotional program that can increase sales (2 words) __ and fro Fresh and ____ cheese Company, briefly Items purchased Tom Lehmann is an expert one Tour __ France Veggies only person ____-diastatic malt One style of pizza Greek cheese Word used to express surprise Long handled spade shaped tool Brazilian city Magazine manager Beatles, “___, I Love You”

Find the answer to this month’s crossword at 66

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Businesss Monthly

Test your culinary and acrobatic skills and you could win a spot on the U.S. Pizza Team and an all-expense-paid trip to the next international competition!

March 21–23, 2011 Wisconsin Restaurant Expo Frontier Airlines Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The American Pizza Championship Bring your culinary skills and compete to earn a spot on the U.S. Pizza Team.¬The culinary entries will be judged on appearance, taste and viability. The winner earns a spot on the U.S. Pizza Team. Largest Dough Stretch You’ll have five minutes to stretch out a large dough ball as big as you can.¬Use your arms, legs and head, but no rolling pins! Fastest Pizza Maker This is a race to stretch out five dough balls as quickly as possible.¬ No sauce or cheese required. Box Folding Contestants race against the clock to fold five pizza boxes. Freestyle Acrobatics Perform a dough tossing routine to music, incorporating daring tricks over the shoulder, under the leg and behind the back.¬The winner earns a spot on the U.S. Pizza Team.

Register now! Contact Steve Lieber at to compete. Visit for more information.¬

Advertiser Index January/February 2011 Display Advertiser




ADM .................................................................. 800-422-1688 ........................................ ......................................57 AM Manufacturing ............................................. 708-841-0959 ............................................ ..........................................27 Avantec ............................................................. 800-322-4374 .....................................35 Bacio ................................................................. 855-BACIO85 42, 43 Bay State Milling ................................................ 800-55-FLOUR ...................................... .............................Cover 2 Bellissimo .......................................................... 800-813-2974 ...................................... ....................................29 Burke................................................................. 800-654-1152 ....................................... ..............................Cover 3 Cassel ................................................................ 800-729-7769 ............................................ ..........................................33 CrustSaver ......................................................... 877-437-4743 ........................................... .........................................66 Dole................................................................... 800-723-9868 ....................................13 Dutchess ............................................................ 800-777-4498 ...................................... ....................................64 Escalon ...............................................................888-ESCALON .................................... .................................47 Fontanini ........................................................... 708-485-4800 .........................................51 Forno Bravo ....................................................... 800-407-5119 .......................................65 Granbury Restaurant Solutions ........................... 800-750-3947 .......................................32 Grande...............................................................800-8-GRANDE ....................................... ......................................3 HTH ................................................................... 800-321-1850 ........................................... .........................................64 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY ................................................. ............................69 La Nova.............................................................. 716-881-3355 4 Liguria ............................................................... 800-765-1452 .......................................41 Lillsun................................................................ 260-356-6514 ............................................. ..........................................55 MF&B Restaurant Systems .................................. 888-480-EDGE Marsal & Sons .................................................... 631-226-6688 ......................................... .......................................60 Message On Hold ............................................... 800-392-4664 ..............................55 Microworks ........................................................ 800-787-2068 ......................................... .......................................11 Middleby Marshall ............................................. 877-34-OVENS ..........................................7 Moving Targets .................................................. 800-926-2451 NAPICS............................................................... 800-909-7469 ............................................. ...........................................61 Pizza Equipment Warehouse............................... 888-749-9237 ............................. ...........................81 Pizza Trucks of Canada ........................................ 204-444-4359 .................................. ................................65 SpeedLine .......................................................... 888-400-9185 ...................................... ....................................38 Stanislaus .......................................................... 800-327-7201 .......................................... ...................................... 4, 5 SYS System Filtration.......................................... 908-995-4036 The Menu Company ............................................ 888-963-6826 ..................................... ...................................25 The Menu Express............................................... 877-250-2819 ..................................... ...................................64 Trim-P.O.S. ......................................................... 800-556-2321 ....................................... .................................... 65 Tyson Bonici ....................................................... 800-248-9766 ............................................. ...........................................19 USPT Trials/Wisconsin Restaurant Expo ...............................67 Univex ............................................................... 800-258-6358 WP Bakery Group ............................................... 203-929-6530 ................................... .................................21 Wood Stone ....................................................... 800-988-8103 ...................................28 Wunder-Bar ....................................................... 800-722-6738 .......................................21 XLT................................................................. 888-443-2751 x101 .........................................17 PMQ provides this information as a courtesy to our readers and will not be held responsible for errors or omissions. To report an error, call 662-234-5481 x127. 68 PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

February 27 – March 1, 2011

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY

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CAMPUS COLLECTION ...... .................... 800-289-8744 CUSTOM T-SHIRT DESIGNS ................................. Free art with minimum order! Inventory Stock Program ............................ we warehoues your t-shirts for you.

BAKING SCHOOLS AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF BAKING .............................................Manhattan, KS 785-537-4750 ....................................................................Fax: 785-537-1493


CHEESE, LOW FAT CASTLE CHEESE, INC. ......................... Rt. 19, Box 378, Portersville, PA 16051 A large variety of healthy alternatives ..................................................1-800-252-4373



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Food for thought... 66 70

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CRUSTS MOUNTAIN HARVEST PIZZA CRUST CO.......................................... Billings, MT Contact: Eric LeCaptain ........... 800-342-6205.................... Fax: 406-248-7336 Sheeted Dough, Self Rising Crusts, Prebake Crusts, Dough Balls, Filled Breadsticks. Specializing in Custom Formulations. T.N.T. CRUST . .................................................. Box 8926, Green Bay, WI 54308 Lisa Bartikofsky .................... 920-431-7240..................... Fax 920-431-7249 Large variety of prebaked crusts and Readi-Rise self-rising, live yeast crusts. Experts in customizing formulas. BAKER’S QUALITY PIZZA CRUSTS, INC. ..................................... Waukesha, WI Par-baked, Sheeted, Pressed and Self-Rising Crusts; Custom Crusts; All sizes. ......................................800-846-6153



Food for thought... January/February 2011 •



FLOUR, GLUTEN-FREE BAY STATE MILLING GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, Custom-blends and Co-Packing Dedicated production area for exceptional purity.........................800-55-FLOUR



• Dough Trays – extremely durable and airtight! • Dough Tray Covers – designed to fit! • Plastic Dough Knives – two ergonomic designs! • Dough Tray Dollies – heavy duty! • Excellence in Customer service since 1955! The preferred dough tray of the largest pizza companies in the world. Buy direct from the manufacturer with over 20 years experience in dough trays.

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GLUTEN-FREE CREATIONS BAKERY Pizza crusts, breads, desserts, mixes & more all carefully made in a designated gluten-free and wheat-free facility. Training and promotional materials available.


Interviews, features and news from the world of pizza 72

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

PMQ Industry Resource Guide INSURANCE



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PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly




WWW.TIMEFORGE.COM 866.684.7191

PMQ Industry Resource Guide MARKETING IDEAS, CONT.


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RIGHT NOW? Our Tested Neighborhood Pizza Mailings Get CRAZY Response! Get Your FREE Local Prospect Count at: Call 800-926-2451, ext. 356 Say, “Send Me Your FREE Sample Kit!”

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MEAT TOPPINGS BURKE CORPORATION ................................................... Italian, Mexican-Style and Specialty Fully Cooked Meats Contact: Liz Hertz............ 800-654-1152 FONTANINI/CAPITOL WHOLESALE MEATS Contact: Gene Fontanini .................. 800-331-MEAT Pizza toppings, Italian sausage, meatballs, sliced gyros and sliced beef SUGAR CREEK PACKING CO., Private Label Precooked Meat Topping Specialists .................. 800-848-8205 ............

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Interviews, features and news from the world of pizza with host Andrew Abernathy January/February 2011 •


PMQ Industry Resource Guide MIXERS



MOISTURE ABSORBENT TOPPINGS CONDITIONER KRISP-IT LTD. .............................................800-KRISP-IT (800-574-7748) Keep it Crisp with Krisp-It!

OLIVES BAG SOLUTIONS ................................................. Home of the Pizza Jacket Deliver that pie HOT and DRY! 866-Bag-To-Go (866-224-8646) ........................ Thermal Bags by Ingrid Best Selection of Pizza Delivery Bags Keep Pizza HOT! 800-622-5560 or 847 836-4400, 24/7 ordering .....


PIZZA OVENS FISH OVEN & EQUIPMENT CORP. 120 W. Kent Ave........Wauconda, IL 60084 TOLL Free 877-526-8720 ....... Fax: 847-526-7447 ...... LINCOLN FOODSERVICE PRODUCTS................................... 888-417-5462 1111N. Hadley Rd. Fort Wayne, IN 46804 ..................... Fax 260-436-0735 Impinger Conveyor Ovens featuring FastBake and Quest EMS


MARSAL & SONS, INC. ....................The new standard in the Pizza Industry Brick Lined Deck Ovens • Standard Deck Ovens • Prep Table Refrigeration 631-226-6688 ......... ........ PIZZAOVENS.COM Your complete source for buying and selling pizza equipment. or call toll free 1-877-FOR OVEN



PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

PMQ Industry Resource Guide

January/February 2011 •


PMQ Industry Resource Guide PIZZA OVENS, CONT. i feel preƩy.


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ROTO-FLEX OVEN CO. ........................................Contact Richard Dunfield 135 East Cevallos, San Antonio, TX 78204 PH 800-386-2279 ........... Fax 210-222-9007


The Marsal MB Series is designed to fit your restaurant’s specific needs. Not only is it equipped with our exclusive burner system and 2” thick brick cooking surface to ensure the most evenly baked crust, but it looks great too. You can customize the exterior decor of your MB Series oven easily either with our prebuilt finishing kits or your own brick of tile design. Attract customers with a great looking oven and a great tasting pizza.

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Manufacturer & Distributor of Pizza Smallwares 734-421-1060

Interviews, features and news from the world of pizza with host Andrew Abernathy 78

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly

PMQ Industry Resource Guide PIZZA SUPPLIES, CONT.


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January/February 2011 •


PMQ Industry Resource Guide SAUCE


ARMANINO FOODS ..............................................................Fine Italian Sauces CASTELLA IMPORTS, INC. ................................................ 30588 San Antonio Street, Haywood, CA ..................................... 866-553-5611 60 Davids Drive, Hauppauge, NY 11788 ....................................... 866-Castella Email:




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CALIFORNIA BLENDING, INC. ........ Confidential Custom Blending & Packaging. Bill Mooreheart, Jr. ....................... Serving Industiral Spice needs since 1976. 2603 Seaman, El Monte, CA 91733.............................................626-448-1918 CASTELLA IMPORTS, INC. ................................................ 60 Davids Drive, Hauppauge, NY 11788 ....................................... 866-Castella MCCLANCY SEASONING ............................ One Spice Road, Fort Mill, SC29715 Contact: Chuck Wiley 800-843-1968 ................................................................... Fax: 803-396-7794




PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly


time capsule


Papa’s Tomato Pies The oldest family-owned pizzeria in the United States, this landmark is on the cusp of celebrating 100 years in business. There were already other pizzerias in Trenton, New Jersey, when Naples transplant Giuseppe (“Joe”) Papa decided to open Papa’s Tomato Pies ( in 1912, but this institution is the only one from those early days that’s still standing. Joe was only 17 years old when he opened his doors, and made dough by hand, cooking the pies in a coal oven; his wife, Adalene, made the meatballs and pasta sauce. After a couple of moves within Trenton, the location landed at Chambers Street in 1945, where it remains today. As years passed, new generations took over the business: After Joe and Adalene, their daughter Teresa Azzaro ran the pizzeria with her husband Dominik; later, her son Nick (who still mans the pizzeria almost every day) took over, and today he and his son Dominick (“Donnie”), along with Nick’s cousin Chip, are the only ones who make the famous tomato pies. “There are people who make pizzas, and then there are people who kn k no ow w what they’re doing,” know llaughs la aug ug Nick. “I’ve made mo or than three-quarter million llion ll ion pizzas io piizzzas p as over ove ver er myy 50 50 more year ye ar in the business, but I put a lot of care into it—that’s really the secret.” ar years N Nick says that “tomato pies” became increasingly known as “pizza” in the ’50s when neon ssi ig gn n manufacturers charged by the letter and operators wanted to keep costs down, but the sign T Tr re re Trenton tomato pie remains its own style, starting with a thin crust that’s topped first with ccheese, ch hee then tomato sauce. At Papa’s, the menu even offers a mustard pizza, a dough spread w wi it Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard and topped with cheese and tomato sauce (“Some peowith p pl plee love it,” says Nick). Meanwhile, the interior of the restaurant hasn’t changed since 1963, g which regulars and new customers love—and they come in droves from all over the country to experience this much-lauded pizzeria. “People will come from 70 miles away to get our pizza—it’s jjust amazing,” Nick marvels. “If I wasn’t makiing good pie, I’d retire, but I’m still healthy, a and it’s hard to give it up!” –Tracy Morin

(Top ((T T to bottom) Tony Gervasio, founder Joe Papa aand an n Dominik Azzaro make pies in the ’40s; current owner ow ow Nick Azzaro makes his first pizza at age two; tw w Nick and Joe pose outside the shop. To see more historic and recent photos from Pa Pa Papa’s Tomato Pies, visit

Has your pizzeria been in business for 50 or more years? s contact us at If so, 82

PMQ Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly