Pizza Today - September 2015 - (Page 20)
with TONY GEMIGNANI
respecting the craft
When can I step away?
Sooner or later, you are going to need to take a break
have had several calls in the past
few months that touch upon this
question: "When is the right
time to step away from your restaurant?"
This is tough because sometimes
you may never feel 100-percent ready
to step away for a while. You always
have that worry in the back of your
mind. And, really, you should -
because you are the owner. It's like
leaving your home alone with the
kids and a babysitter.
Ultimately, it all comes down to
your management and team. Hiring
the right people is crucial. I had to
learn how to delegate and put people
in positions like manager, kitchen
manager, general manager, bar manager, assistant manager, wine director, accountant, etc. This doesn't all
happen or have to happen at once. It
can be a slow process. I would choose
delegate through this portal made for a much
more efficient business.
How do you know when to trust your
employees? It's always about trust. Start by
giving them duties a little at a time. Watch
them on the cameras. Oversee their procedures and notice how they handle situations.
It takes time to build this and you could be
watching those cameras all day, but sooner or
later you're going to have to take that day off.
Before you know it you have that three-day
weekend and then, finally, a real vacation.
Once I establish a good foundation of
management and employees, I quickly view
who is working out. If someone isn't cutting
it, we address it immediately.
They have to be team players. In fact, I
like to look for employees who have played
team sports. Sounds funny, but typically
employees that have a sports background are
accustomed to being coached, are more disciplined, know how to win or how to kick it
two to begin with: a kitchen manin gear and understand the concepts of team
ager who can handles the food and
purchasing and a supervisor/manager and sportsmanlike conduct. These attributes
are important in an employee - especially
who handles the front of the house.
on Saturday nights when it's crazy. I'm not
If you're a working owner that is the
head chef or Pizzaiolo, then a kitchen saying that you have to only choose people
who play sports, but I do think it helps.
manager is very important to work
The funny thing is that at the time I
closely with you.
fielded these calls I was literally on vacation.
How many years did it take to go
on your first vacation? It took me two Some of these people probably saw me on
Facebook posting pics and decided to reach
years at Tony's Pizza Napoletana. I
out to me. To tell you the truth, I had to cut
learned from that. With other stores
that vacation short by four days and fly my
that I opened, I concentrated on the
infrastructure more so that I could be wife and son home early. People on Facebook
away more easily. I learned that hav- probably don't know that. Something came
ing a strong management team that's up and the owner (me) had to fix it. I was
reliable is the biggest key. So I pay an upset, but that's the business and I will go on
another vacation next year.
above-average wage and that's way
After almost 25 years you think you have it
better than trying to cut costs and not
hiring a legitimate, professional team. all figured out and then you get that call. You
never know. ■
Focusing on that support helped
me immensely. Delegating tasks to
management and having that team
RESPECTING THE CRAFT features World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and Pizza Rock in Sacramento. Tony compiles the column with the help of his trusty assistants, Laura Meyer and Thiago Vasconcelos. If you have questions on any kitchen topic ranging from prep to finish, Tony's your guy. Send questions
via Twitter @PizzaToday, Facebook (search: Pizza Today) or e-mail email@example.com and we'll pass the best ones on to Tony.
2 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5
By RICK DAUGHERTY
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - September 2015
Pizza Today - September 2015
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Interiors: Trend or Fad?
Potato on Pizza!
New Haven Pizza Tour
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - September 2015