Pizza Today - April 2021 - 38

Start Planning Early
Before constructing or expanding an
outdoor dining space, talk to all parties
involved, such as your landlord, contractor and architect. " They will be able to
advise you on any requirements from your
municipality during the early stages of
planning, " says Tim Spiegelglass, owner
of Spieglglass Construction Company in
St. Louis, Missouri, which builds restaurants and pizzerias. " Depending on your
situation, you might also be able to work
with your landlord on a tenant allowance,
where you are allotted a certain dollar

amount to improve the property. "
When laying out plans, think about
prevention and safety features. For
instance, consider how you'll deal with
water from rainfall or other potential
flooding. " Ensure your patio is level
and consider where the water is flowing
through the property, " Spiegelglass says.
Also check on putting up a barrier, such
as a fence or wall, to protect diners from
cars and other hazards. Some locations
may require bollards, which are vertical
posts, around the edges of the seating
area.
If possible, line up the seating area so
it is close to a restroom. You might give
guests the option of accessing a restroom
from the outside, so they don't have to
go inside. If not, try to place the outdoor
tables in a spot that is close to an indoor
restroom.

Consider Timing
If you're located in a seasonal area and
only offer outdoor dining during warm

months, evaluate when it makes sense to
open up the space in terms of revenue.
" Know when having everything set up is
profitable, " says Elizabeth Kelly, marketing specialist at Speedline Solutions,
which provides software solutions for
point of sale demands of pizza and delivery chains. If you have records from previous years that identify sales made from
the outdoor patio, you can look through
those to see when sales were at their
highest. Thinking through how frequently
the outdoor space has been used in the
past works too. For instance, if you typi-

cally open the area in May but it doesn't
fill up with customers until June, it may
be more cost-effective to wait until June.
You won't have to worry about cleaning
the space, paying for lighting, and supplying staff until enough customers come so
it makes sense financially.
If you do keep your outdoor space open
during cold months, factor in costs associated with heating. " We have a heater and
blankets, and table lamps, " says Antonio
Ferraro, owner of Napoli Pasta Bar in
Washington, D.C. and Napoli Salumeria
in Arlington, Virginia. Covered areas
also help keep customers warm when
it's chilly outside. Before adding heaters,
however, it's important to think about
costs from heating, especially the propane
needed during cold temperatures. The
expenses may be worthwhile if customers are willing to brave the cold. " We
incurred those outdoor costs to retain
customers and give them a safe option for
eating, " Thirion says.

Create an Efficient System
If your outdoor patio is far from the
kitchen, and your staff will be spending
time moving back and forth between the
indoor and outdoor areas, look for ways
to streamline processes. " Instead of having
a server run back and forth, they can take
an order on a tablet, " Kelly says. Some
tablets offer additional features, such as
flagging tables that haven't received their
food or noting an item that is taking a
long time in the kitchen. This can help
staff immediately spot any issues and
work to resolve them, saving time and
helping diners finish their meals and clear
tables for the next set of guests.
Carrie Jeroslow, the owner of Elkin
Creek Vineyard in Yadkin Valley, North
Carolina, set up a reservation system to
increase efficiency in the place's outdoor
eating area. " We have a traditional wood
fire brick oven where we make handmade-to-order brick oven pizzas on the
weekends, " she says. " Pre-pandemic, we
used to take reservations for the dough
only, because we make a certain amount
that rises overnight and can't make more
when we run out. " The place would make
about 60 to 70 pizzas during a six-hour
timeframe. They also held about 40 percent of the dough for walk-ins. " People
would wait up to an hour to get their
pizzas since they are made one at a time, "
Jeroslow says. " Because we are very well
known for our pizzas, people would wait
that long. "
Recently she and her business partner switched the system, and now take
reservations and pre-orders only. This way,
customers receive a reservation time and
the place gets their order ahead of time.
" People don't wait at all for their food-
everything is done right at their reservation time, " Jeroslow says. Guests can eat
in the place's covered pavilion. While they
only make about 35 to 40 pizzas now,
Jeroslow says she loves the new system.
" People are really happy, and everyone
moves in and out at a good rate. We also
have lower stress in the kitchen. " n
RACHEL HARTMAN is a freelance
writer who covers small business, finance
and lifestyle topics.

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http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - April 2021

Pizza Today April 2021
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike's Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony's Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Ghost Kitchens
New Item Roll Out
Private Labeling
Outdoor Dining Setup
The New York Style
Going Pesto
Latest menu Trends
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2021 - CT1
Pizza Today - April 2021 - CT2
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Pizza Today April 2021
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Cover2
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Commentary
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 4
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 5
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 6
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 7
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Digital
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 9
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Conversation
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 11
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Mike's Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 13
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 15
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 17
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Tony's Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 19
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 21
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 22
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 23
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Destinations
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 25
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Ghost Kitchens
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 27
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 28
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 29
Pizza Today - April 2021 - New Item Roll Out
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 31
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 32
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Private Labeling
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PEC1
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE2
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE3
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE4
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE5
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE6
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE7
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE8
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE9
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE10
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE11
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE12
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE13
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE14
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE15
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE16
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Outdoor Dining Setup
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 37
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 38
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 39
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 40
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 41
Pizza Today - April 2021 - The New York Style
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 43
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Going Pesto
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 45
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Latest menu Trends
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 47
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 48
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 49
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 51
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 53
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 54
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 55
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 56
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 57
Pizza Today - April 2021 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 59
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 60
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 61
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 62
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 63
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 64
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 65
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Cover3
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Cover4
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