Pizza Today - August 2022 - 31

F
or some pizzerias, the front
of the house looks and functions
a bit differently these
days.
Pushed by the pandemic and
labor market forces, operators across
the U.S. have reevaluated their
in-store service models. For many,
this reflection spurred a shift,
including doing away with the
traditional full-service model in
favor of hybrid models incorporating
elements found at quick-service
eateries.
Three veteran operators talk about
the unique service models they
employ.
St. Angelo's Pizza
Atlanta
For a dozen years, Sean Rowe
ran his flagship St. Angelo's Pizza
location in Atlanta as a traditional
full-service operation. Anticipating
potential upheaval from a bubbling
public health crisis overseas, Rowe
assembled his team in February
2020 and detailed plans for a new
fast casual-like service model. No
more servers. Across-the-board
raises. Required tip sharing.
When indoor dining resumed
after a nearly two-month pandemic-induced
shutdown, St. Angelo's
unveiled its new service model.
After guests order at the counter,
they receive an Italian-themed
placard for their chosen table -
some feature Italian celebrities like
Joe Pesci or Robert DeNiro while
others host relevant imagery like
the map of Italy - and await food
delivery. Staff then travel around the
dining room with handheld tablets
to follow up with guests and fulfill
any additional requests.
" We didn't want to lose that
element of guest engagement, " says
Rowe, who eased into the new
service model by first incorporating
the handheld devices before
renovating the 2,500-square foot
restaurant to alter traffic flow.
Even though Rowe's labor costs
have climbed about five percent, he
holds no regrets about switching
service models. Besides vanquishing
his constant hunt for capable
servers, Rowe says the move has
transformed employee morale at St.
Angelo's, bolstered staff retention
rates and enhanced teamwork since
everyone is incentivized to hustle -
all of which has elevated the guest
experience.
" A better culture and an improved
guest experience only helps us, " says
Rowe, who maintained full-service
operations at the 6,500-square foot
St. Angelo's in Cartersville, Georgia,
given that restaurant's large-group
business.
A tip for his fellow operators:
" Carefully consider the impact of
any change on your employees and
your guests. If you're the only one
benefiting from the change, then
you're going to have a problem. "
Park Street Pizza
Sugarcreek, Ohio
After operating as a carryout and
delivery spot for five years, Rocky
Shanower built a new home for
Park Street Pizza in 2008 featuring
an eight-table dining room.
Quickly, though, Shanower realized
he erred.
" Full service just wasn't my jam, "
he says.
So, Shanower adopted the familiar
quick-service model. Guests ordered
and paid at the front counter, where
they also received their drink cup and
a buzzer alerting them their meal was
ready for pickup.
" But that caused a cluster at our
pickup counter, " Shanower says.
So, he shifted gears again.
Today, Park Street customers
order, pay and receive their beverage
cup at the counter before selecting a
seat in the eatery's 100-seat dining
room or on its 50-seat patio. Using
a table tracking device, staff then
deliver food to the table. Staff also
roam the dining room delivering
carryout boxes and bussing tables.
Shanower says this service model
puts guests in control of their
experience, eliminating two frequent
customer pain points when dining
out - waiting on a check or a refill -
while also driving faster table turns.
" We do everything we can to make
this experience as seamless as possible
for our guests, " Shanower says.
Park Street staff are cross-trained,
which empowers them to problem
solve and contribute to steady,
efficient operations. A touchscreen
expediting monitor near the kitchen
allows staff to quickly fulfill orders
while a subtle reserve sign system
accelerates guest seating. An orange
sign indicates a table needs to be
cleaned; black signals a table is
ready for guests.
" All team members are engaged
in customer service, so there's no
one person making or breaking the
experience, " Shanower says.
A tip for his fellow operators:
" Make sure you're building in a
focus on the guest experience. If
you strip things down too much
and rely too heavily on technology,
how are you driving an emotional
connection and winning the heart
of the guest? "
Regents Pizzeria
La Jolla, California
One of the nation's highest-revAUGUST
2022 / PIZZATODAY.COM / 31
http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - August 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - August 2022

PIZZERIA OF THE YEAR
Employee Ownership
Fall Menu Favorites
Blended Service Models
Pickles on Pizza
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike's Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
On Deck
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - August 2022 - CT1
Pizza Today - August 2022 - CT2
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Cover1
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Cover2
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Commentary
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 4
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 5
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 6
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 7
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Digital
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 9
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Conversation
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 11
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Mike's Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 13
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 15
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 17
Pizza Today - August 2022 - On Deck
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 19
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 21
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 22
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 23
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Destinations
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 25
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Employee Ownership
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 27
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 28
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 29
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Blended Service Models
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 31
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 32
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 33
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Pickles on Pizza
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 35
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 36
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 37
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Fall Menu Favorites
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 39
Pizza Today - August 2022 - PIZZERIA OF THE YEAR
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 41
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 42
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 43
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 44
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 45
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 46
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 47
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 48
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 49
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 51
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 53
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 54
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 55
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 56
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 57
Pizza Today - August 2022 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 59
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 60
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 61
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 62
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 63
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 64
Pizza Today - August 2022 - 65
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Cover3
Pizza Today - August 2022 - Cover4
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