Pizza Today - August 2022 - 46

it could be gone one day. You never
know what could happen.
" Then you say 'wow, how can you do
a million-dollar month?' he says. " A
million dollars a year you're always trying
to achieve that and then the
$2 million restaurant. But with Tony's
the goal was $10 million a year honestly.
As we started to go, I would always
dream about 'wow, I could do $10
million' and now it's like 'can you actually
do $12 million' and during a really
unstable and interesting time? "
Fast forward, it's the end
of 2019 and Tony's Pizza
Napoletana capped the year
with $9.1 million in sales and
he anticipated reaching that
$10 million mark in 2020 for
the first time in its history.
Tony was also eager to be a sole
proprietor of his namesake business. He
had already bought out one partner and
in February 2020 Tony bought out the
second partner. " I got the biggest SBA
loan I've ever gotten, the biggest loan
I've ever gotten, " he says. " I had never
gotten an SBA loan. I had only gotten a
home loan. I've been able to get private
equity. Maybe two weeks after the
documents were done and we signed
everything, COVID hit. "
The bottom fell out. The COVID-19
Pandemic obliterated San Francisco's
once thriving restaurant industry. The
initial blow to Tony's was devastating,
a 56-percent decline in business during
that second quarter.
Tony stepped into the forefront on
Pizza Today's The Hot Slice Podcast
and Checking In With series offering
other operators the realities of
COVID-19 in one of the country's
largest metropolitan cities and the
actions he was taking to rebound. Some
of those steps triggered the immense
growth Tony's experienced in 2021 and
2022.
But survival was paramount at
Tony's in 2020. The team got creative
and innovative to maintain during the
grim time, instituting such initiatives
as Wine for a Dime, frozen pizzas, take
and bake pizza, family specials pizza
46 / PIZZATODAY.COM / AUGUST 2022
kits, pizza valet, Easter egg coloring
packages, cocktails to-go, and 10
percent customer loyalty pens.
They also took a hard look at the
operations, making decisions to
decrease menu options and offer better
online ordering. They restructured the
Slice House kitchen and streamlined
to-go and the third-party/pick-up
window directly on the sidewalk.
Tony's had used parklet prior to
COVID-19, so as soon as the city
approved the outdoor seating, Tony
went all in. " I invested in the parklets
on both sides of the restaurant with
lighting and heaters, " he says. " It was
a big investment. " The parklets were
completed in phases with roofing
added for colder months. The parklets
his living legacy.
Tony took the gamble and reinvested
in his concept and created a concrete
strategy to handle the sheer volume
that he anticipated for Tony's.
In 2019, Tony had started the process
of opening a bakery that would also act
as a commissary for dough production
for Tony's, as well as other brands.
Delayed by COVID-19, Toscano
Brothers opened around the corner
from Tony's in May 2021, moving
all dough production (mixers and
equipment) from Tony's to the bakery.
It doubled walk-in refrigeration and
freezer capacity for dough and frozen
pizzas - approximately 70 percent
more dough for pizza. It also shifted
25 percent of the inventory from Tony's
" I have a story about every single pizza
that lands on that table or the flour or the
oven it came out of. "
created an additional 100 seats for the
busy restaurant. While indoor dining
was closed, the parklets, carryout and
delivery flourished.
The initiatives helped stem
the damage and triggered a
comeback. The efficiencies and
parklets sparked Tony and his team to
think forward. " What happens when
it comes back? During COVID, you
didn't have both open at the same
time. So, I'm going to my GM Natale,
'how are we going to handle it? We
could barely handle it at $9.1 and we're
hoping we can get to $10. I remember
when we hit $9 and I was like what
happens when we hit $11? We don't
have enough refrigeration. We don't
have enough room. "
As Tony staged a comeback, he was
experiencing one of his toughest times
personally with the loss of his mother,
who always pushed him to do what
makes him happy. He also faced his
own mortality after serious illness and
surgery, giving him new perspective on
to the bakery, which now housed flour,
semolina, yeast, oil, malt and other
dough-making supplies for Tony's
seven dough recipes.
The bakery also provided revenue
generation through breads such as
sourdough baguettes, artisan batards
and boulé then cross utilized them for
menu items at Tony's like garlic bread,
bruschetta, crostini and sour cherry
and chocolate caramel bread pudding.
Bagels and pastries added extra income.
Using the bakery as a commissary
helped free up much needed space at
Tony's. The sauté and fryer lines were
expanded to double the space and new
equipment was purchased. A double
stack gas brick oven was replaced by a
triple stack electric deck oven.
With dough being made at the
bakery, the prep, refrigeration and storage
areas at Tony's were poised to tackle
more products.
The kitchen areas in Tony's
and the Slice House are compact,
something you wouldn't
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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