Pizza Today - October 2022 - 55

admitted to having had balance and burnout
issues at some point in their careers. The
struggle can make us become angry, bitter
and pessimistic. So in order to achieve a
balance, we need to work equally as hard
as we did to build our businesses. Here are
some tips and suggestions I have gathered
through my experiences and research:
Learn how to detach.
My first store in particular, but subsequently
with all of my other openings, it
was really hard to walk away and not be
there all the time. And even when I physically
wasn't there, I would constantly be on
my phone, watching the security cameras,
sending messages and spend all of the time
away worrying about the store. There is an
indescribable guilt we feel being away from
our stores, like we are neglecting a child.
But we need to understand that if we can't
detach and balance other aspects of our
lives, we cannot fully give our best effort
or version of ourselves to our stores. Nicole
Bean of Pizaro's Pizza in Houston recommends
putting your phone on DND (Do
not disturb) on specific times you step away
from work. This allows her to really remove
herself from the work life and focus on what
she wants to do.
Involve Family.
Most small businesses in America are
family owned and operated. A New York
Enterprise Report found that small business
owners work twice as much as everyday
employees, many hovering over 60 hours
per week to make sure their companies stay
afloat. All of the successful local restaurants
I know are operated by families. Paulie G's
first pizza man was his son. Paulie told me
" You have to involve family, otherwise you'll
never see them " . This also helps spouses and
children understand what exactly is going
on and why you are so unavailable at times.
Be Creative.
Accept that you have chosen a lifestyle
that will be very different than a normal
persons and find ways to still fit in what's
important to you.
For example, if eating dinner with your
family is important, but you need to stay at
your store, have them come have dinner at
the restaurant.
Carlo Bertolli of Pizza Boy in Chicago
and hit reality show " Smothered " told me
stories that growing up when his father
was working seven days open to close, his
mother would bring all five kids to the shop
to have dinner, and sometimes the younger
ones would sleep in sleeping bags if it got a
little later than expected.
Communicate.
If you physically can't be with family as
much because of different schedules, call as
often as possible and Facetime. It doesn't
take the place of being able to spend time
in person, but it definitely helps and would
mean a lot to your loved ones. If you are
like my father was, and don't get to see
them in the morning or evening, leave little
hand drawn notes on the fridge. Your whole
family will love and look forward to these.
Express to your family that you work very
hard and sacrifice so much time from them
because you want to make a better life for
you all.
Make the most of your time.
Be very mindful. If you can only get a few
minutes in the evening before the kids go to
bed, make sure they are uninterrupted quality
minutes. Put your phone away, eliminate
distractions and focus on the present. You
would be surprised at how quality can make
up for quantity when in comes to time.
If you can't get away for a week, try a few
days or even a day trip, but really focus on
all your loved ones. They will treasure all of
those memories for a lifetime.
Work when they sleep.
If you need to work from home, try working
when everyone is asleep. It will be hard,
but wake up a few hours early or go to bed
a little later. When you're home, try to put
all of your attention and passion into your
loved ones. You will feel less guilt because
you will not be missing out on anything
when they're sleeping. I'll sacrifice sleep, but
I won't sacrifice quality time with them.
Build a team. Delegate.
It's very hard to find help these days in
our industry. John Arena told me: " We lose
people, and we say 'I'll do that myself, I'll do
that myself, I'll do that myself. Until you're
standing by yourself doing everything!' " We
need to be very intentional on building a
team and developing people to be able to
do what is required in our absence. Look
for people who are independent and able
to take the reins when we are not around.
Teach them our beliefs and style so we can
delegate tasks and get them done the way
we would do them.
Do Less, Lead more.
We spend so much of our time and
energy as operators putting out fires.
Author and Speaker David Scott Peters
of " Restaurant Prosperity " says that if our
restaurant operation is dependent on us
being in it, then we are fulfilling the wrong
role as an owner. We need to start leading
our employees instead of doing their jobs
for them. David suggests making checklists
for every aspect of your restaurant. " When
you document whatever task needs to get
done, you suddenly become in control of
everything down to the smallest detail without
having to lift a finger to do it yourself, "
he says.
Close once a week.
If you are short staffed and have no way
to walk away from your business, close one
day a week. To some of us operators that
idea is unfathomable. We wouldn't want
to risk losing customers or the business.
But you really need to weigh your pros and
cons. Carlo from Pizza Boy is closed on
Mondays, which allows him to get some
personal stuff done and spend time with his
wife and three kids. Paulie Gee's was closed
on Mondays as well when he first started,
or there wouldn't have been any other way
to spend quality time with his wife. Many
operators I know had big staffing issues,
and were forced to close one and in some
instances two days a week during the height
of the pandemic. Surprisingly for some,
revenues stayed the same (the customers
that were coming on Mondays would come
other days), and a few others experienced
a significant increase in profit margins
because of reduced labor and overhead.
Take a personal inventory.
Laura Meyer says: " We put our heads
down and grind, and we forget to look up.
We are like race horses. We run with our
blinders on and only look forward. " Try to
take a step back and really assess your goals
and your life.
Nicole Bean highly recommends the
book " Pocket Life Coach " , which really
helped her put things in perspective and
achieve a healthier work and life balance.
Why did you get in this business? What
areas of your life require attention? What
changes, big or small can you make to better
yourself and be a better version of yourself?
Be proactive at setting boundaries and
making changes.
PASQUALE DI DIANA is owner-operator
of Bacci Pizzerias in Chicago, Illinois.
OCTOBER 2022 / PIZZATODAY.COM / 55
http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - October 2022

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

Pizza Today - October 2022 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 3
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Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover3
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