Pizza Today - May 2017 - 55

It was our friends, so if we
made mistakes it was okay."
There were three seatings,
at 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and
8:30 p.m.
Hard Knox was closed
for lunch the next day so
that staff could work out
the glitches. On Saturday
evening it was open to the
public for dinner service.
There was a live band to
attract customers, Sponcia
says, and the menu had
regular prices. "We were
really busy," she says. One
detail that helped the staff
was that the new menu was
pared down to pizza and
salads, as the calzones and
flatbreads that had been
tepid sellers were discontinued.
Other operators say
they expanded their
menus, and that the
grand re-opening was
the perfect time to present the new items. When

Nick Napoletano and Tom
Cappello acquired Mr.
Pizza Slice in Red Bank,
New Jersey, they closed the
45-year-old establishment
for two months to renovate
the space and to update
the menu. "They really did
only plain or pepperoni,"
Napoletano says of the
former owners. "We now
have a minimum 15 to 20
different pies on the menu,
and sandwiches - chicken
Parmesan, eggplant, cheesesteaks. We added things
that give it a little bit more
excitement."
Some popular items

remained on the menu,
to keep regular customers
happy. Also, it was important to communicate
with these longtime guests.
"When we closed the door,
many people were upset,"
Napoletano says. "They
didn't know what was going on." He made sure the
Mr. Pizza Slice Web site,
Facebook and Instagram
pages were updated often
during the renovation. He
also opted not to change
the name of the business,
to keep the nostalgia alive.
When the place reopened,
it was not really a big bash
but an all-day opening,
from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

thing special, and we had a
line out the door," Page says.
Page thanked regulars by
giving them a free drink and
free slice of pizza during the
grand re-opening. "A gesture of kindness is the best
promotional tool you can ever
use for your business," she
says. "Even if it's their first or
second time, if you buy them
a slice it's going to make an
impression. You're providing
them with that memorable
moment, and they're going to
tell their family and friends."
The customer experience is important, says

Michael J. Kudrna, who
purchased Frato's in Scha-

umburg, Illinois, in 2012. He
held a grand reopening that
included a steep discount
on food, games (including a
dunk tank) and donations to
a local charity. He made sure
his staff was trained for the
big day, and scheduled extra
staff. "You must provide an
experience that makes them
crave coming back," he says.
"If the customer has a less
than positive experience, it
will be harder to get them
back." n
NORA CALEY is a freelance
writer specializing in food and
business topics. She lives in
Denver, Colorado.

Sometimes a low-key
affair can be as effective
as a party. When Fong's

Pizza in Des Moines, Iowa,
was damaged by a water
main break in 2012, the
local news stations covered
the mishap and residents
wanted to show their support. "I'd be going up to the
grocery store and random
strangers would say, 'I'm
so sorry about what happened,'" says Gwen Page,
co-owner of the now twolocation Fong's Pizza. "It's
very humbling."
Fong's Pizza reopened
after two months of repairs.
The owners announced
the date on social media,
and Coca-Cola supplied
them with a large banner
emblazoned with "Opening
January 29" to hang outside.
"Because of local media
coverage we didn't do any-

M AY 2 0 1 7 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 5 5


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Pizza Today - May 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - May 2017

Pizza Today - May 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Knead to Know
Flooring Options
Specialty Cheese Pairings
Manchego
Eliminating Spoilage
Cheese Pricing
Grand Openings
Pizza Today on the Road: Riverboat Pizza Co., Savannah, GA
Pizza Today on the Road: Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Savannah, GA
International Pizza Expo Wrap Up
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - May 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today - May 2017
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - May 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Flooring Options
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Specialty Cheese Pairings
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Manchego
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Eliminating Spoilage
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 46
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cheese Pricing
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 50
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Grand Openings
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Riverboat Pizza Co., Savannah, GA
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Savannah, GA
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - May 2017 - International Pizza Expo Wrap Up
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - May 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 87
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover4
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