Pizza Today - April 2018 - 60

few hundred people. That's when I was
like, 'Well, maybe we're onto something.'"
NEXT, THE WHOLE "LUCK FAVORS THE
WELL-PREPARED" CLICHÉ RANG TRUE
AGAIN FOR THE BROTHERS. Cincinnati

was in the midst of revitalizing downtrodden neighborhoods. The Over-theRhine section just off of downtown had
long been an eyesore with potential. The
Cincinnati Center City Development
Corporation (3CDC) had its eye on A
Tavola's pop-up prowess.
"They set something up called 3CDC,"
Jared explains. "It was sort of a public/private entity where they could take money
from Proctor & Gamble and places like
that, plus provide historic tax credits to
get businesses like ours open. It was a
pass-through entity."
With tax breaks and other help, A
Tavola became a brick-and-mortar reality
with a wood-burning oven, a full bar and
dine-in/takeout options.
"One of the people working with the
city on this project had been in to several
of our pizza nights," says Jared. "She came
to us and said, 'Why don't you come and
look into some of these spaces downtown?' So we made a deal with the city.
It was definitely a calculated first step.
It was, 'Let's see how this goes and see
where we can take it.'"
TURNS OUT THEY TOOK IT PRETTY FAR.

"My brother was working as an
attorney at the time, and we became so
busy that he ended up coming on board
to help run the company," Jared says. "He
really functions as our CEO. He pretty
much runs the business."
A Tavola was the third spot to open in
Over-the-Rhine under the 3CDC program. Revitalizing a neglected neighborhood is certainly never without its more
interesting moments.
"I remember hearing gunshots the
night we were painting this place," recalls
Jared. "It was definitely a risk at first. I
remember thinking, 'I hope we made the
right decision.'"
WITH NICK ON BOARD TO OVERSEE THE
BUSINESS SIDE OF OPERATIONS, Jared was
6 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / J U LY 2 0 1 7

able to concentrate on his passion for
food. Nick took to social media to help
establish brand awareness, eschewing
more traditional forms of advertising.
"We tried some things, but it's expensive and the return just isn't always there,"
he explains. "Social media is what we
found worked best for us."
There was also a necessary educational
component. While Jared describes A
Tavola's pizza as Neo-Neapolitan, he
admits the name wasn't easy for customers to pronounce and that Cincinnati was
being introduced to a new type of pizza
that it did not fully understand.
"They still murder the name," he
laughs. "So we had to put our customers
on a learning curve. But, again, there's a
lot about the style that translates. When
you go to Naples, for instance, the cheese
comes from just over the hill. So we work
with a lot of local purveyors to emulate
that Neapolitan spirit of keeping it local.
Our No. 1 seller is an arugula and fig jam
pizza. The arugula is grown just miles
away from here. It allows us to support
the local economy and we get a better
product that way."
Nick adds that "I've found that many
people are mistaken on what Neapolitan
pizza actually is. To me it's like a plate
of water. If we were to actually serve
true Neapolitan pizza - which we did
consider at first - we'd get a lot of complaints that it's too wet."
They are still sometimes told the crust
appears burned by customers who do
not understand the charring effect is an
essential component of the product. But
when it comes down to brass tacks, they
say, quality shines through and customers
pick up on that and appreciate it.
"I think people are realizing that for a
couple of bucks more they can patronize
a family business," Jared says. "You get a
little bit more for your money when you
do that, and I think customers are seeing
that. It's not really about competition.

We're extremely lucky that we can do this
type of pizza in this market. Cincinnati
is a really great market that rallies around
its brands. An example is Graeter's Ice
cream. When you come into Cincinnati
and try to compete with Graeter's, good
luck."
To that end, Jared adds, "What we do
here is we literally look at every single
category: flour, oils, cheeses, salt ... and
identify the best product in that category.
And that's what we use. We use the best
stuff we can."
ACCORDING TO NICK, THE BAR AT A
TAVOLA IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE
COMPANY'S SUCCESS. The restaurant

places an emphasis on craft cocktails and
fine wines that naturally complement the
food.
"It's very important to what we do," he
says. "It's part of the overall experience
someone has when they dine here. You
want them to feel at home."
In order to move alcohol, A Tavola
servers are encouraged to focus on suggestive selling.
"We have our servers verbalize it,"
says Jared. "Server training can make or
break anything. Selling a bottle of wine to
every table is a game changer. We bring
in amazing wines and amazing products.
The stuff sells itself. You just have to let
people know you have it."
The same applies to the gelato that A
Tavola makes in-house each day.
"We let people know we make our
gelato fresh every day with milk from
Ohio and the best sugars and chocolates
you can find in the world," says Jared.
"People hear that and want to try it.
Obviously, our better servers sell more
wine and more gelato. They can articulate
the story well." n
JEREMY WHITE

Today.

is editor-in-chief at Pizza

A TAVOLA HAS TWO LOCATIONS IN CINCINNATI AND A SISTER CONCEPT THAT
FEATURES ROMAN-STYLE PIZZA BAKED ON A DECK OVEN - TAGLIO. VISIT
PIZZATODAY.COM TO READ A Q & A WITH NICK AND JARED WAYNE AND TO LEARN
MORE ABOUT A TAVOLA AND TAGLIO.


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - April 2018

Pizza Today - April 2018
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
At Your Service
Destinations
Knead to Know
The Overserved Customer
2018’s Hottest Toppings
Regional Toppings
Portion Control
Street Food Pizza
Promoting From Within
Writing a Best-Selling Menu
Pizza Today on the Road: A Tavola Cincinnati, Oh
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - April 2018 - CT1
Pizza Today - April 2018 - CT2
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today - April 2018
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover2
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Commentary
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 4
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 5
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 6
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 7
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 8
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 9
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Contributors
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 11
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 13
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Interact
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 15
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Conversation
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 17
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 19
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 21
Pizza Today - April 2018 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 23
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Destinations
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 25
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 27
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 28
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 29
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 30
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 31
Pizza Today - April 2018 - The Overserved Customer
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 33
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 34
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 2018’s Hottest Toppings
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 37
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 38
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 39
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Regional Toppings
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 41
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Portion Control
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 43
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 44
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 45
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Street Food Pizza
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 47
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Promoting From Within
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 49
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 50
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 51
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Writing a Best-Selling Menu
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 53
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 54
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 55
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today on the Road: A Tavola Cincinnati, Oh
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 57
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 58
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 59
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 60
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 61
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 63
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 64
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 66
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 67
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 68
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 69
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 70
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 71
Pizza Today - April 2018 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 73
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 74
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 75
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 76
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 77
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 78
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 79
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 80
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 82
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover3
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover4
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