Pizza Today - March 2019 - 36

HITTING THE RIGHT NOTE:
SIX WAYS TO DO LIVE
MUSIC CORRECTLY IN
YOUR PIZZERIA
1: Secure licensing. Nearly
all pizzerias will need licensing to
comply with copyright statutes.
In addition, some municipalities
require specific licensing to host
live music.
2: Evaluate performers with a
critical eye. Whenever possible,
see a potential act live before
booking or, at the minimum, view
performances on YouTube. "Some
musician might be technically outstanding, but not a lively personality that draws or keeps a crowd,"
Lopez says.
3: Have a point person. Lopez
suggests every pizzeria has a
dedicated point person to deal with
the booking agent, handle logistics,
and oversee band hospitality. "You
can't manage this process the right
way if you're slammed and helping
out in the kitchen," Lopez says.
4: Be a class act to the acts.
Word travels through agents and
agencies, Brindley reminds, so
it's important to treat acts well
by showing them hospitality with
food and drink, having quality
equipment, and being a responsive
partner.
5: Work with the band. When
music levels rise or tables need to
turn, Danford offers a signal to the
band to decrease the volume or
take a break, respectively - and the
bands comply because they want
to return. This cooperation allows
Danford to turn tables upwards of
seven times an evening and cultivates an inviting atmosphere.
6: Mind your manners. As best
as possible, be considerate of the
artists and the audience and conscious of noise levels. "You don't
want clanking dishes or kitchen
buzzers going off because that's
distracting," Brindley says.
3 6 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / M A R C H 2 0 1 9

pizza-slinging pub to differentiate itself
from the sea of other venues blanketing
the Wrigleyville neighborhood.
"From driving traffic to increasing
sales, live music's been a big part of our
success here," Felsenthal confirms.
RANDY LOPEZ OF SYNERGY RESTAURANT
CONSULTANTS describes live music as a

potentially valuable hook for pizzerias to
capture traffic, draw trials, and, hopefully,
spur repeat business, especially since so
many acts have their own followings and
marketing platforms an eatery can leverage to attract new customers.
"Live music is constant new news you
can use to promote your business, and
the hope is that a band can drive people
in for a specific day, event, or daypart and
that you can then build off that," says
Lopez, who has helped develop various
hospitality concepts incorporating live
music.
Consider Washington D.C.'s Union
Stage, a concert venue that opened in
December 2017 with an affinity for two
things: quality music and tasty pizza
inspired by owner Luke Brindley's Jersey
Shore roots. Hosting live musical acts
seven nights a week, covering genres from
indie rock to R&B and modern pop as
well as notable names like Tom Morello
of Rage Against the Machine fame and
KT Tunstall, Brindley has scored impressive food and beverage sales.
"The concert is definitely the focus for
us, but the live music gives us a built-in
audience for our drink and pizza offerings. If we get 450 people in here for a
sold-out show, then we're getting orders
in the kitchen and at the bar," says a
confident Brindley, who has owned and
operated clubs and restaurants with his
two brothers for the last 17 years.
The live music has sparked added notoriety for the pizzas at Union Stage, the
concept's sole culinary focus. By its first
summer, as takeout and delivery requests
mounted, Union Stage crafted partnerships with third-party delivery services to
service demand. Recently, the company
opened a standalone pizza spot, Union
Pie, in the same D.C. riverfront develop-

ment to serve its swelling fan base.
"We've got live music to thank for
that," Brindley says.
TO BE CERTAIN, LIVE MUSIC COMES WITH
A BEVY OF CHALLENGES AND IS FAR FROM
A SIMPLE PLUG-AND-PLAY OPTION. Art-

ists can be tough and needy; music can
sometimes dampen the experience for
customers solely interested in a meal;
and, frankly, hosting live music requires
significant effort, including finding and
booking the right acts, dedicating space
to the performance, and minding the
band, which must all be accomplished
while running a restaurant.
"Before diving in, any owner needs to
ask if they can really do this," Lopez says.
"Do you have the right acoustics, the
right space, the right team, to fit this into
your concept? Can you invest the time
and capital necessary to do this right?
There are times it just doesn't work and
you can't shoehorn it in there."
And like so much else in the restaurant business, generating success with
live music takes time, consistency, and
perseverance.
Pizzerias will need to invest - and
often reinvest in equipment, especially "if
you want to be taken seriously," Brindley says. That means, corralling the best
sound system and most qualified sound
engineer possible to ensure a positive
experience for artists and audiences alike.
Since 2015, for instance, Felsenthal has
updated the stage, lighting, sound mixer,
and more at HVAC.
Owners will also need to commit to
ongoing marketing efforts, finding talent,
and building a following with regular
themes like Songwriter Sundays or
Unplugged Tuesdays.
"It's difficult to build any base if
you're only doing live music every two
months," Lopez reminds. "If you're going
to have live music, it requires ongoing
attention."n

Chicago-based writer DANIEL P. SMITH has
covered business issues and best practices for
a variety of trade publications, newspapers,
and magazines.


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - March 2019

Pizza Today - March 2019
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Road to Pizza Expo
Destinations
Knead to Know
Learning From Others
Non-Traditional Locations
Pizza Expo Preview
Pizza Head, St. Louis
Mozzapi, Louisville
Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - March 2019 - CT1
Pizza Today - March 2019 - CT2
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Pizza Today - March 2019
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Cover2
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Commentary
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 4
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 5
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Contents
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 7
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 8
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 9
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Contributors
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 11
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 13
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Interact
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 15
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Conversation
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 17
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 19
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 21
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Road to Pizza Expo
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 23
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Destinations
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 25
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 27
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 28
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 29
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 30
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 31
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 32
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 33
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Pizza Today - March 2019 - 50
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 51
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 52
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 53
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 54
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 55
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Learning From Others
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 57
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 58
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 59
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Non-Traditional Locations
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 61
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 62
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 63
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Pizza Expo Preview
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 65
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 66
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 67
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Pizza Head, St. Louis
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 69
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 70
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 71
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 72
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 73
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Mozzapi, Louisville
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 75
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 76
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 77
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 78
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 79
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 81
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 82
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 83
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 84
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Pizza Today - March 2019 - 108
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 109
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 111
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 112
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 113
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 114
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 115
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 116
Pizza Today - March 2019 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 118
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 119
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 120
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Pizza Today - March 2019 - 123
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Pizza Today - March 2019 - 128
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 130
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Cover3
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