Pizza Today - March 2019 - 70

Sandler says that first establishment
"was a great start; a great stepping stone."
But ultimately, he says, "Pizza Head
is everyday pizza for everyday people.
Pizzeoli was on a higher level culinary
wise. Not that it was better, but it was
different. And the audience for it was just
smaller. Financially, we were always in the
black from day one. I started it with very
little money. We developed our clientele,
but I really wanted to start this New York
slice space. It was just a different product
and a different audience altogether."
Sandler operated both shops
simultaneously for about six months
before selling Pizzeoli. He says the lessons
he learned while operating his first
pizzeria have proved invaluable to Pizza
Head's success.
"The way I set the other place up,
because I was green in the industry, was
that everything there revolved around me,"
he says. "I think a lot of guys make that
mistake. So if I wanted to go on vacation,
I had to close. It was that kind of setup. I
made all the pizzas. The problem was that
I couldn't spend time with the family, or
I'd lose money when I went on vacation.
So I set Pizza Head up where it can
operate without me. Now, I'm managing.
Once in a while I'll jump in and make
the pizzas, but that's just because I want
to."

W

hen Scott Sandler lost his job
in 2014 - his second layoff
in a short span - he decided
to take the plunge once and
for all and become his own
boss. It's been an interesting ride ever since.
"I had another career in real-estate
investment," he says. "And I was making
pizza at home as a hobby, like a lot of guys
do. I was pretty obsessed with it. I always
wanted to open a pizza place. To make a
long story short, I got laid off in 2013. I got
another job, and then in 2014 there was
just a crazy set of circumstances and I got
laid off again. So I decided to go out on my
own."
Sandler opened a wood-fired pizzeria
named Pizzeoli. The Neapolitan trend
was hot at the time, and the shop quickly
gained good reviews. "It was an all7 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / M A R C H 2 0 1 9

vegetarian Neapolitan pizza place, and
that kind of put me on the map here,"
Sandler says. "We got a lot of press. Before
I sold it we were named one of the Top 25
restaurants in St. Louis by the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch restaurant critic."
Sandler says the experience of owning
his first pizzeria prepared him for Pizza
Head, the vastly different business model
he now operates.
"That was my first foray into pizza,"
he says. "I was really interested in the
Neapolitan, wood-fired thing. But I grew
up in New Jersey, so I always knew I
wanted to do a counter service with a slice
culture. I decided after a couple of years
with Pizzeoli that I didn't want to do sitdown anymore and that I wanted to focus
more on a fast-casual, counter service spot.
More of a New York slice shop."

NOW THAT HE CAN FOCUS
ON WORKING ON THE
BUSINESS INSTEAD OF IN IT,
THE DIVIDENDS HAVE BEEN
HUGE. "Our turnover is very low,"
Sandler says. "How you staff is extremely
important. It's been eight months since
my last turnover. I've sort of grown as an
owner in the last four years as far as my
management style. I've learned a lot about
how to manage and treat employees. I've
sort of found that balance between getting
my employees to be motivated without
them feeling like Big Brother is always on
top of them."
Sandler says he has grown to love
entrepreneurship, "although it is nervewrecking all the time. You have to have
the stomach for it. Literally, it's 24/7. You
can never relax. Because if you relax, you're


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
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 34
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 35
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 36
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 37
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 38
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 39
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 40
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 41
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 42
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 43
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 44
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 45
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 46
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 47
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 48
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 49
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
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 85
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 86
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 87
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 88
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 89
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 90
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 91
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 92
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 93
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 94
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 95
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 96
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 97
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 98
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 99
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 100
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 101
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 102
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 103
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 104
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 105
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 106
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 107
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
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 121
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 122
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 123
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 124
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 125
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 126
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 127
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 128
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - March 2019 - 130
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Cover3
Pizza Today - March 2019 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201811
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201809
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pizzatoday/201509
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