Andrew Simmons Story Update 1-30-2023

This last week was a testament to our efforts to grow our business. Friday night had a line out the door, but not a group waiting for food. We ran double makelines for pizza; utilized both TurboChef Technologies, Inc. Pizza Fire Ovens; and used the Toast Kiosk for walk-in orders. Although I initially had issues setting it up, the first half of the problem was operator error. Once I installed an actual Ethernet cable, we were connected. After that, the second issue resolved itself fairly quickly and we went live.

The kiosk page design is nice right out of the box. I did change some of the menu headings once I saw them on the kiosk, to make them more on point. For example, instead of Traditional Dishes, it just says Pasta. I need more photos to go with the descriptions, and I’ve added that to my task list. It’s long…

I’ve been torn about keeping dine-in as part of our overall restaurant. It’s about 22% of our overall sales and has a heavier labor burden than takeout, so 86’ing dining is attractive.

In the end, I compromised. The room needs a remodel; the booths are 20+ years old, built in, and sag badly. I’m tearing them out, putting in hardwood flooring, and installing freestanding booths in a similar style. If dine-in doesn’t improve by July 31st, I’ve got a gorgeous new showcase facility for the Picnic Pizza Station. On a side note, I ordered 12 booth seats Friday night at 7pm from Cooler Depot, which is about two hours away from me. At 8:30pm the following day, I got a call from the driver he would be there shortly. Completely unexpected, we accepted delivery at 9pm. Fastest delivery ever!

For new new software tech to the stack, I’ve added Ovation for customer satisfaction & retention, which ties in nicely to Toast and Incentivio. I’m nearly done with the new restaurant app, which is also tied into Incentivio and I’m anxious to get it out.

For equipment, I shipped the DoughXPress to another pizzeria that didn’t need the throughout I require. The Cuppone dough press I replaced it with won’t have power installed for another week; and ditto for the Italgia pasta extruder I also purchased. I’m converting the three door kegerator to a dough fridge for now because I’ve only sold $50 in draft beer in a month (but a grand in bottled beer). I’m at a standstill for the Hot Rocks conveyor oven due to the need to engineer the roof for a different kitchen hood. Evaluating a Peerless deck oven with an integrated hood as a backup, since we need to be able to still push out even more volume.

That’s it for this update. If anyone has tech software or hardware that they think would complement what we’re doing here, please reach out. Likewise, if you want to come see the restaurant and see what we’re doing, I love showing off the equipment, even to my closest competitors.

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