2009 November: Five Questions – Pizza Today

Kevin Plaut owns and operates Harry’s Bishop’s Corner in West Hartford, Connecticut. A longtime staff, Kevin and his wife, Anne, bought the cafe in 2007 soon after founder Harry Rufleth retired.

Q: Getting taken over a lengthy-set up cafe, did you find any issues with lengthy-time buyers as they adjusted to the new ownership?

A: The adjustment was a constructive just one. The small business when I took it above was struggling from a lack of administration. The owner experienced fallen ill and was not in a position to be there as typically. He was trusting the small business with some youthful little ones who were letting gross sales slide and didn’t really have a entire lot of management expertise. When my spouse and I took it more than on a comprehensive-time foundation, we have been equipped to provide some administration and some framework. We set some methods in participate in and obtained the staff up to par. We were equipped to flip issues about.

Q: You’ve been considered among the finest New Haven-model pizzerias and have won the awards to verify it. Is it diffi cult to maintain this kind of a significant standard on a each day foundation?

A: It truly has established not to be so diffi cult. A great deal of it arrives down to our workers. We handle our staff with regard (and) we give them as a lot flexibility as we can. We have a young staff members of superior school and college or university college students as perfectly as some personnel that are in their 50s who have a great deal of several years of knowledge. We’ve made a tradition in which the team really likes staying at function, they treatment about the buyers and the position that they’re performing. They’ve designed an setting the place everybody’s on prime of their recreation and provides the consistency that our clients have arrive to count on.

Q: You intentionally hold your bottled wine prices low, with some priced at just $10. Does this maximize sales?

A: Our optimum cost bottle is $20 ideal now, but we attribute our $10 bottles. It is genuinely been a hook for us and a significant (part of) our marketing and advertising campaign. We want excellent bottles of wine at fair price ranges. I normally go for about a 100- per cent mark-up and I located that it is been greatly productive. A good deal of persons are fatigued of having to pay a 300- to 400-% mark-up on bottles of wine when they know they can go to the package retailer subsequent door and get it for a great deal significantly less. This puts a bottle of wine within just access for dinner.

Q: At this level in the game, what sort of promoting is important?

A: We never shell out a whole ton on conventional internet marketing these kinds of as fl yers or mail-outs or newspapers. We do do some area publications. I do have a PR individual who helps me in a lot of push releases … that have kind of paved the highway in receiving critiques. Once we have gotten men and women in the door, we have identified that they’re sticking about. One more big thing we do is fundraising occasions and anything at all we can do in crossbusiness promotions.

Q: Now that you have experienced a few of decades to get your ft wet as an proprietor, do you have any expansion designs founded?

A: We’re really hunting at strategies to increase the existing shop. There’s prospect wherever the room next to us is quite possibly opening up and we’re looking at incorporating a wine and beer bar to grow the wine and beer menu. … We’ll perhaps add some booths and some tables for significant parties. We are a small cafe and we’re bursting at the seams proper now.