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We Mean Business: Katie’s Corner – Brownstone Pizzeria

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A pizza shop. 150,000 in debt. A massive makeover in 105 degree heat. Our work torn out after we leave. Whew – let’s start from the top.

Our team was faced with the task of trying to create a customer friendly Brooklyn Pizzeria experience in Eagle Rock, Ca. Nowadays, customer service is a lost art – and even performing a step above average goes a long way to helping build repeat customers. I gotta say, I live in New York City and there is nothing like my two corner pizza shops. The food is slammin’ but the obvious NY ambience, efficiency and great service ensures that I’ll come back. While Bill was knee deep in the financials, Peter and I had the challenge of creating that same type of great customer experience and ambience from a blank slate at Brownstone.

First, like the corner NY pizza shops, I wanted to create an atmosphere that would have all the games playing or their programming of choice. Hence, the install of two 37” LCD TV’s. After all, a pizza shop is for hanging out! Another badly needed device we installed, to increase efficiency, was a touch screen point of sale system coupled with exclusive restaurant/pizzeria software. I liked this because it was extremely intuitive – basically a photo of a pizza was brought up on the screen and they could touch the screen to select the toppings. As soon as the order was complete, as you saw, it was printed and received in the kitchen. This system also helped de-clutter the traffic in the cooking area as it was an extremely small workspace and the chefs did not need another person in the way dropping off a guest check order.

Additionally, we supplied Gunther (who is a graphic designer) with an all-in-one so he could create his own marketing materials. Now, he did not have to outsource to a printing company. Every penny counts and this technology will go a long way to saving him money and allowing him creative control in promoting his restaurant.

Like the previous makeovers, there is a lot to crunch in and so much the viewer didn’t see in each episode. Just know this for Brownstone- it was 105 degrees outside and twice as hot inside with the ovens, and Peter still decided to wear a suit!

So… roll credits. Can we say the business prospered and they all lived happily ever after? Well, not really. Welcome to reality, TV. Everything isn’t a *** tale with that kind of an ending. I am glad you got to witness what the store owners removed from the makeover and experience our reality. Honestly, I couldn’t take it personally. After we leave these businesses, there isn’t anything we can do. It’s all up to the owners to take control and we can only hope they utilize the tools and suggestions we have given them.

So, the next time you pass that local pizza shop – think twice. Did they invest everything into this shop? Are they running the business off of credit cards? Are they 150k in debt? With a little marketing could they tap into a larger market? Perhaps there’s more to that slice of pepperoni, side of ranch and Diet Coke…

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