Author Topic: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff  (Read 4229 times)

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Offline wvWestwv

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2013, 10:22:10 AM »

Is "up-scale server-less dining" an oxymoron?

(LoL) Probably right, intention was to distinguish from everybody's "local pizzeria" which is almost always counter-service based but importantly only operates a small dining room.  Honestly, the product could stink I'm not being snooty. What I'm really looking for is a place that has a large dining area, and a cooking method similar to mine(WFO) without foh servers.


Offline JD

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2013, 10:44:08 AM »
(LoL) Probably right, intention was to distinguish from everybody's "local pizzeria" which is almost always counter-service based but importantly only operates a small dining room.  Honestly, the product could stink I'm not being snooty. What I'm really looking for is a place that has a large dining area, and a cooking method similar to mine(WFO) without foh servers.


Not WFO pizza, but think of all the up-scale fast food restaurants: Panera bread, Newks...

Obviously the business model works
Josh

Offline wvWestwv

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2013, 10:51:08 AM »

but think of all the up-scale fast food restaurants: Panera bread, Newks...

Exactly

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2013, 12:27:26 PM »
I won't comment on your writing style further other than to say that it's not as much of an aid to information delivery as intended. Anyway, there is actually a list of pros to not having FOH(only threw in the drama thing for levity). The shear quantity of server staff required to operate is a much larger issue(especially with health-care reform looming); by eliminating them it would free up a lot of room on payroll to pay my more skilled staff a better wage and add to our profit margin. It is a controversial decision but one if done correctly could be highly beneficial. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to change things if it's not feasible. I'm merely investigating the possibility by searching out a concept that pulls it off successfully.

Have things changed since I was a waiter? As I recall, I didn't even make minimum wage, and I certainly didn't get any benefits... It was all about the tips.

John K

Offline wvWestwv

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Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2013, 02:21:48 PM »
Have things changed since I was a waiter? As I recall, I didn't even make minimum wage, and I certainly didn't get any benefits... It was all about the tips.

John K

 Really a couple waiters is a non issue but when you have such a large amount of seats you need to have quite a few servers to adequately provide our guests with service. This means management costs, diligent system implementation and general staffing issues. It's more complicated than the surface indicates and honestly it's a conversation I'd prefer not delve into in this thread. Suffice to say, any business that can reduce there staffing needs by 1/2 will benefit from it.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 03:11:01 PM by wvWestwv »

Offline wvWestwv

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2013, 03:29:01 PM »
My apologies to everybody if I'm sounding like a turd with some of my responses. It is not my intention. Just trying to keep the thread on track.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2013, 03:42:06 PM »
Suffice to say, any business that can reduce there staffing needs by 1/2 will benefit from it.

We had a pizza place in college that used a modified 1/2 staff principle.  None of the wait staff had "a" table.  It was a group common effort, it always seemed to work well, and is still in place to this day. ------ FYI this restaurant developed the game "Pente" for those that may know it....
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Offline gabaghool

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2013, 12:44:33 PM »
Huh......did not think about it like that......I do do it alot (trying not to do it right now, infact)

Thanks, if it bugs people, Ill try to knock it off.   In my case, its not shouting, but used as emphasis..


thanks

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2013, 12:48:11 PM »
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned yet that many, if not the majority of NY pizza places are without service. Of course these are generally not considered upscale, but who cares. For a high volume operation, wouldn't you want people to come and go quickly? I'd think a server-less operation would be better turn-around for high volume sales.

I'll add Pieous in Austin Tx is this way too, but I'd say they are more informal than you may be suggesting for your operation.

Is "up-scale server-less dining" an oxymoron?

I haven't been to a ton of NYC places, but the only ones I have been to that are highly touted, that does not have service, are  Best pizza and SPumoni gardens.

I would figure that not having waitrons would only be beneficial if your main business was slices......brought on by being located on a crazy busy foot traffic street.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 12:52:29 PM by gabaghool »

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2013, 12:50:42 PM »

Not WFO pizza, but think of all the up-scale fast food restaurants: Panera bread, Newks...

Obviously the business model works

Youre right.  That segment is called fast casual....and its the fasted growing restaurant model today.  It still needs to show it longevity....but, you are right, its popular today....In the pizza segment, I believe that the "create your own" style of service (chipotle effect) totally dominates.


Offline waltertore

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2013, 01:22:52 PM »
I haven't been to a ton of NYC places, but the only ones I have been to that are highly touted, that does not have service, are  Best pizza and SPumoni gardens.

I would figure that not having waitrons would only be beneficial if your main business was slices......brought on by being located on a crazy busy foot traffic street.

Many pizzerias I grew up with in the NYC area were tiny operations but offered top notch pies.  A few tables.  The owners wife or kids usually did whatever bussing/waiting that was needed.  Walter
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 09:04:14 PM by waltertore »
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Offline jason83

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2013, 01:53:20 AM »
check out octobers issue of PMQ.  You can view it for free on their website.  There's a good article about pizza places like you're speaking of.  They take after the model of Chipotle.

Offline psedillo

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2013, 06:06:05 PM »
There is a place in Houston called Pizaro's Pizza that uses a WFO and is counter service. Bill and his family serve up great pizzas with a no-nonsense approach.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2013, 07:20:22 PM »
If you're trying to figure out if it's feasible to offer counter service, rather than table service, in a wood-fired or coal-fired place, I'm all for it. I hate table service. It complicates things that should be simple, and it usually keeps me from getting my water refilled when I need my water refilled. I tend to avoid places that offer table service.

If I ever own a pizzeria, there will be no wait staff. To me table service is much more of a hassle than a service (both from a customer's perspective and from an owner's perspective). I see table service as merely a tool for operators to charge higher prices while paying lower labor costs (mainly by passing the unnecessary labor costs on to customers). Maybe table service is appropriate if a place is the best of the best, and if the quality of the service mirrors the quality of the product. But unless a place meets those criteria, just let me order at the counter, get my own drink, and fetch my own pizza when you call my number. (Or go ahead and bring it out to me, but without trying to make me feel like I'm obligated to choose to pay more for such a minor convenience.)

For what it's worth, I agree.
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2013, 07:24:06 PM »
I won't comment on your writing style further other than to say that it's not as much of an aid to information delivery as intended. Anyway, there is actually a list of pros to not having FOH(only threw in the drama thing for levity). The shear quantity of server staff required to operate is a much larger issue(especially with health-care reform looming); by eliminating them it would free up a lot of room on payroll to pay my more skilled staff a better wage and add to our profit margin.

Honestly, I love the idea and wish you luck in it. I'd much rather pay for someone who knows how to make a great pizza than someone who can walk that pizza over to me from the oven, and screw up my drink for the 3rd time.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline acbova

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2013, 03:41:00 PM »
In Edmonton there is a place almost like this called Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria.   I think there might be a part of a chain.  You sit, write the order on a sheet of paper take it to the counter.   The staff brings your drinks, salad, pizza etc.   

They have a rotating gas oven.  Pizza is not bad for that...

Offline cegerav

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Re: Wood or Coal - fired restaurant w/ no service staff
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2014, 01:29:26 PM »

I am running a similar concept bistro (sandwiches, salads, cheese courses, etc) and I will list the cons that I had found in the operation:

- When you do not have a server your check is going to be lower. We sell beers and wines too and people order at the register and the hospitality take the food to the tables. So it is annoying if you drink a beer and have to stand up from the table and walk to the register to order another one.

- You pay for hospitality at least $8 per hour and you are not giving a full serve, there are customers that would like to be serve at the table. The worst case is that hospitality employees are earning to low and is difficult to find and keep good people with skill in this position

- If you pay a waitress you can pay lower salary ($5) but they will earn more because of the tips, so you can hire better people and people that might offer you some stability.  You are expending less in wages and salaries and getting a higher check average.

- If you want to offer pizza and the main concern is volume, you might be in the right path but then your price point will be too sensible.