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Berto Balls Rolling

Berto Balls Rolling


May 2, 2008
By Roberto Vergalito

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Summer sidelines help maintain customer traffic

Summer sidelines help maintain customer traffic.

Summer’s here and the barbeques are out. You know what that means, more steak, less pizza. With the nice weather, people just won’t be ordering that much pizza for a while but I’ve got some ideas that can help us all out.

Normally this time of year I make a new menu, increase prices and maybe add a few new menu items that might entice consumers to stop by the pizzeria and pick up some extras for their BBQ. This year I’m trying pastas on the menu. I keep it simple; I give customers the choice of pastas and their choice of three sauces, tomato, Alfredo and pesto. What’s nice is the sauces can be kept frozen and your pastas don’t need anything but some space on the shelf. What are also nice are the frozen pastas like ravioli and gnocchi.

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page38lasagnaThis year I’m trying pastas on the menu. 

Pasta orders can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes and our cost to produce them is very minimal. Also I’ve added salads and a variety of side orders such as potato wedges, jalapeno poppers and what I like to call “berto balls.” Berto balls are nothing but cut up pieces of dough, fried and then salted. Add a dipping sauce and voila. These products are very easy to make and cost very little to produce.

Our customers might not order a pizza but they will pick up a salad for their steak and maybe a few appetizers. Those items are good moneymakers. Don’t overdo it with new menu items because you will only confuse the customer, and just might turn them away from too many choices.

Introduce them slowly, a few at a time, this way they have a chance to try a little bit of everything. With the appetizers you can also offer a combination platter with maybe three to five items per platter. This way they have a variety and you’re still making money.
At this time of year it is also very hard to predict whether or not it will be busy on certain nights. Always be prepared because the rushes come later on in the night. Remember, “Chance favours the prepared kitchen.” Don’t get caught with low stock. If you tell your customers that you’re out of something, there’s a good chance they might not ever ask for it again.

Try some new things this year.

I’m the pizza dude. •