Why You Ought to Costume to Impress for Success within the Pizza Biz

  • Billy Manzo believes pizzeria house owners have a poor angle about their look, and that should change.
  • Pizza entrepreneurs in Italy, he notes, “costume like they’ve self-respect and dignity—as a result of they do.”

By Billy Manzo Jr.

Women and gents, prepare for a rant. And I don’t wish to hear any of that “OK, Boomer” nonsense. You’ll want to hear this. Think about that you simply’re on the lookout for an investor for a brand new pizzeria location. You’re assembly with two prospects at an business commerce present and have reserved two separate hours in a convention room.

Prospect No. 1 reveals up 10 minutes late. He’s carrying skateboarding shorts and a washed-out firm T-shirt that’s just a few sizes too massive. His Vans sneakers are so soiled, they seem like they’ve been stomping grapes, and there’s nonetheless dough beneath the man’s fingernails. He has no briefcase, only a backpack left over from school. He palms you a laminated enterprise card and brags that he’s the right companion for you as a result of he owns 5 places within the business which might be doing “nicely,” he is aware of “tons” of individuals, and he would like to work with you. That is his seventh time on the commerce present.

Prospect No. 2 reveals up early. He’s carrying pressed khaki pants, suede Derby sneakers, a sport coat and a clear, white button-down shirt with the highest button open and no tie. He’s carrying a laptop computer case with a certain prospectus of his marketing strategy—with a duplicate for you, too. He has labored within the pizza business for years and says he’s a tough employee—working his approach up at his present employer—however hasn’t owned a restaurant. He has been saving his cash, is able to make investments, and would like to work with you. That is his first time on the present.

We’re a dominant, highly effective group. However we don’t respect ourselves. And we have to. As a result of it displays poorly on our business.

Now, be sincere: Who’re you more likely to schedule a second assembly with? I’d decide Prospect No. 2 in a heartbeat. Why? Based mostly on Prospect No. 1’s look, I’d be extremely skeptical of his claims. I’d marvel how his eating places could possibly be doing “nicely” if he can’t even run his personal closet. I’d marvel about these “tons” of individuals he is aware of, whom he most likely met in a mosh pit at a Inexperienced Day live performance. Prospect No. 2 could also be greener, however he clearly takes satisfaction in his look and his demeanor, he’s ready, and he’s exhibiting initiative. All of that goes a great distance in enterprise.

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I do know it is probably not politically right to evaluate a guide by its cowl, however typically that’s all you’ve bought to go on. As they are saying, you don’t get a second likelihood to make a primary impression.

I carry this up as a result of I’m appalled by what I’m seeing in our business. Grownup women and men, who’re supposedly profitable and personal a number of eating places, are strolling across the commerce reveals wanting like youngsters about to sort out the closest half-pipe. Promo T-shirts. Skateboarding shorts. Vans sneakers. That’s a very dangerous visualization of the respect that it’s best to have for your self and the model that you simply’re supposedly representing.

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Grownup women and men, who’re supposedly profitable and personal a number of eating places, are strolling across the commerce reveals wanting like youngsters about to sort out the closest half-pipe.

“Why is it like this?” I ask myself. There’s numerous speak these days concerning the casualization of the office—you realize, informal Fridays and all that. However I feel it’s greater than that. I feel individuals on this enterprise have a poor angle about their look. And I’ve a concept why.

In Italy, for instance, pizzeria house owners look elegant. They costume like they’ve self-respect and dignity—as a result of they do. Most of them wished to be a pizza maker or pizzaiolo since they had been youngsters. In the US’ pizza business, we don’t have that. I come throughout largely two kinds of individuals: 1) those that misplaced their job and actually don’t know what else to do, or 2) those that are retired and wished to do one thing attention-grabbing with their 401(ok). In different phrases, a pizzeria was not their first alternative of enterprise. Perhaps that has one thing to do with why they seem like vagrants more often than not. I don’t know. However I don’t care. And I don’t prefer it.

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You gotta look respectable for the business that you simply signify and that represents you. I’m not saying you want a private designer making your garments for you—you don’t must put on a three-piece Isaia swimsuit—however while you go to commerce reveals, do public talking and have conferences, you want to costume to impress. 

Come on, guys. Step up. You’re representing one of many largest industries on the earth. Do you know that American pizzerias use virtually 75% of the cheese manufactured within the U.S.? We’re a dominant, highly effective group. However we don’t respect ourselves. And we have to. As a result of it displays poorly on our business.

The pizza business has grow to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the restaurant enterprise: We get no respect. We’re thought of a bunch of hacks who do late-night pizza—or drunk pizza—and, from what I see, I can’t blame individuals for us this manner.

In case your workers see you appearing and dressing unprofessionally, they’re not going to handle themselves, both.

Folks have an outward visualization of what success is. The times of carrying “costume sneakers” and a tie could also be gone, however in the event you’re a businessperson or entrepreneur, it’s best to have some type of type to separate your self and look skilled.

At business occasions: Would it not kill you to placed on a button-down? Or a sport coat? Keep in mind, no sneakers. No T-shirts. No shorts. (If it’s sizzling, at the very least put on linen or cotton, and also you’ll survive.) Run a comb by your hair. Wash your palms. Brush your tooth. Fake you’re happening a date.

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At your pizzeria(s): No matter you wish to put on is ok, however be sure it’s neat and clear. Don’t stroll round with an apron that has sauce throughout it. In case your workers see you appearing and dressing unprofessionally, they’re not going to handle themselves, both. They take their cues from you. Professionalism begins from the highest down.

Pay attention, I get that I’m a really odd duck on this business. I wished to be within the pizza enterprise. I am keen on what I do, as a result of it’s enjoyable. And I don’t anticipate anybody to decorate the way in which I costume. I’ve stuff made for me in Italy (partly as a result of I’m solely 5’5”, and it’s tough to search out garments off the rack). However I’m very conscious of the way in which I ought to look and really imagine that the way in which I current myself has given me the alternatives that I’ve gotten.

It’s solely when pizzeria house owners can view themselves in a extra constructive mild and respect themselves that we will dig ourselves out of this dangerous status. Or perhaps it has to occur the opposite approach round.

Both approach, so far as I’m involved, no shirt, no sneakers, no success. I could also be a Boomer, however I ain’t incorrect.  

Billy Manzo Jr. is a veteran restaurant operator and the proprietor/chef of Federal Hill Pizza in Warren, Rhode Island.