Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2019

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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6 0 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 PROJECT PROFILE ROTOLO'S NEW PROTOTYPE CAPITALIZES ON CRAFT By Toby Weber I n 1996, Mitchell Rotolo Sr. opened a pizza and beer place on the cam- pus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He was in his mid-20s at the time and says the job was a blast. How could it not be? "I started this as a young guy with a college bar on LSU's campus selling pizza and beer," Rotolo Sr. says. "It was a great idea at the time, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I thought we were hip and cool and fun." As Rotolo grew up, so did his concept, Rotolo's Pizzeria. That barroom pizzeria evolved into a chain with 30 locations, mostly franchised, primarily in Louisiana. While that was a good business move, it also evolved into a move away from what made the ‹rst Rotolo's Pizzeria a great place to hang out. Somewhere along the way, says the company's Senior Vice President Christina Bourg, Rotolo's had lost a little bit of its grit. To better ‹t in with suburban markets, it had reduced its beer offerings and became polished. As a result, alcohol sales dipped, and the chain's atmosphere changed. As its established customer base got The booths at Rotolo's Craft & Crust have several features designed to make them feel like private spaces, including a small step up and low-hanging lights. Images courtesy of Rotolo's Craft & Crust

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