Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Business Owner Seeks an Alternative to Seven-Day Workweeks

FATHER AND SON PIZZERIA is a 900-square-foot, eight-table restaurant in Guttenberg, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Opened in 1971, it was bought in 2007 by Carlos Vega, now 45, from its aging founder. Mr. Vega soon doubled sales by expanding the menu, improving service and selling the restaurant’s “gravy,” or red sauce, over the counter in 12-ounce Mason jars.

THE CHALLENGE Mr. Vega left a corporate job producing print publications for the financial industry to take over the pizzeria. He felt constrained by his business’s size and location: a small restaurant without a parking lot on the six-block main street of a blue-collar town. Even with his improvements, the business was bringing in only about $10,000 a week. It was profitable, but only because he was working long hours, typically seven days a week, to hold down labor costs. Mr. Vega knew he couldn’t continue like this.

More from the New York Times.

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