Together With Chefs

Interview With Chef John Gutekanst

Avalanche Pizza, Athens, Ohio

Interview With Chef John Gutekanst

We had the pleasure to connect with Chef John Gutekanst on IG Live and hear how his restaurant, Avalanche Pizza, is adapting their business in Athens, Ohio. John had lots of ideas to share, from extending appetizer menus for delivery, moving his heat shelves to the front entrance for touch-free pizza pickup, and supporting the community by offsetting free lunches with a donation button added into online ordering. Thank you, John, for sharing your ideas with us!

Here are a few of John’s tips:

  • Smaller items or appetizers that are hard to find in grocery stores are now pulling in business, with larger items like pizza being the accompaniment. A backwards model from the norm but it’s working!

John expanded his appetizer menu to include more items which are not traditionally available from local stores such as a caesar salad, homemade salad dressings, jalapeño poppers, and wings.

  • Support your community with food donations, meal offerings or ingredient supplies, and empower your customers simply by adding a Donate Button or Meal Donation to your menu with ready-to-go items.

John has made sure to support his community and has already donated 1,245 meals for those in need. By adding a “Donate a Lunch” menu button online with ready-to-go items, he’s made giving back as simple as one click.

  • Use excess supplies as give-aways by putting them out for free in your lobby - locals will appreciate it!

Avalanche Pizza has offered containers of sourdough starter (and even toilet paper!) to thank customers for their support.

  • Keep your employees safe with a “no-touch” delivery system with online payment transactions.

By moving his heat shelves to the restaurant lobby for contactless pick-up and limited exposure, John introduced a “no-touch” delivery system to keep both his employees and his customers safe.

  • Train employees for delivery to enable greater community reach.

By making sure all payment transactions are made online, Avalanche’s drivers stay safe when dropping their deliveries off and receive even more generous tips and appreciation from customers. John has been able to keep all of his driver’s employed and is even hiring for help!

Connect With Us @corto_olive for even more industry tips and stay tuned for another installment of our #TogetherWithChefs series!