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School of Pizzeria Management (Sunday and Monday Advanced Courses)


Take the Next Step For Your Business With Training From Top Pizza Pros

Explore School of Pizzeria Management courses and instructor bios with the navigation buttons on this page.

Sign up for the School's workshops when you register for Pizza Expo 2015. The workshops run Sunday and Monday, March 22-23, immediately preceding Pizza Expo's Exhibit Hall dates of March 24-26, 2015. To register, return to this site's home page and click "Register Now."

Dear Pizzeria Owners and Operators,

In today’s business environment, the ability to bake the perfect pizza is rarely good enough to operate a profitable pizzeria. Times have changed, and what worked in the past doesn’t always produce success today.

Through the pages of Pizza Today and the seminars delivered at Pizza Expo, we have been in the business of delivering solutions and opportunities to independent pizzeria operators for more than 30 years.

Now we’re pooling our considerable resources to take our knowledge and experience deeper into the market — to help operators and managers who are looking for more personalized assistance and in-depth instruction.

As a School of Pizzeria Management enrollee — with training provided by accomplished pizza entrepreneurs who give seminars at Pizza Expo and by the industry’s go-to consultants — you will gain advanced instruction in crucial areas and leave with proven tools to take back to your business.

The school’s courses are designed to give you the tools to grab control of your finances, increase overall efficiency, hire and train the ideal staff, grow into a market leader — and enjoy the freedom to work on your pizzeria not for your pizzeria.

It is my conviction that any course you choose will deliver dramatic results for your business and provide you with a network of peers among your classmates who can help you problem-solve in the months and years ahead.


Pete Lachapelle

President and Publisher

Pizza Expo/Pizza Today


School of Pizzeria Management Workshops
Sunday, March 23, and Monday, March 24

Advanced-Track Sessions

Workshop 1 (Fee: $250)
Profits in Your Numbers, Part I: FoodCost Pro
With Big Dave Ostrander
(Sunday, March 23, 1 – 5 p.m.)

Do you really know what your entrees are costing you, or if your "house specialty" is bleeding you dry? Top pizza-industry consultant Big Dave Ostrander will show you how to definitively answer these questions and many more, while demonstrating how to save hundreds of dollars every week in food costs. Big Dave developed the FoodCost Pro software with pizzerias in mind, and he'll provide a free PC download of the software (a $200 value) that allows you to compute costs and make informed decisions about every major item on your menu. During Part I of the School of Pizzeria Management financial workshop, Dave and his team will teach you how to load your data and get the power of the program working for you.

Workshop 2 (Fee: $250)
Growth and Expansion, Part I: Opening Your Next Pizzeria — When and How
With Dan Collier and Glenn Cybulski
(Sunday, March 23, 1 – 5 p.m.)

Designed for entrepreneurs or managers interested in opening new locations, Part I of this School of Pizzeria Management two-part workshop will outline methods of growing market share, either in an existing unit or by opening more pizzerias under your brand. Pizzeria entrepreneurs Dan Collier and Glenn Cybulski, both of whom have opened multiple pizzerias under various brand concepts, will teach you the advantages of "consecutive market growth" as well as ways of expanding outside of your core market. They will then discuss the specifics of launching a new unit and provide you with a store-opening plan that covers all aspects of planning and opening your next pizzeria. Finally, Part I will describe the unique set of skills required for running multiple units and provide you with a tool kit for finding and hiring capable managers.

Workshop 3 (Fee: $250)
Employee Solutions: Hiring, Training and Team Building, Part I: Tools for Recruiting, Interviewing and Fact-Finding
With Ann Farrell and Michael Shepherd
(Sunday, March 23, 1 – 5 p.m.)

There are specific steps you can take to ensure that you are hiring a productive working staff. Both Ann Farrell and Michael Shepherd have assembled teams for multiple pizzerias and they will take you through the stages of successful staff-building. They'll show you how to fashion perfect "want ads" for specific jobs within your company, as well as how to come up with interview questions that fit your concept and lead you to the right people to execute it. You'll learn what to listen for in interviews with applicants, how to conduct background and reference checks, and how to extend job offers in the best possible way. Part I workshop attendees will take home specific interview questions supplied by the instructors for various front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house positions. Also included will be sample want ads and forms for applications, background-checks and references that the instructors have been using at their own pizzerias. 


Workshop 4 (Fee: $250)
Profits in Your Numbers, Part II: Essential Business Skills for Restaurant Owners
With Jim Laube
(Monday, March 24, 8 a.m. – noon)

To be truly successful, restaurant owners must do more than offer great food with impeccable service in a top location. They must also have good business skills. Jim Laube, president of and a former CPA and regional restaurant chain CFO, will give you insights and resources that can help you become a financial winner. He'll show you ways to organize your pizzeria business to win the fight against inconsistency and inefficiency. Armed with newfound knowledge from this session, you'll better understand your financials and what they mean for business, you'll be able to compare your numbers to industry standards and averages, and you'll learn how to use your financial information to control the activities in your restaurant. Jim also will show you how to prepare one simple weekly report that can lower your food and labor costs by 2 to 4 percent of sales and boost your profit significantly.

Workshop 5 (Fee: $250)
Growth and Expansion, Part II: Operations Manuals and Financing Options
With Dan Collier and Glenn Cybulski
(Monday, March 24, 8 a.m. – noon)

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a picture WITH 1,000 words is worth millions of dollars. Unless you plan to be at all of your stores  24/7, you need an operations manual in order to deliver what your customers value most: consistency. Dan Collier and Glenn Cybulski have both written manuals for multiple pizzeria concepts. They'll give you the tools to document every aspect of your operations—from exactly how a pizza should be made to daily reports and certifications and training—and then show you how to create and implement your own manual. Also in this School of Pizzeria Management session, the two pizzeria entrepreneurs will demonstrate how to avoid undercapitalization by providing you with a budget organizer and the knowledge to develop a resource list for gaining financing.

Workshop 6 (Fee: $250)
Employee Solutions: Hiring, Training and Team Building, Part II: Training and Managing Your Staff
With Ann Farrell and Michael Shepherd
(Monday, March 24, 8 a.m. – noon)

It all begins with expectations set during orientation, and veteran pizzeria staff-builders Ann Farrell and Michael Shepherd will give you the tools to raise the bar from the get-go with new hires. They'll then offer templates for training—in the kitchen and in the front of the house—that establishes a mindset true to your concept and results in food prepared to recipe and from a clean, organized kitchen as well as competent service from staff members who know your menu inside and out. Workshop participants also will learn how to lead and manage a highly motivated staff. Some of the tools and tips include: How to identify leaders and managers and build a checklist for your concept; how to implement effective staff scheduling models; how to evaluate, discipline and terminate workers; and how to put in place incentive and benefits programs that motivate staff and help you retain your most valuable team members.

Workshop 7 (Fee: $250)
So, You Want to Open a Pizzeria
With Big Dave Ostrander
(Monday, March 24, 8 a.m. – noon)

If you're exploring the possibility of opening your own pizzeria—or if you're contemplating a new unit—this workshop is a great first step. A go-to consultant in the industry, Big Dave Ostrander has opened seven pizza restaurants of his own, including a unit that at one time ranked among the top 25 busiest pizzerias in the U.S. In the two decades-plus since then, he has helped numerous operators launch successful stores. Big Dave will provide you with a roadmap, a timeline and budgets that increase your chances for success. He'll hand out take-home resources that contribute to opening a profitable pizzeria. And in the process, he'll answer your questions and share his 30-plus years of experience—all to help you sidestep the pitfalls and grasp the opportunities with a new store.

Workshop 8 (Fee: $150)
A Custom 6-Month Sales-Building Plan for Your Pizzeria
With Joel Cohen
(Monday, March 24, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.)

The number-one reason most operators don't attain the success they dream of is: They don't have a plan, in writing. Restaurant sales and marketing specialist Joel Cohen ( will show you, using a proven baseball stadium format, a fun and easy way to develop a sales-building plan. All workshop attendees, under his supervision, will be guided through the process of customizing their own 6-month strategy. Each pizza operator will set up his or her own "planning station" and leave the session with a half-year plan charted out in a format that can be implemented easily.


Big Dave Ostrander


A top industry consultant, Dave Ostrander brings a wealth of experience to the table. He operated Big Dave’s Pizzerias for 30-plus years, achieving a ranking as the 25th busiest pizzeria in the U.S. in 1988. In 1990, he started his consulting, speaking and training business and has helped hundreds of pizza-concept restaurants get on the right track with his ability to diagnose and prescribe cures for nearly any pizzeria problem. He is a regular Pizza Today columnist, the author of “Big Bucks With Big Dave” and the originator of “FoodCost Pro,” the only pizza-specific food-costing software program.

Dan Collier 

During 30 years in the pizza business, Dan Collier has advanced from delivery driver to multi-unit manager, and from director of operations for 20 units of Rusty’s Pizza to ending his franchise agreement and rebranding as an independent in 2012. He now operates five PizzaMan Dan’s locations in Southern California. In all he has opened 15 restaurants, posted consistent double-digit sales increases, developed training manuals for two different concepts, set up QuickBooks accounting and food and labor tracking systems for three companies, and devised his own marketing campaigns. He is a regular speaker and panelist at Pizza Expo.

Glenn Cybulski

Chef and pizzeria operator Glenn Cybulski has been involved with four pizza-concept restaurant companies since 2004 and is a graduate of Scuala Italiana Pizzaioli in Caorle, Italy. He regularly gives cooking demonstrations, sits in on panel discussions and presents seminars at Pizza Expo on a variety of topics. Glenn is also a consultant and a columnist for Pizza Today. He currently is serving as chief operating officer for a California start-up chain, Persona Neapolitan Pizzeria, which is offering fast casual Neapolitan-style pizza.

Ann Farrell

A member of the family that owns Farrelli's Wood Fired Pizza, based in Tacoma, Wash., Ann Farrell is director of training and development for the seven-unit pizzeria company. She wrote an organization-wide training program at Farrelli's, with an emphasis on company culture and leadership. She also designed a strategic planning process for the pizzerias that, among other things, documented staff policies and presented a vision of shared values between employees and ownership. She has a master's degree in leadership and organizational development.

Michael Shepherd  

Michael Shepherd is a four-time World Pizza Champion who owns and operates three unique brick oven-style pizzerias in Northwest Ohio. Each of his pizzerias are designed to fit the needs of the communities they serve, from a carryout-only shop to a full-blown 120-seat pizza restaurant. Over the past 17 years he has grown his small-town locations into a multi-million dollar company by using nontraditional marketing methods, out-of-the-box thinking and a systemic approach to operations, staffing and public relations. Michael has recently published the pizza marketing book "Growing Pizza,"  operates a pizzeria consulting business, teaches pizza-making classes, and has been a speaker at Pizza Expo for the last several years.

Jim Laube

Jim Laube is the founder (in 1998) and president of, an online resource for independent restaurant owners. Jim’s previous 30-year restaurant industry career included posts as a unit manager, controller, CPA and CFO for a regional chain. He works with restaurants primarily in the areas of financial management, internal controls, operating procedures and profitability. Jim is a regular Pizza Expo speaker.

Joel Cohen  

For the past 35 years, Joel Cohen has specialized in restaurant marketing and sales. From the pioneering days of developing programs that introduced McDonald's breakfast entrees, Quarter Pounders and drive-thru's to the world, to today's high-tech database and Internet marketing concepts, Joel Cohen has established himself as a premier, no-nonsense, cutting-edge restaurant-hospitality sales-builder. His vast list of clients over the years include most of the brand-name restaurant corporations, plus first-class regional companies like Texas Steakhouse & Saloons, Casa Ole Restaurants, Trail Dust Steakhouses, Ninfa's Mexican Restaurants and more.

School of Pizzeria Management
Certificate of Completion

Attend both Part I and Part II of any of the two-day workshops and receive a certificate from the School of Pizzeria Management.
Certificates will be awarded for those enrolled in:
• Profits in Your Numbers, Part I: FoodCost Pro (Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.) and Part II: Essential Business Skills (Monday, 8 a.m. – noon).
• Growth and Expansion, Part I: Opening Your Next Pizzeria (Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.) and Part II: Operations Manuals and Financing Options (Monday, 8 a.m. – noon).
• Employee Solutions, Part I: Tools for Recruiting, Interviewing and Fact-Finding (Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.) and Part II: Training and Managing Your Staff (Monday, 8 a.m. – noon).

Monday Programming for New Operators and Early-Arriving Attendees — FREE With Registration

Power Panel 1
Independents of the Year Roundtable
(Monday, March 24, noon – 1:30 p.m., FREE)

How do you climb to the mountaintop in the pizza business? You'll have the opportunity to learn about routes already taken from our panel of super-successful operators, all of whom were recently named Independent Pizzeria of the Year by Pizza Today magazine. In a free-ranging discussion, they'll share methods—and a few trade secrets—for outcompeting the big chains and establishing a dominant marketing position. Panelists include: Joe Fugere of Tutta Bella in Seattle (2010 honoree); Adam Goldberg of Fresh Brothers in Los Angeles (2012); Paul Hibler of Pitfire Artisan Pizza in Venice, Calif. (2013); and Darryl Reginelli of Reginelli's in New Orleans (2007). Moderated by Pizza Today President and Publisher Pete Lachapelle.

New-Operator Sessions

Karen Post — Brain Tattoo Branding

How to Brand Your New Store (Monday, March 24, 1:45 – 2:45 p.m., FREE)

Your brand is the single most powerful weapon you have to win customers in your market. More than your name, logo and tagline, your brand is the sum of all you do— or as Karen Post likes to call it, your "brain tattoo." A passionate brand-builder with 30 years of experience, she knows how to create memorable brands that get customers desiring more. Her high-energy session, packed with practical ideas for new pizzerias, will equip operators with seven strategies designed to make them stand out and become a magnet for loyal customers.

Clayton Krueger — Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza, Tacoma, Wash.

First-Year Marketing for Pizzerias (Monday, March 24, 3 – 4 p.m., FREE)

Farrelli's has opened seven pizzerias and its director of marketing, Clayton Krueger, has built the plan to promote most of the new units. He'll show you how to get the most important things right from the start and help you determine the proper mix of social media, traditional media and community marketing. He'll recount the Farrelli's experience with store openings and help you leave with proven tactics for constructing your own first-year plan.

Panel Discussion
Common Pizzeria Start-Up Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
(Monday, March 24, 4:15 – 5:45 p.m., FREE)

This session will offer can't-miss comments of value to anyone who has recently opened a unit or plans a new one in the near future. All of the panelists have experience launching multiple units and are willing to share. They are: Adam Goldberg of eight-store Fresh Brothers in Los Angeles; Shawn Hadjis of Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co., with most of its 14 units in Southern California; and Bruce Erhardt of 10-store Reginelli's in Louisiana. Moderated by Pizza Today editor Jeremy White.

Pre-Show Pizzeria Concept Showcase — FREE for All Early-Arriving Attendees
Super-Successful Pizza Entrepreneurs Describe Their Concepts and Take Questions

Adam Goldberg — Fresh Brothers, Los Angeles

Darryl Reginelli — Reginelli's, New Orleans

Multi-Unit Operations (Monday, March 24, 1:45 – 2:45 p.m., FREE)

They both started as co-owners opening a single pizzeria, but Adam Goldberg and Darryl Reginelli, along with their respective partners, took different paths to the successful addition of units and multiplication of revenues beyond the $10 million per year mark. Goldberg's Fresh Brothers emphasizes upscale fast-casual pizza, along with fresh salads and wings, with a model relying heavily on pick-up and delivery service. Reginelli's, on the other hand, combines contemporary dining with an Old World Italian feel. Its extensive menu features baked pasta, calzones, focaccia and appetizers, and it has grown with a mixture of company-owned and franchise stores.

Joe Fugere — Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Seattle 

Tony Gemignani – Tony's Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

Neapolitan-Plus (Monday, March 24, 3 – 4 p.m., FREE)

Tutta Bella lays claim to being the Northwest's first certified Neapolitan pizzeria, and Tony's is associated with traditional pizza making through its owner's International School of Pizza. But both Joe Fugere and Tony Gemignani have expanded on their classical beginnings to build dynamic businesses. By staying true to Italian ingredients and methods, the Seattle company has grown to four locations offering an upscale casual dining experience and a full sit-down dining menu. Meanwhile, Tony Gemignani has exploded out of the Neapolitan box by offering American-style (even Detroit) pizzas as well as coal-fire specialties and other Italian styles at his showcase San Francisco establishment. His newest venture, Pizza Rock, offers pizzas from multiple traditions from locations in Sacramento and Las Vegas.

George Hadjis — Oggi's Pizza & Brewery, San Clemente, Calif.

Anne Keller 

Jen Zeuner 

— Hot Tomato, Fruita, Colo.
Special Concepts (Monday, March 24, 4:15 – 5:30 p.m., FREE)

George Hadjis (and his brother John) got their start as franchisees for a California chain, then developed a sports-themed bar and restaurant that eventually led to the first Oggi's pizza-themed brewpub in 1995. The business has expanded to 15 franchised locations and a brewery operation—Left Coast Brewing—that supplies Oggi's and also sells to bars and restaurants in several other states. Set in the mountain biking and river rafting town of Fruita, Hot Tomato is the brainchild of two trail-riding transplants, Anne Keller and Jen Zeuner, who left the sporting life a half-dozen years ago to open a fresh-ingredient, hand-crafted pizza restaurant. Hot Tomato serves up quirkiness and humor along with thin-crust (and Sicilian) versions of its creatively topped pies, earning its proprietors enough sales to close shop and do other things two days a week and for a full month during winter.

FREE! New Operator and Early-Arriving Attendee Reception (Monday, March 24, 6 p.m.)

Network with your fellow Pizza Expo early birds at this informal gathering. There will be food and drinks, and a chance to compare notes and connect with colleagues before the Exhibit Hall and other events kick off on Tuesday.

The New Operators and Early-Attendee Program and Reception are sponsored by Roundstone Pizza Ovens (Booth 537) and General Mills (Booth 469).

A Crash Course at the Oven With
Master Pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani

Workshop 9 (Fee: $160 per day; $300 for both days)
Making Pizzas With Tony Gemignani

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 25-26
8:30 – 10 a.m.

Day 1, Tuesday: Making Dough and Starters
Workshop participants will learn how to make two styles of dough: Neapolitan and New York/Sicilian. They'll be taught a starter called "poolish," undergo the process--and gain indispensable knowledge about the properties of flour, protein and each dough ingredient. Participants will learn the "dos and don'ts" of dough, while maximizing flavor, maturation, performance and digestibility. Many attendees will be able to participate hands-on.

Day 2, Wednesday: Making Pizzas
Tony will demonstrate the skills necessary for making authentic Neapolitan, New York and Sicilian pizza styles. Attendees will learn how to make sauce and push/open a pizza correctly. Baking in various oven types will be demonstrated. Click here to register for Pizza Expo and Making Pizzas With Tony Gemignani.

About Tony Gemignani

Master of all things pizza Tony Gemignani returns for a fourth year of this hands-on tutorial. An 11-time World Pizza Champion, he owns Tony's Pizza Napoletana, Tony's Coal Fire & Slice House and Capo's in San Francisco, plus Pizza Rock in both Sacramento and Las Vegas. Tony has three world titles in baking and was the first American to win at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy. A master-certified instructor trained in Italy, he opened the International School of Pizza in San Francisco in 2009, where he educates and certifies pizza makers from around the world in styles from Italy and the USA.