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Petty Tyrants w/ Scott Sandler of Pizza Via St. Louis

Scott Sandler of Pizza Via shares his journey of opening and selling three unique pizza concepts. Scott and the host dive into key factors for restaurant profitability, the challenges of running a vegetarian/vegan pizzeria, and the decision to offer meat options. They also discuss navigating criticism, staying true to your vision, and using "petty tyrants" as teachers on the path to success.

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In This Episode

  • Scott Sandler shares his experience opening and later selling three different pizza restaurant concepts. He emphasizes the importance of patience, discipline, and sticking to your vision as a business owner, even in the face of obstacles and criticism.

  • Scott and the host discuss key factors in restaurant profitability, including managing labor costs, making smart decisions about ingredients and prep, and understanding your target audience. They note the challenges of running a vegetarian/vegan pizzeria and the potential need to offer meat options to appeal to a wider customer base.

  • Scott opens up about his decision to start offering meat at his new pizza concept Pizza Via, despite being a longtime vegetarian himself. He wrestles with the ethical implications but ultimately feels it’s necessary for the restaurant’s survival and success.

  • The host shares his own experience transitioning his pizzeria Hot Tongue from all-vegan to offering non-vegan options. While initially facing backlash, he’s seen business improve significantly and believes he can now share his vegan creations with a much wider audience.

  • Scott and the host reflect on dealing with harsh criticism and judgment, especially in the social media age. They emphasize staying true to your own integrity and conscience, using “petty tyrants” as teachers, and not letting others’ opinions sway you from your path. Scott quotes an inspirational saying: “If the dogs bark at the moon, does it make the moon any less beautiful?”

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