Washington, DC – August 12–Bozzelli’s announces that it has started construction at 3000 K Street, NW at the Washington Harbor in Georgetown. As this effort to expand to the Harbor began prior to the Pandemic, Bozzelli’s has had to revamp their restaurant design with well known restaurant architects, GRUPO7.
Owner, Mike Bozzelli, explains, Naturally, as the infections and deaths continued climbing, we suffered from self-doubt about this project. Like so many restaurateurs, I just want my existing stores to survive. Initially, we had this emphasis on dine-in until the Pandemic. We then shifted our focus to grab-and-go and delivery because the health of our employees and guests is paramount.”
In 2016, Bozzelli’s attempted to go cashless at their first location in the District of Columbia located at 1025 Vermont, NW. The three major advantages to going cashless are based on accounting, security and throughput. With regard to accounting, it is so much easier to track sales and avoid the perception of leakage should a drawer come up short. Secondly, armed robbery is a major concern for all restaurant owners and employees. Why should an employee with a family risk his or her life for what limited cash is being held in the till. Lastly, throughput surges in a cashless environment because making change is time consuming compared to the sheer speed of electronic payment processing. Nonetheless, and despite the overwhelming advantages, Bozzelli’s abandoned their cashless system shortly after inception.
Mike shares, “We were part of the first dozen or so restaurants who attempted to go cashless a few years back. I can’t count how many interviews I gave about that topic–my pizza never got a write up in the New York Times but this cashless move caught the attention of the newspaper of record. It was hard explaining that one to my Mom.”
He adds, “Unfortunately, there are individuals who are unbanked and as not to appear insensitive to them we dropped the whole thing. We never want anyone ever feeling they are not welcomed at Bozzelli’s. Even if you don’t have money we will make you a nutella sandwich for free. But this was before the Pandemic that has shut down the world for business and killed almost a million people.”
“Through introspection and discussions with my family and staff, we realized that if we were serious about building the pizza shop of the future then it needed to be a contactless operation.
We would establish an online ordering only system where only electronic payments are accepted.”
Mike adds, “Handling cash has never been sanitary. It is my understanding that it is one of the leading ways the coronavirus is transmitted. I encourage all restaurants to carefully consider broadening contactless service with an online ordering only system based on electronic payment. In fact, most restaurants already have the infrastructure in place, like integrated online ordering systems, order kiosks for walk-in customers and touchless credit card processors. Now that most restaurants already have the hardware and software if not before but as a result of Covid-19 why revert to a system that was previously flawed.”
“To be totally contactless is something that we are really thrilled about for the health of both employees and guests. As part of the plan, we will of course be wearing gloves and masks, sealing pizza boxes, eliminating paper menus and layering carryout bags in plastic.”