Each month we will feature Central customers to showcase their business and provide tips and ideas for any of you in the restaurant industry! This month’s article features David’s Pizza.
Family owned pizzeria, David’s Pizza, has been in business in Lebanon, Tennessee for over 50 years. Originally founded by the late David Foster, today the restaurant is owned by David’s nephew Brandon Chastain and his wife Teri. Brandon’s younger brother, Jared, and Teri’s younger brother, Ryan, also work at the restaurant.
Teri started working for David in 1999, where he taught her how to be a chef and the importance of the fine details. David’s Pizza was also where Teri and Brandon met!
Mixing family and work can get hectic for some, but this family makes it work. They don’t play favorites, and Brandon said he actually expects more from family that works there because they know what is on the line. It’s become a tight knit group.
“We have several non-family employees that we basically adopt,” Brandon said. “I like my team to be a one for all and all for one team.”
And while he may own the restaurant, he considers himself to be more of a team leader instead of a “boss.”
“My team understands if you take care of me by offering their best efforts, I’ll take care of them with mine.”
Dedicated Customer Base
One of the great things about being in business for over five decades are the dedicated customers.
“My customers are multi-generational,” said Brandon. “They are loyal the David’s brand and will stand up for what they believe in.”
In fact, David’s Pizza sells t-shirts that say “best pizza in town” which their customers love!
On a typical day, Brandon said they see quite a few of the same people.
“It’s to the point if Mr. or Mrs. doesn’t come in, you kinda worry about them,” he said.
Customers of David’s Pizza know they can get the freshest products around. This pizzeria uses garden-fresh vegetables, 100% real whole milk mozzarella cheese and sausage that is never frozen.
They also have original crusts locally made with hand-tossed dough that is made from scratch.
“No one produces an 18″ XL hand tossed like David’s!” they said. “We’ve been using the same original thin and crispy crust since David’s first opened. It’s a local favorite for sure!”
David’s Pizza’s most popular pizza is the “House Special,” which is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, green and black olives and topped with banana peppers.
Brandon admits it’s a bold combination but once you try it, you’re hooked!
“Customers say more will fall off a slice than what another shop would put on,” said Brandon. “Then they spoon up the extra almost like a side dish.”
When it comes to getting the job done, a restaurant really needs the right equipment.
“Equipment in the kitchen from Central has a special spot with us,” Brandon explained. “No joke, items like work tables, fryers, slice/dice slammers all make the job easier, faster and more consistent. You save on time and money with the effective efficiency so it all becomes an increase in profits.”
Brandon’s personal favorite item in his kitchen is his uncle David’s old bread knife that he had when he started the business.
“It’s old and kinda beat up,” he said. “Started as a serrated blade but has been sharpened till it’s a razor sharp edge. Cuts bread like butter with a hot knife.”
Next, their kitchen frequently use slice/dice slammers which makes it easy to prepare the two bushels of green peppers and 100 pounds of onions each week. It drastically speeds up prep time and is also safer as well.
Since their early days 50 years ago, David’s Pizza has been able to support many non-profit organizations, such as schools, sporting events and other causes. It’s very important to them and they are able to provide special pricing for those that serve both their community or the country, as well as surrounding schools and those who have fallen on hard times.
“Sometimes we are just a blessing in silence,” explained Brandon. “We don’t feel we need a pat on the back for everything we do. It just feels good being blessed enough to help. That’s rewarding enough.”
Brandon has found being an asset to a community also becomes an asset for your business.
“You become a part of the community, not just another restaurant on the strip,” he said. “It helps in brand building cheaper than any other form of advertising out there.”
For Those in the Restaurant Industry…
When asked about the restaurant business in general, Brandon acknowledged it’s a tough business to be in.
“There are always different things you can do to improve on,”he said, whether it be a customer service or kitchen technique. “Restaurant life will take every second of your life if you let it.”
Brandon advises those in the industry to give themselves time to grow and time to rest. Don’t get burned out and let it be a fun adventure and not something you do just because!