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No publicity is bad publicity is a commonly uttered phrase in business. While that may not always prove accurate, for one local Phoenix restaurant, it’s been nothing but fantastic publicity. In fact, in the culinary world, it would be difficult to surpass the kind of attention and accolades received over the past six months. And yet, the restaurants are struggling, with difficult times ahead and are now forced to close down shop for multiple days a week.
Chris Bianco has been in the news and under the spotlight for a while now. With his Pizzeria Bianco restaurant, he recently received recognition as a James Beard Award winner, which recognizes the best of the best in the culinary world. On top of this, he as well as his restaurant have been featured on the Netflix program “Chef’s Table Pizza.” For food lovers, few television programs have been able to provide the kind of storytelling and visualization as the Chef’s Table series of shows. Typically, appearing on this particular program has helped elevate the stature of restaurants worldwide, as foodies from around the world are introduced to new destinations to sample.
And yet, despite all the attention, business has been anything but stellar. Or, more specifically, Chris Bianco is slashing business hours because he simply can’t find staff to work his restaurants. In an Instagram post, Chris (posting on the Pizzeria Bianco account) said he did not want to over-work his current staff, as it would not be a full-time solution. He also pointed out that even if his staff wanted to, paying an entire staff overtime every week would prove even less financially feasible.
After making the post, a number of locals came out in support of the announcement. Several restaurants in the area chimed in, echoing the issue faced by Pizzeria Bianco. Others said that when they decided to close their own businesses for a day it ended up bolstering the amount of business they did on other days, which in turn helped them make more money than if they had remained open. With nearly 8,000 likes on the post, it is generating considerable interest from the local Phoenix community.
The new business hours for Pizzeria Bianco is Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM until 9 PM for the Heritage Square location (closed Sunday and Monday). The Town and Country location will be open from 11 AM until 9 PM Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday), Pane Bianco will remain open Monday through Saturday, from 11 AM until 3 PM (closed Sunday), and Tratto will be open Monday through Saturday from 5 PM until 9 PM (closed Sunday).
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