John’s of Arthur Avenue
We take food seriously…but not ourselves!
“Serving patrons is crucial to business,” says Proprietor Colin Smith, “and so we take it very seriously.” Now in their fifth year of successful operation at their Milford, Pennsylvania location in the Old Lumberyard Shops, John’s of Arthur Avenue has built a solid reputation for not only delivering on its pledge to provide a wide range of mouth-watering specialty pizzas and original menu items, but they’ve also become recognized for making a sincere connection with their local community. “We’ve found that taking care of the customer, and ensuring that they come first in all that we do, is the key to creating a thriving business.”
After taking the reins of the former Village Pizza II a half decade ago, Smith began to put his customer service philosophy into practice, immersing himself in all aspects of the business and applying his lifelong familiarity with the restaurant industry. He literally grew up in the restaurant world, working in his uncle’s bakery performing a variety of support tasks, waiting tables, bar tending…you name it, and he did it. After hiring an accomplished chef (Mark), he learned hands-on the art of cooking and food preparation, and has built the enterprise to a 15-20 person operation.
John’s of Arthur Avenue maintains an extraordinary menu, covering the waterfront of Italian cuisine, from the Antipasto opening acts to the Cannoli and Zeppole closing acts and including an array of time-honored dishes, like more than a dozen pizza creations—Naples, Siciliano, New York Style, and traditional American-Style, for example. They offer a slate of soup and salad creations, including traditional Caprese, Caesar, and Mixed Balsamic salads along with their exotic Pear Salad and their own creation, the Arthur Ave Special.
And it doesn’t stop there! Their incredible list of specialties includes seven variations of Calzones and ten types of Hero Sandwiches featuring Italian sourdough bread from DeFillippi’s Bakery. Beyond that, the menu expands to include nearly a dozen specialty creations featuring the famous locally-produced Joseph’s Pasta! If you haven’t yet found anything to suit your craving of the moment, John’s also offers a selection of entrees including dishes like Homemade Baked Eggplant Rollatini and Chicken Marsala Portobello.
To say that John’s of Arthur Avenue’s menu is unique is a clear understatement. “While we do not stray far from the realm of Italian cuisine,” Smith notes, “we pride ourselves on offering menu items that are specialty, signature creations. About three quarters of what we offer can’t be found anywhere else.” John’s kitchen professionals use their menu offerings to showcase a unique brand of culinary creativity, and it pays off in a well-fed, well-satisfied clientele.
Smith is a believer in using technology where it makes operational sense, as evidenced by their recent use of an iPad/Excel-based system configured to integrate their inventory and wholesale ordering processes. “This step alone saves us roughly six to eight hours each week and keeps our stock levels appropriately up-to-date,” Smith reports. This capability, along with their basic point-of-sale technology, results in a smooth and efficient operation for the restaurant.
With respect to advertising, Smith is a firm believer in word-of-mouth as the best way to bring in customers. “We stay very active in the community,” notes Smith, “and we’re proud of the many fund-raising efforts for local school- and sports-related programs that we’ve been a part of.” There’s no doubt that the restaurant’s reputation has been a major factor in building a successful enterprise. “I consider our community activities to be just another part of taking care of the customer.” In fact, each year, the restaurant’s fund-raising efforts provide $5,000 in funding for the local football, basketball, and soccer teams, and they provide numerous discounts for local groups.
Restaurant operation can be a grueling operation in many respects, but Colin Smith and his team rise above the struggles by following a philosophy of making work fun. “We take our service and our commitment to customers seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously,” he stresses. This fresh and innovative style of operation, complete with a dose of humor that allows the staff to work hard and play hard, enables the restaurant to keep the bar high with its customers. It has paid off with a Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence” award and a steady flow of Top 5 customer satisfaction ratings.
So, if it’s a cozy, home-style dining experience you’re looking for, of if you just want to grab a Calzone, Pizza, or a Hero sandwich that you can be sure will be consistently great, rest assured that John’s of Arthur Avenue Restaurant and Pizzeria is the place for you!
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