If you're not passionate about pizza, the pizza aspect of your business will not be profitable.
Scott, Iím going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this as a blanket statement. I think I know where you are coming from, and in that sense I agree with you that if you are going in to market your place as a pizza joint and compete with passionate pizza makers or in a market that expects high quality in a certain type of pizza, then yes, passion is a critical element.
However, when I was working for Hormel (pre-cooked pizza toppings were a big part of the business), I lost count of how many places I helped put into the pizza business using frozen raw dough and more often, parbaked crusts. Iíve seen many icehouse-type places make a mint selling complete garbage pizza. At the time, I didnít know good pizza and I certainly wasnít passionate about pizza in any respect other than using it as a tool to make money. I did that by teaching operators who didnít know anything about pizza how to make money selling pizza with zero skills, nearly zero effort, and certainly no passion (other than for making extra money of course).
Putting your pizza passion and purism on hold for a minute, you have to admit it is an attractive proposition for the right operations. You can make a product that will satisfy the vast majority of people who are not specifically seeking out great pizza and (and nearly 100% of drunks) with absolutely no skilled labor. It requires no prep Ė the crust is ready to go Ė all baked and everything Ė the toppings are fully cooked, the cheese is shredded, and the vegetables are prepped for you before they get to your back door. Just throw everything on the crust and pop it in the oven until the cheese melts. Easy money.
I donít know ammonationís specific situation, but I do know that there are plenty of opportunities to make good money selling passionless gutfiller pizza. You have to know your customer and your market situation, but if there is an opportunity to sell pizza, why not? As you know, you can make a lot more money selling a pizza than a burger.