Author Topic: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?  (Read 5550 times)

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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2012, 01:07:22 PM »
As is customary in the United States, the worker doesn't get paid enough or treated with enough respect by their superiors to care if the customer is a king, a god, or some a-hole chump. The typical American worker doesn't get paid enough to pay their bills, even though there's plenty to go around. (Yeah, I know it's worse in a few other countries, but that doesn't make it acceptable, especially because a handful of ultra-wealthy scumbags have 100,000 times more than they could ever need, thanks to the hard work of people who have nothing.)

Even though I'd prefer to be treated like a somewhat valuable customer when I go to Burger King, I can certainly understand why it doesn't happen. But since I already know it's not gonna happen before I make a conscious decision to eat at either Burger King or somewhere else, I choose not to eat at Burger King. I have no need to wait in line for 10 or 15 minutes, then give my order to someone who hates their job and their customers, wait another ten minutes for my microwaved, processed "food," wait in the line again because they got my order wrong, wait again for different food to be reheated and packaged, and then eat the groady crap in a dirty dining room.

Why would I pay for that? I don't. I refuse to. And it's not just Burger King; it's almost every fast food joint. And it happens because the shareholders would rather steal from their employees and customers than actually earn their inflated income. It happens because the people who work at these places allow it to happen. It happens because the American people have grown to accept disgusting, overpriced food, and horrible service as the norm.

But I can't blame the employees for doing a horrible job at places like Burger King because they have no incentive to care how well they do their job. No matter how good a job they do, they know they're still gonna have to do the work of two or three people for minimum wage.

Fortunately, in one region of the United States, good workers and smart consumers have a choice to avoid that kind of experience, thanks to In-N-Out Burger (which is not a corporation). And that's why In-N-Out is packed from open to close, in over 300 different locations. When you do things right, and when you're not greedy, you receive so much more than when you cut corners and try to steal from everyone. In-N-Out has figured this out and given the rest of the United States a perfect model to learn from, yet the rest of the United States refuses to learn. It's the American Way.

I figured it out on my own that this kind of business model works, and then I confirmed it by using In-N-Out Burger as a case study, informally. I don't know of any other company in the United States that operates with this kind of business model, although Cheesecake Factory comes close (and REI used to come close). I've wanted, for so long, to open a pizzeria using the same business model, mostly because I can probably do it better than just about everyone. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it, simply because I don't have any money.

If I was able to open a pizzeria, I would pay my workers a better hourly wage than I would pay myself in the beginning, if not for a long time after the beginning. (By choice; not because there isn't enough revenue coming in to pay myself, which is why most independent pizzeria owners pay themselves less than they pay their staff.) I would treat my people how I've never been treated at any job I've ever had. If I somehow make what appears to be a bad hire, I'd make sure the person knows what I expect from them before making the decision to fire them (because I may not have trained them right). And if they still don't get it after re-training, see ya.

I'm a lead-by-example kind of guy, whereas most Americans are "Do as I say, not as I do" people.

Obviously Bob and I both figured out on our own that you are not in the United States. (I wrote my post before I saw Bob's.) It wasn't difficult.

I hope I get to experience Japan someday. Sounds like it'll feel like being in a giant In-N-Out Burger.

. . . spoken like a bright-eyed college student who's loaded with lots of great theory but little experience.

Managing employees goes far deeper than simply paying them well and training them properly.  Running a business effectively takes experience from the school of hard knocks, as well as, a solid education.  I once thought as you did and nearly lost my ass in my first business by grossly overpaying a crew who simply couldn't take enough and always wanted more.  They made $40-60k w/o college degrees, 3 weeks of paid vacation, full Blue Cross health, dental, $8K in Christmas bonuses divided six ways, and a 50-gallon per month gas card for personal use.  This crew showed up on-time or a few minutes late daily, left at exactly 4:00 pm whether the job was done or not, called in sick an average of 10 days per year, stole merchandise, stole office supplies, complained constantly, and spent company time cell talking.  I worked 100 hours per week, side by side with this team.  When things got tough I reduced my pay to zero to avoid layoffs and took no pay for two years.  I took great care of these spoiled people and their families, and they F'd me.  Of course, it was MY FAULT--No one to blame but myself.  I canned a few of the worst offenders early-on but should have fired them all.  Eventually they all lost their jobs anyway, because their apathy lead to weak production and couldn't offset the expenses to support their compensation.  Lessons learned, never ever again, never!  The one advantage of being young is that you can screw up and get it right the next time.

If you worked for me now, you'd find that I'm the most focused, cost monitoring, hard-ass you'd ever meet.  I have goals for my company(s) and all my employees know that we work toward those goals to serve the customer.  The customer pays the bills and allows everyone to get a paycheck.  The customer is the "boss."  So, save your money, watch a few Restaurant Impossible episodes and run your restaurant more like Robert Irvine and less like Ben and Jerrys.  You will have a better chance at succeeding and the employees under stern, effective leadership will be instrumental in helping your business achieve its long-term goals.

------

I also like In & Out, maybe not as much as you seem to, but I do like to eat there.  Those employees aren't paid big bucks nor are they cottled by progressive management who work side-by-side the workers.  My guess is that IO looks for a certain attitude and if they don't get it along with a 100% effort, that employee is history.  IO makes a solid hamburger and it makes it fast, with the double being a much tastier and balanced product than the single.  The drive thru is a model for efficiency but the front of the house runs significantly slower.  The french fries are dreadfuly mushy and tasteless, in my opinion.  The menu cries-out for a home-run chicken sandwich.  

. . .  Ryan, I expect you'll disagree with this post today, but someday you may view things differently.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 01:41:38 PM by Pizza De Puta »
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2012, 01:20:08 PM »

If you worked for me now, you'd find that I'm the most focused, cost monitoring, hard-ass you'd ever meet.   You and your employees will be happier and more successful.

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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2012, 02:01:56 PM »
. . . spoken like a bright-eyed college student who's loaded with lots of great theory but little experience.

My bad. I guess In-N-Out Burger really isn't slammed all the time, or clean, or efficient, or ridiculously profitable. And I guess they haven't actually satisfied me 100% during each of my 200 or 300 visits.

You caught me. I was just making it all up, which should be easily verified by almost anyone who lives in California, such as yourself.

And I guess I haven't gone out and lived functionally homeless by choice for extended periods of time, either.

</sarcasm>

Believe it or not, living that way is pretty hard, especially when you're living that way while walking from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean over the span of 211 days (which is hauling ass, by the way). But you know what? Living that way is the most awesome thing in the world, and you will never know what I know because you buy into the BS that you've been taught by the people who make your life miserable.

It's not about money. It's about living in harmony with what you truly want out of life, rather than living how you've always been told you're supposed to live.

Screw college, dude. I earned five years of college credits, and then I quit a semester before I was supposed to graduate because most of it is total BS. The UNLV College of Education almost successfully brainwashed me into being someone I didn't want to be. And I would've had to fully become that person in order to have any chance at fitting into an education system that has been failing miserably for decades. Since I quit school, I've never looked back, and I've lived so much more than most people in the 12 years since then.

So you might want to reconsider your premature assessment of exactly what motivates me to think how I think.

I haven't even read the remainder of your post yet. I'll get to it in a second.

(If this came off sounding hostile, don't interpret it that way.)

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2012, 02:31:14 PM »
I once thought as you did and nearly lost my ass in my first business by grossly overpaying a crew who simply couldn't take enough and always wanted more.

I didn't say, or even imply, that I think people who suck should be grossly overpaid (or that anyone should be overpaid at all). I didn't say anything like that. Why would I pay people more than they're worth?

Without saying this exactly how I've already said it, I said that people who make me money are worth money to me. I want to keep those people on my payroll for a whole bunch of reasons. And one way of doing that is by paying them what they're worth. Treating them with respect helps, too.

I've only ever been treated respectfully at one job, but I didn't get paid very well there. The respect kept me around a lot longer than I would have stayed at a job that paid a buck more per hour but treated me like crap.

And I did make this clear in a previous post: If you suck at doing the job I hired you to do, let me try to help you do a better job because maybe I didn't train you right. But if you still suck after I've given you my full attention and re-trained you, see ya. I'm not wasting any more time or money on you. You fooled me once; now go work at Burger King.

The key in this situation is to possess enough people skills to hire the right people in the first place. It costs a lot of money and mental energy to constantly have to hire and train new people due to high turnover.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2012, 03:12:08 PM »

Why would I pay people more than they're worth?

People who make me money are worth money to me. Treating them with respect helps, too.

If you suck at doing the job I hired you to do, let me try to help you do a better job because maybe I didn't train you right. But if you still suck after I've given you my full attention and re-trained you, see ya.

It costs a lot of money and mental energy to constantly have to hire and train new people due to high turnover.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I can't disagree with any of these statements.

However, we are going to be at opposite ends of the political/philosophical spectrum for which there is no common ground.  The only point I'm politely trying to make is that some of your posted opinions and advice to others for running a business may change once you actually open your own shop, hire employees, and manage it on daily basis.  I know my outlook on business operations and leadership certainly is different now than when I began.

. . . Oh, and I was a public high school teacher for 20 years before retiring . . . I can argue about that subject, too!  ;)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 03:32:36 PM by Pizza De Puta »
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2012, 04:33:01 PM »
The [In-N-Out] menu cries-out for a home-run chicken sandwich.  

There you go trying to California-ize and complicate one of the very few things in either California or the rest of the US that actually works beautifully.

By the way, even as much as I love the place, and even though I would do a kick-ass job if I worked there, there's no way I would ever get hired at In-N-Out. If I was a manager there, I wouldn't hire myself. Not because I'm a bad person to hire or anything like that, but because I'm not as refined as the model In-N-Out employee. I'm more of a dude, and there is a 100% chance that I would slip and say something dude-like and less than polished in the presence of customers. You don't have to be a genius to figure that kind of thing out about people in a job interview.

But at "Ryan's Pizzeria" it would be a little different. We'd have a very high standard of everything (like In-N-Out), but there would be some room for personality slips, too. People like individuals to display their own personality sometimes, y'know, even if it can be a little rough around the edges.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2012, 05:31:06 PM »
The only point I'm politely trying to make is that some of your posted opinions and advice to others for running a business may change once you actually open your own shop, hire employees, and manage it on daily basis.  I know my outlook on business operations and leadership certainly is different now than when I began.

Y'know, everyone's always telling me how wrong I am, and that I'm gonna change my mind and find the invisible man in the sky**, or that I'll change my mind when I experience what they've experienced, and stuff like that. Yet every time I'm ever given an opportunity to prove or accomplish something that these people think I can't prove or accomplish, I prove it or I accomplish it.

(Here's the best piece of insight I get from people: "It's dangerous to hitchhike." Surely you have no idea how hilarious that one is. And you know what kind of people love to pass this kind of wisdom on to me? Exclusively people who have never hitchhiked.)

Nothing works in this country, but whenever I suggest something different we could do, and whenever I point to a real-life example of how my ideas work better than every other model out there (like In-N-Out Burger), people tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. (In some cases, these people soon go out of business, apparently by doing it the right way instead of the ways I may have suggested.)

I've already thought about what you think I haven't thought about. I am extremely analytical. When I'm wrong, I have no problem admitting either to myself or anyone else that I am wrong. To see how true that is, all you have to do is look at my recap of the pizza I made yesterday, or probably any pizza I've ever shared on these boards.

You may not like me or what I have to say, but I'm not full of sh!t, and I won't back down and take a different stance just because people who do everything wrong don't like how I think.

I say what I have to say in threads like this to help people avoid making the same stupid mistakes I've seen countless other people make (or mistakes I've made myself); to help people avoid making the same mistakes you made, and will make again.

You wanna know how many tries it took for me to walk across the United States? One.











(** who is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful, yet has either allowed or caused my legs to stop working)

Offline pythonic

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2012, 03:51:29 AM »
Comparing the way a big franchise pays their employees vs doing the same for a single unknown restaurant is apples and oranges.  Franchises can afford to do that because they have deeper pockets for advertising to bring more customers in to offset that.  An unknown place on the other hand should be pumping their money into advertising to get their name out there because the 1st few yrs are critical.  Obv u want good employees but with the way the economy is right now most people are happy to just have a job.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2012, 11:13:23 AM »
Comparing the way a big franchise pays their employees vs doing the same for a single unknown restaurant is apples and oranges.  Franchises can afford to do that because they have deeper pockets for advertising to bring more customers in to offset that.  An unknown place on the other hand should be pumping their money into advertising to get their name out there because the 1st few yrs are critical.  Obv u want good employees but with the way the economy is right now most people are happy to just have a job.

I clearly remember making minimum wage at Pizza Hut and McDonald's, while making a hair or two over minimum wage at Donatos, Damon's, and Max & Erma's, then finally getting paid a little better at Da Vinci Ristorante. Recap: That's minimum wage at two of the biggest chains on the planet, better wages at smaller chains, and even better wages at an independent, single-unit restaurant, which probably blew the others away in sales.

Originally when I wrote the previous paragraph, it was one sentence long, and it ended at "Pizza Hut." Then I realized that my entire wage history, regarding chains vs. independents, completely counters your assertion. I'm not BSing; I'm just telling you the truth. I made $4.25 at McDonald's in 1990. I never made more than $4.50 at Pizza Hut between 1992 and 1994. I took my first job at Donatos because I knew they paid better than Pizza Hut, which is where I worked before quitting to work at Donatos. At Max & Erma's, where I worked as a line cook in 1995-96, I think I made $6. I quit that job to make salads at Da Vinci's for $7.

Trend: Biggest player paid me the least, while the smallest player paid me the most.

So it looks like you're right and you're wrong. Yes, big chains can afford to pay their employees because they have deeper pockets. But they don't pay their employees. Consequently, everyone who works there hates their job, and they don't stay for long, which is hell for the manager, who also doesn't stay very long for the same reasons. So your assertion that the big chains can pay their employees doesn't really counter my assertion that it's best for an independent pizzeria owner to hire good employees and pay them well.

In addition to the foodservice jobs I mentioned above, I've also done some work for independent pizzerias, sort of on a consultancy basis. And when I've done this, I've either gotten completely ripped off or I agreed to work for the gas money it took to drive to California and back to Ohio. But I wasn't working for the little guy in these instances so much as I was working for the stupid guy (usually). That is, I was trying to help people keep from going out of business. I sought out these kinds of places specifically because I don't really have anything to offer pizzerias that are already making money. I did it because if I can help a struggling pizzeria owner become a profitable pizzeria owner (instead of going out of business), then I'll be able to command real money as a consultant for others.

What I've learned over and over from these experiences is that most of these people cannot be helped. It's not because they offer crappy food. It's not because they're in bad locations. It's not because they're the little guy. And it most certainly is not because I lack the knowledge to help them.

It's because they: a) are nutjobs; b) are stupid; c) have huge egos but nothing to back it up; d) don't invest any of their time into the business; e) don't know why they're in the pizza business; f) started making pizza a week before they started selling pizza; g) want to take without giving anything in return, from both customers and employees; h) have never worked in a functional, high-volume pizzeria or restaurant, which means they know NOTHING about operating one; i) use a cash register instead of a POS system; j) make everything more difficult than it needs to be.

I could easily go on and on with this list, but some of these things are beginning to merge with others.

It's not apples and oranges to compare how different pizzerias pay their employees; it's more like small apples and smaller apples. However, it usually is apples and oranges to compare how they operate. If you run a business effectively and efficiently (apples), there is plenty of money available for payroll. If you don't (oranges), there's not.

If you hire the right people and pay them what they're worth (which is sometimes referred to as "making an investment"), there's a good chance you're also running your business effectively and efficiently.

The main difference between the operations of a chain store and the operations of an independent is that the independent owner generally does things inefficiently and trains their staff to do things inefficiently. These owners think they know everything, even though they don't know sh!t. Their egos influence their business decisions much more strongly than their desire to succeed by doing what the market dictates.

If you want to compare apples to oranges, compare successful pizzerias to unsuccessful pizzerias. But if you do this, you're not comparing the game they're playing; you're comparing how they play it, because they're all playing the same game. If you play it right, you win.

In-N-Out Burger is a ridiculously successful chain because every unit operates like a successful independent restaurant.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2012, 11:18:29 AM »
k) refuse to listen to anyone who might be able to help them.


Offline mahai

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2012, 08:48:53 PM »
I can't speak for Chicago, but...

Back in the 80's as a young Marine, I was traveling through Naples and fell in love with the pizza.  It was so amusing to ride a public bus down a via and see a sign tacked to a pole that said NY style pizza ->  Go figure.

People will probably eat it, love it, but just won't tell others they enjoy it.

flame on...

Mahai

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2012, 09:05:27 PM »
Good pizza of any style will sell anywhere.

Offline Rideit

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2012, 09:41:05 PM »
Growing up snowboarding in Vermont, us punk kids all rode Sims, while the lemmings all rode Burton.

So there you have it.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Will ny pizza sell in Chicago?
« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2012, 09:51:06 PM »
Growing up snowboarding in Vermont, us punk kids all rode Sims, while the lemmings all rode Burton.

So there you have it.
Makes perfect sense to me.... :chef:
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