Author Topic: The Countdown . . .  (Read 673 times)

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Offline La Sera

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The Countdown . . .
« on: August 11, 2013, 06:12:53 AM »
Four weeks and counting until I'm out of the pizza business!

My landlord is building a condominium on the site where I am now, so he's bought out my lease and almost two years worth of profit to get me out.

Business was good, but I'd do some things differently if I were to start again. The first flyer I put out would say "Going Out of Business!" Or, "One One per Customer!" Hahaha! I'm joking, but I would change some things.

I've never been so busy as we've been the last few weeks. My entire weekend allotment of dough was sold out Saturday evening at 6PM. Nightmare, but the people calling after that were making a reservation for pizza next weekend. Unbelievable.

I only gave out flyers to repeat customers. The old adage that "frequency is better than reach" is true.

Anyway, only a few more weeks. One problem is that I started this business because there was no good pizza in my city, and now I'm back to the same situation. The other is that I feel really bad for the staff. I have some great people and I'll miss them and the camaraderie we have even when we're busy as all get out.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Countdown . . .
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 08:05:35 AM »
La Sera,

Will you be leaving the business for good or will you start a new pizzeria at a different location?

Peter,

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The Countdown . . .
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 08:24:09 AM »
I couldn't tell from your post if you are happy about leaving the pizza business or not.

Offline La Sera

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Re: The Countdown . . .
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 11:15:54 AM »
I don't have any plans to start another one right now, Pete-zza. I had a lazy, sleazy, liar partner with a small share and I'm more motivated to dissolve that disaster partnership before I do anything else in the pizza business.

I think this is a good chance to get out. The sales tax is going to double in the next two years and the last time it was raised only 2%, the restaurant industry was decimated. It's going up 5% over two years. Also, costs for imported flour (Caputo), fresh Mozzarella cheese, olive oil and tomatoes have risen almost 20% in the past six months from exchange rate changes. Those are pretty important in pizza!

I liked the business. I liked the cash flow, for sure. I still have a food & box cost under 24%, which most places in the world would love to have. But prices are high here. It's a different market.

I liked making really good pizza and enjoy it immensely when customers tell us how much they like our food. A lot of them are truly disappointed we're closing, and that's a little sad. I'm proud that we never once dreamed of serving something that we didn't think was anything but perfect - perfectly topped, seasoned and cooked. We would trash any pizza that wasn't perfect. I know that may seem old-fashioned or a waste of money to some people.

We've been financially successful, so it's been a difficult decision. But I think the market landscape is going to change and the restaurant  business usually suffers first when disposable income drops.

So, I'm happy, but I'm not!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Countdown . . .
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 11:32:39 AM »
La Sera,

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck. I always looked forward to your posts since I knew that you held yourself to high standards, so I will miss your posts very much.

But you never know what might happen down the line. I have seen several members at the PMQ Think Tank get out of the pizza business only to return at a later date. Pizza has a way of getting into your blood. I am always surprised how many of our members once worked for pizzerias, usually when they were young, while in high school or working their way through college, or as part of a family business. In many cases, these members went on to have successful financially-rewarding careers in many different fields and had little need to know how to make pizzas yet they are on the forum. I think it is because they have pizza in their blood.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: The Countdown . . .
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 12:42:11 PM »
La Sera,

I also wish you the best of luck whatever you decide to do.  I really enjoy your posts here on the forum.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline La Sera

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Re: The Countdown . . .
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 07:15:11 PM »
Thank you both for your kind wishes. I'm returning to my roots (the golf business) with a start up after a little break.

This is a great site and the passion for excellence is admirable. There are so many types of pizza and they are all equally respected here.

I mistakenly edited out a part about how I will miss the great staff we have. Even in the busiest of times, we always laughed, enjoyed ourselves and had a great camaraderie.


 

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