Author Topic: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!  (Read 5265 times)

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scott123

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2013, 03:03:54 PM »
Thanks, Ryan.


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2013, 03:15:00 PM »
This is interesting: I was just about to write a post directing you (Chris) to some stuff about Hollywood Pies, which sells deep dish out of a hole in the wall in LA and seems to have a pretty legendary reputation; not for great service, but for great pizza. However, when I googled Hollywood Pies, I quickly found out that they closed yesterday.

Maybe there is a different lesson to be learned from Hollywood Pies than I thought.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 08:09:19 PM by Aimless Ryan »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2013, 03:35:19 PM »
After reading some more recent stuff about Hollywood Pies, it's becoming clear that:
  • Their pizza must have been really good (and obviously marketable).
  • Their service sucked.
  • They had no idea how to run a foodservice establishment. Efficiency, planning, service, etc.
Lousy service is a choice, not an accident. Still, even with lousy service (according to a lot of Yelp reviewers), Hollywood Pies had an average rating of 4.5 stars (out of 337 reviews). What this shows me is that, in the end, good service and efficiency are both more important than great pizza. Great pizza helps, though. (But I already knew that.)

EDIT: After looking through all of the reviewer pics on Yelp, I don't think their pizza looks that great. Their pizzas don't look bad, but I wouldn't say they look anything like Malnati's deep dish pizzas. Probably a lot less oil in the dough, as well as thicker crust (that may have been sheeted or pressed), and way too much tomato (yes, even for deep dish). Particularly this one. It looks like bread. It looks not unlike a pizza that was constructed out of Giordano's style dough, but topped like a Malnati's pizza, then sauced like a Giordano's stuffed pizza, but without a top crust. Which means it's nothing like either Malnati's or Giordano's.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 12:06:19 PM by Aimless Ryan »

Offline 216.chris

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2013, 03:39:58 PM »

What type of oven do you use? I'm guessing conveyor.....
I'd say you pretty clearly have no experience working in a high-volume pizza or foodservice operation....

Thanks Ryan. We actually use Bakers Pride Deck Ovens for our pizza. Conveyor ovens just do not cook a pizza the way it needs to be cooked. We usually get an order and it takes roughly 15 minutes to prepare the dough, cook, and get it out the door. We cook at 650 degrees do really crisp up the crust and let the flavors of the ingredients really come out. Cook times and service our never a problem. The flavored crust, we typically just put a slight brushing of butter to soften some of the crunch of the outer layer of crust, but that is out. We actually stopped putting it on and already got better feedback about our crust. We actually have people coming in and saying that they typically hate pizza crust but devoured all of ours and loved it. Our crust has a very distinct flavor. We use just a slight amount of rosemary and basil in the actual dough its self. We found that this compliments the cheese and sauce very well. Light fat in the dough is correct.

I am actually experimenting with some different dough as we speak. Trying to bring even more uniqueness to it without ruining the integrity of the pizza.

Offline 216.chris

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2013, 03:48:19 PM »
I just spent some time on google maps.
s too saturated.  Now that you have opened, I think selling anything close to chain pizza is an unwise choice, regardless of how much your customers rave over it....

Thank you!

We are working more and more kinks out every day and working on ways to not only improve the business side of things but also our pizza. We want to offer something distinct and unlike anything else in town. We truly thought we had that with the simple flavor and quality of our pizza but you guys have all made excellent points throughout this post. At the end of the day it all comes down to numbers, but the true reason for opening here was that there was no good pizza place in town at all! You would have to drive at least a 45 minutes to the neighboring town for a decent pie. We wanted to offer something good the the local residents. We aren't aiming to be the busiest pizza place in town, or make a fortune of our pizza. We simply want to pay our bills and share our pizza with the community, and maybe have a little cash left over at the end of the day. I believe that we will make it here. We just need to focus. Our monthly break even here is way lower than it may seem. We actually pulled a small profit after expenses every month so far, even doing the smaller amount of sales that we have been currently doing. A few new menu changes and maybe a different style of pizza along with what we already offer may help us to increase sales in the coming months. Only time will really tell.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2013, 06:11:39 PM »
We actually use Bakers Pride Deck Ovens for our pizza.
Sweet. Very sweet. That's a good reason to consider tossing the screens and baking directly on stone, which is one thing that can easily make your pizza stand out from all the chain pizza. I can give you a bunch of reasons why baking directly on stone may be a good idea, and Scott can probably give you even more.

Some things just occurred to me, which will be important to consider if you are seriously thinking about offering either deep dish or stuffed pizza:
  • With each of these styles, every oven is more like 1/3 of an oven, because:
  • It takes about 25 minutes to bake every deep dish pizza, rather than 4-10 minutes for most other styles.
  • It takes at least 35 minutes to bake every stuffed pizza, rather than 4-10 minutes for most other styles.
  • Most other styles can't (or shouldn't) be baked in the same oven as either deep dish or stuffed because both deep dish and stuffed pizza tend to bake at around 450 degrees.
  • If/when demand increases, two ovens may not be able to meet production demands, especially if you offer at least one other pizza style, like NY style, which requires a much hotter oven (if done right). (Have you ever noticed when the Travel Channel or Food Network does segments about Malnati's that Malnati's has at least three stacks of ovens? If you hadn't already thought about it, now you know why they have at least three stacks.)
What this means is that if you get a 10-pie order and/or a sudden rush (which will happen regularly once you get this place working like it should be), a double stack of ovens (if they're both set at 450 degrees) may be completely unavailable for at least 15 minutes while you wait for the first 12-15 pizzas to bake. All you can do is wait (and make customers wait, too). This kind of situation almost always leads to a chain reaction of longer wait times for everyone, and consequently less customer satisfaction. (I suspect that's probably one of the things that killed Hollywood Pies. Read one page of their Yelp reviews sorted by oldest first, then read one page of their Yelp reviews sorted by newest first.)

Considering these things, maybe it would be a good idea to test-market deep dish and/or stuffed by offering these styles occasionally as specials, rather than adding them to the menu full-time. That way you can find out how well they might sell if they were on the menu full-time, but you don't have to make a commitment.

I'd say if you have any plans to revamp the style of pizza you sell, you'd be best to start by offering NY style; especially considering the information you just shared with me (Bakers Pride, 650 degrees). First of all because with the style you're currently selling, it wouldn't be a huge change, which means the change probably wouldn't alienate existing customers. Also, if you do end up offering NY style, definitely don't use the screens (or any other kind of pan or disc).

Since you said "ovens," I'm guessing you have a stack of two.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: New Pizza Place In Saginaw, MI. Business Trends, Advertising, Help!
« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2013, 06:21:34 PM »
...but the true reason for opening here was that there was no good pizza place in town at all!

I'd say that's a very good reason to open a pizzeria, especially if enough other people in your area share your idea of what constitutes good pizza, but more importantly if you are capable of offering what they consider good pizza. Your willingness to ask for help and actually listen to people's responses impresses me. Most independent pizzeria owners, especially those who are losing money, don't function this way. It's refreshing.