Author Topic: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  (Read 18859 times)

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Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #100 on: July 15, 2014, 07:26:38 PM »
Hey Martin,

Sounds like a nice setup!  I'll have to check it out, once I figure out where Sungai Buloh is!

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #101 on: August 02, 2014, 03:13:27 AM »
Well, we've been officially open for 3 months (soft opening for dinner only April 15, open for lunch and dinner May 1) and things are going great.  The press has been great, we have a lot of repeat customers and no shortage of new customers in this city of 7 million.

We started doing delivery about 3 weeks ago, with no advertising and it's now starting to pick up - accounting for 7% of our daily sales.  We're doing about 25% takeout, with the vast majority of sales, 68% being sit-down business.

We're actively searching for a second location, which we'd like to open by October 1, 2014.  We've already committed to a mall space - in Mid-Valley, which is the 9th busiest mall in the world - foot traffic is unbelievable there.  That space will be ready on April 1, 2015, when the McDonald's moves to a larger location.

I've done a fresh round of hiring and am training staff in anticipation of opening the second shop.

So far, we have meet and exceeded every goal set before we opened.  I usually take 1 day off a week and work 11-12 hours the other 6 days.  Haven't had a day off in two weeks, so next week I'm going to Bangkok for 3 nights.  Only 2 hours away and $100 r/t.

So far, so good!

Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #102 on: September 06, 2014, 11:18:34 AM »
Great news Andrew! Sounds like business is booming!

Snap a pic or two of the pies for us to  :drool: over  ;)
Il miglior fabbro

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #103 on: September 11, 2014, 06:29:05 AM »
Well, we opened our first store on April 15, 2014 and tomorrow we'll sign a buyout/new lease on our second store.  The lease will begin October 1, and our target opening will be November 1.  We actually have another store lease signed - but the takeover date isn't until April 1, 2015.  Why so long?  Because it's in a mall that's listed as the ninth busiest in the world and it takes that long to get a space there - and that's if you know someone.

This second location is hard to describe - it's on the outside of a big mall - but technically not part of it.  We're taking over a Taiwanese Tea & Pork Chop Shop (Gee - wonder why they're going under  :-\) and it was just a question of coming up with a fair buyout figure.

Going in there tomorrow with a tape measure and I'll be working on the kitchen layout.  We won't be doing any prep there - we'll be doing all of the prep in our first store overnights.  We also have a big employee house that we'll be using part of as a warehouse with refrigeration and we're purchasing a refrigerated box truck.

Exciting times!

Offline kdefay

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #104 on: September 11, 2014, 09:48:59 PM »
I wish I had your problems to deal with.  On one hand, opening in a small city gave us a low risk way to learn how to do a pizza business.  On the other, the growth potential here is extremely limited.  We've considered selling the business and brand and moving to bigger market now that we know what we are doing.  The thought of living in a city like Bangkok isn't very appealing to us, but the business opportunities there are enormous.
The USA, Myanmar, and Liberia are the three remaining countries in the world who do not use the metric system.  That's some fine company to keep!!

Buy a scale, think in grams, and welcome to the 21st century!!

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #105 on: September 12, 2014, 05:44:24 AM »
We probably have very different goals.  I guarantee you quality-of-life does not figure into any of our decision-making - it's all about growing the business while maintaining a high quality product.  If you really wanted to grow, you'd take your pizza experience to Bangkok and make bank down there.  As far as I know, there's only one NY style place (Ronny's NY Pizza) and that's way down on Soi 4 off Sukhumvit - so you know who their target audience is.  Plus, Ronnie isn't there anymore - it's run by some Australian guy who is not getting good reviews.

Open a shop in Bangkok and you'd kill it - but it would bring about a whole new set of problems.

So really, your choice: more money - or good quality-of-life.  As the Thai bar girls say: "up to you".

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #106 on: September 12, 2014, 01:30:28 PM »
Here's our pie of the month for September:  Cheeseburger &. Fries!

Offline jvp123

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #107 on: September 12, 2014, 01:38:30 PM »
Those mini burgers made me laugh, very creative!
Jeff

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #108 on: September 12, 2014, 04:30:45 PM »
 ^^^

Offline mrzulkarnine

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #109 on: January 24, 2016, 06:40:46 AM »
Well, the boxes came in - they better be nice at almost $1 each!

 :o That very expensive, did u check with the corrugated box local manufacturer? Might be they can offer you cheaper than this one.
Since you are in KL, do you know where to get local brand flour with type 00?   :chef:

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #110 on: January 25, 2016, 03:22:26 AM »
:o That very expensive, did u check with the corrugated box local manufacturer? Might be they can offer you cheaper than this one.
Since you are in KL, do you know where to get local brand flour with type 00?   :chef:

1.  That was a local manufacturer.  We've since found a more reasonably-priced place for boxes

2.  Sorry, we used locally milled hi-gluten flour.  Our distributor doesn't carry 00.

Offline minn

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #111 on: January 26, 2016, 03:57:46 AM »
Andrew, did you open a pizzeria in Thailand? how is the business of your second and third shop in Malaysia? not sure if you have a plan coming to Shanghai, more opportunities than Malaysia I think


Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #112 on: January 26, 2016, 04:23:32 AM »
Andrew, did you open a pizzeria in Thailand? how is the business of your second and third shop in Malaysia? not sure if you have a plan coming to Shanghai, more opportunities than Malaysia I think

Thailand, no.  Not on our expansion list at the moment.  Our three stores are doing well, hitting our numbers monthly.  We are interested in Shanghai and are actively looking for a local partner there.  If you know of someone, drop me a line.  We'll make it worth your while if a deal is made.

Offline minn

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #113 on: January 26, 2016, 11:05:09 PM »
That's fantastic to hear you are interested in Shanghai market, there are huge potential in high end product. we have seen Pizza Express expand aggressively, very successful business.

if you can, probably drop me some line specifying what are the criteria you are looking for as partnership, I can screen some candidates for you.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #114 on: January 26, 2016, 11:19:49 PM »
That's fantastic to hear you are interested in Shanghai market, there are huge potential in high end product. we have seen Pizza Express expand aggressively, very successful business.

if you can, probably drop me some line specifying what are the criteria you are looking for as partnership, I can screen some candidates for you.

Awesome!  I'll pm you the particulars by next week.

Offline minn

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #115 on: January 26, 2016, 11:24:54 PM »
looking forward

Offline the1mu

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #116 on: February 01, 2016, 02:44:26 AM »
Andrew,

What did you wind up doing for your pepperoni?

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #117 on: February 02, 2016, 02:13:17 AM »
Andrew,

What did you wind up doing for your pepperoni?

Maybe 3 months after opening the first shop, a salesman came in with a pepperoni sample I hadn't seen anywhere else.  Pre-sliced, all beef and cooks very nicely in the oven, with the edges crisping up.  This pepperoni was created by a Dutch butcher who moved to Malaysia 20 years ago and was a supplier to the first Domino's in KL.  He came in and said I was the only guy who understood how to cook pepperoni.  If it doesn't crisp, the flavor is muted and it's average at best.

In our third outlet we added a pepperoni pie.  A few months back our pie of the month was double pepperoni (180 slices per 18 inch pie).  So the quality is good enough that the pepperoni can take center stage.  Price is good too.  Win-win.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #118 on: February 02, 2016, 07:55:36 AM »
Having a little fun with our pie of the month. . .


« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 08:15:18 AM by Andrew Bellucci »

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #119 on: July 27, 2016, 08:48:24 PM »
Just when things were going good. . .

So, the three shops in Malaysia are doing good.  There's been some dropoff, a lot to do with the economy here and also Malaysia just isnít a pizza culture. Sure we have a nice core of regular customers, but many people come here for special occasions. We are one of Kuala Lumpur's most popular birthday destinations.
Delivery has been growing really well. We use in-house delivery guys and recently started using an online service. They have a huge audience base but they arenít cheap and their service is subpar. We are already converting their customers into ours (and not violating any TOS).

Since the beginning of this year Iíve been working on my own project. Itís not for Malaysia and will be launched in late 2017. The centerpiece is a coal-fired oven. I designed a prototype, had it built, didnít like it. Demolished the firebox and got it going. Made some more adjustments and achieved the same type of heat I was getting from my renovated Parisi oven on Spring Street.  Made some pies, had people over, moving in the right direction. After a couple weeks of fooling around I decided to get serious. My cousin came over from Jersey to learn the business. I set up logs for dough formulas and oven production. Everything precise, .10 of a gram, etc.

First bake using two different sets of dough on Friday at 10am. The day before I made an instructional video of the inside of the oven. The next step was to document the firing of the oven, something that took me a month to learn and was a 3 hour process that I now could get to temp in about 90 minutes.

I had everything ready but the newspaper for the chimney starters was wet. I told Chris (my cousin) I was running up to 7-11, get the newspaper and pick up breakfast. Back by 8:30am and well light it up. Have the camera ready.
The 7-11 was about a mile away, right next to a McDonaldís . Picked up breakfast, bought two papers and placed them in the basket on my motorbike. Beautiful clear day, not too hot yet. Got on the main road, four lanes in each direction divided by a double yellow line. I waited for the green and clicked through the four gears getting to 40mph. The next sequence probably took one second. A car coming in the opposite direction didnít see me and tried to make a U-turn. I thought go right, but he stopped, then I went left and hit the front driverís side without braking. I was wearing a helmet, t shirt, shorts and slip-on Sketchers.

Fully air born and deathly silent, I just let it all be. After I hit the pavement and eventually stopped rolling, I made my checklist. Am I dead? No. Can I move my legs? Yes. I knew everything else would be manageable.

Not to say pleasant . When the ER physician says your fibula is fractured without taking an x-ray because she can see the bone, you know things are bad. And thatís the least damaged leg.

Hopefully the one surgery is enough and Iíve slowly started rehabbing.  Iíll be back.

I only took a couple pics of pies and they arenít great shots or pies but itís all I have for now.

Carpe diem people. You never know whatís around the corner!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 11:02:51 PM by Andrew Bellucci »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #120 on: July 27, 2016, 09:04:28 PM »
Andrew,

I'm sorry to hear of your accident. I wish you a speedy recovery so that you can get back on track with your new pizza project.

It sounds like you are back in the U.S. and no longer involved with the Malaysia pizza operation that you set up. Is that so, and if so, where will your new pizza operation be based?

Peter

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: New York Style Pizzeria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
« Reply #121 on: July 27, 2016, 09:09:03 PM »
Andrew,

I'm sorry to hear of your accident. I wish you a speedy recovery so that you can get back on track with your new pizza project.

It sounds like you are back in the U.S. and no longer involved with the Malaysia pizza operation that you set up. Is that so, and if so, where will your new pizza operation be based?

Peter

Thanks Pete,

I'm still in Malaysia, still very active in Mikey's and working on expansion. I dedicate 4 days a week to Mikey's and 3 days to my thing. My coal-fired oven is in my backyard here in Kuala Lumpur. Looking at 3rd quarter 2017 in Manhattan.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 09:10:53 PM by Andrew Bellucci »