Originally from Chicago where I grew up on Faso's, Aurelios, Giordonos, Nino's, Scrementis, Gino's East, Pizzeria Uno/Due
Now in Houston where the pizza sucks!@!!!!
I used to own a New York Pizza delivery business in Dallas, now I am in Houston doing accounting for a major real estate company...
One bean, two beans, three beans four.
Just curious why you quit your New York Pizza business in Dallas, asking because I am hoping to one day open an authentic NY Pizza place in Tennessee somewhere to save them from the clutches of corporate pizza.
I broke even and could not make enough money, but here are some mistakes to avoid:
I had about 790 sf in a retail strip center. It was delivery / carryout. Included a pizza prep area, refrigerated pizza prep table, two bakers pride gas ovens at 550 degrees, one walkin cooler, one walk in freezer, a three compartment sink, a meat slicer.
The menu included pizzas, meatball sub, italian sub, italian sausage sub, calzone, strombolli, sodas....etc.
1. Learn to make your own dough in mass quantities, one of my attractions was actual dough balls flown in frozen from Brooklyn NewYork, a specialty item. This raised my food cost.
2. I offered a "buy one get the next smaller size free" marketing idea. I would never do that again. Every time you made one pizza order you were really making two, this also increased the food cost.
3. The market was very competitive, with many pizza delivery places. Location, Location, Location must be the key.
4. I would have added an inside eating area, albeit small to start with.
5. I would have gone with a large colored sign banner instead of the custom electrically illuminated sign. The electrical sign was 5,000.
6. Avoid lease escalations. i.e as your sales go up the land lord makes more lease money, it is extortion at its best.
7. I had a 5 year lease, was in business for a year, sold the business twice and even then there was about six months rental which the third owner was to pay so the landlord came back to me, the original tenant, to obtain the six months which I sublet to the other owner. Be WARE of the Landlord. To my knowledge there were 4 pizza business owners in my location over the last 6 years. The location just did not work.
8. Be prepared for losses the first year of business, be better capitalized to sustain losses.
9. Begin with the end in mind. What will your exit straegy be if things go sour?
10. I really was never keen on the delivery part, the high school kids would not show up as drivers, it was a headache. That is why I would focus on inside eating in a smalle area and go with delivery as secondary.