I have been a regular reader at the PMQ Think Tank forum for the last few years and, over that time, have gotten a pretty good idea as to the challenges facing pizza operators, especially independent operators. I believe that if you are considering opening a pizzeria, you have to look at things at the micro level. By that, I mean that you have to look in your own backyard where you plan to open your pizzeria and get as much data as you can on the local conditions that you will have to deal with in opening and running the business. This will include things such as the local demographics and its breakdown in different categories (using census and other data), local competition and their product offerings and prices, local employment costs and other business related costs (e.g., insurance, real estate rents, permits/licenses, taxes/accounting, etc.), and sources of goods, equipment and services to run the business. If you are in an area where the major pizza chains are doing business, you won't be able to compete on price (because their food costs are bound to be much lower) so you may find that you will have to compete by offering things that the chains don't. That might mean offering items like a broad and diverse range of specialty and gourmet pizzas, calzones, take-and-bake versions of the regular pizzas, pasta dishes, sandwiches, wraps, wings (there are wings that don't need frying and can be put through the pizza ovens), a range of appetizers, salads, local specialties (like the brisket you mentioned), several dessert offerings, ice cream, beer, and so on. In recent years, the major pizza chains have been trying to expand their relatively narrow product line by adding items that independents had been offering to differentiate themselves from the chains, such as sandwiches by Domino's, pasta dishes by Pizza Hut, and more specialty pizzas. Many have been offering wings for several years.
If your local competition is mainly independents, they will usually be in the same boat you are, so in order to compete effectively with them it will usually be on the basis of quality, better service, better management, better marketing, better advertising, and offering niche products that the competition may not be offering or other differentiators that you hope will attract customers away from your competition. You will also have to decide what basic business format you want to use, such as dine-in, delivery, takeout, or some combination of these. Each business model has pluses and minuses and will have a major impact on the cost of doing business.
I personally am a rather conservative person, so I wouldn't try to do too much with starting a pizzeria, as by offering too many choices. For example, where I live (outside of Dallas) there is a very large Hispanic community with a lot of Hispanic restaurants. I don't think that I would try to offer products that they can do a better job with, although I might consider a Mexican-themed pizza or two. If too many types of food products are offered, I think the focus becomes diluted and you may lose business because customer don't identify your business as having a central theme. So, I would rather focus on the basic pizza business and the method of delivery, get them up to speed, develop a good team, and build from there, whether it is by adding more product offerings, a breakfast menu, buffets, or localized specialty items. These add-ons can get quite expensive.
You might want to check out the PMQ Think Tank forum, at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewforum.php?f=6
, and start reading on a regular basis if you are serious about starting a pizza business. If you register, you can also pose questions to the regulars who are members of the forum.