When we bought our pizza shop 6 years ago, we surveyed the community about what they loved and what they hated about the food. The number one complaint was the crust. So our aim in the beginning was fix the dough!
We worked with the flour manufacturer and I think my husband also picked the brain of The Dough Doctor here on this or on the PMQ forum and we cooked up a storm for the month before we opened getting the dough perfect. (the previous owner told us never to bother with making our own crust, just buy the premade frozen dough balls!!! which is what they were doing--ans why nobody liked it -- yuck!) And That was how we started.
The former owner also made their own sauce, we followed their process... but decided it wasn't really of a quality that stood out, at least in my husband's experience eating pies growing up in Chicago -- he knew that had to change. I hunted down recipes and he taste tested many commercial sauces. We weighed the differences in our sanity of making our own and it being consistent vs opening up a can and having it be consistent.... time vs taste really.... the commercial sauce we found has worked great for us! We've used it for the marinara on pasta when we added pasta to our menu for a time, its just been a very good and versatile decision for us.
We also discontinued pies that were way too much work for the few we sold. We investigated pizza ideas and came up with a new one, that everyone here just LOVES!
We won the naysayers over, and we have a solid customer base -- despite being in a very rural town and recently a new restaurant popped up (these people formerly owned the pizza place 2 ownerships previous to ours, but was shut down by the IRS!!!!) and they've decided to put out such a large menu they are trying to compete with EVERY Restaurant in town... even make pizza in a convection oven and their dough recipe always was just a basic bread dough -- customers come in and complain they have no flavor and their cheese is nasty, and their grease is so bad it soaks through their pizza boxes -- but I have to laugh because we use the exact same cheese we do! They sell more burgers than they do pizza, and there is some 'local in-breeding' loyalty to the family has deep roots here, but side by side, our neighboring microbrewery put the case to rest of whose pizza was best, and we won hands down!!!
The other restaurant's pizza is no competition (their energy is to compete with EVERYONE in town -- so how can one be good at anything trying to beat out everyone?) And they are of no concern of ours. We sell the largest pizza size, (our large is 30% larger than theirs!)
So, know your competition, make yours better. And there you have it...