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Author Topic: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!  (Read 2571 times)

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Offline Gianni5

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 07:25:39 PM »
To your original question about build out costs:
Finding a location that was previously a restaurant will in most cases save you a lot of money. If you can use existing plumbing, grease trap, Hvac etc that will have a huge impact. Then it's mostly equipment and cosmetic updates and $100,000 budget might be possible.
   As others have stated look for as much used equipment as possible and when you need to go with new equipment consider leasing. Small business loans for startup restaurants essentially don't exist but I've always been able to lease a few of the high cost items (pizza oven etc) and in 3 years you own it and you've cut down on some of your up front costs.

Offline hellskitchen

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2017, 11:44:38 PM »
Our night out... Wife and I stopped by a pizzeria that has been in business for a year and new to us, never eating there before other than tonight. WOW! It was one cool joint. Industrial, clean - just an all around neat setup.

Well… now I understand where you fellows are coming from when it comes to a dough press, not doing the tossing. The dough is pressed, the dough is pre set on pizza peels in stacks of a dozen or more on a rack, and we were in an assembly line almost feeling like livestock. Pizza wasn't the worst I have had, but the dough was soggy everywhere except the outer edge where it was like a cracker crust. The cheese was horrible but mushrooms were great.

Pictures attached…

They use a gas stone oven. Even though I like the atmosphere, I didn't like the fact that the pizzas were on standby by other than putting toppings on and in the oven it goes.

This is where we want to be different in our town. I promise, NO DOUGH PRESS! If everything was done in front of my wife and I, and the cheese was good, I would have given them a thumbs up. But… I wouldn't give them a horrible review either.

I have no idea of the cheese that was used on our pies other than it was a low quality cheese, but we will be using Grande.


They also use a dough divider/rounder. Does anyone use this piece of equipment? Or, is it easier/faster to simply do this job by hand as well?

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2017, 08:46:05 PM »
They don't use a mold, rather use the press then look to be a folding at the rim or finger press, roll at the rim to give it the look.  Those deflated crusts just sit there, rise a little then into the gas oven pretending to be a cool WFO.  It's common to stack the crust as an FYI but not for your style really and haven't seen that practice at any WFO place I've been to.

The divider rounder looks to be a Thunderbird which is about a $23,000 machine, this place spent the money on looks and equipment and wish them well, problem is the techniques don't lead to expectional pizza

The divider rounder is absolutely an excellent piece of equipment and saves serious time in dividing and balling, you can also just buy a rounder for about $7k to $10k.  Works great to reduce labor costs or if your a"one man" operation. You cut to the desired weight then toss in the rounder, some manufacturers are AM manufacturing and Somerset who I think makes great equipment.  Higher hydration doughs that are sticky do have difficulty getting rounded so incorporating flour into the machine cylinders does help. Some variations vibrate and press the dough till it forms a ball such as the Thunderbird.  Highly recommend them in either style.  If you stick around long enough there is a possibility the place you visited might be at auction. These guys are faking people out.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 08:58:07 PM by PizzaGarage »

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2017, 09:12:50 PM »
Divider is a Friuclo M44.

Never heard of them...but anyway it's not a Thunderbird for what it's worth.

Offline kkgator

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2017, 02:02:38 PM »
I am in year 5 of my wood fired catering operation.  I have been doing this part-time (2-3 days) a week.  Prior to starting this catering business, I spent 2 years making pizza for family, friends & relatives.  Each year I gain increased knowledge & a larger customer base.  I'm starting to work the #'s as far as opening a brick & mortar joint.

I currently make 16"-18" wood fired pies at my local farmer's market to sell as slices.  I bake between 550F & 650F deck temperature because guests want to chat about the oven, watch pies cook, etc.  Initially, I wanted to make Neapolitan style pies but I soon realized in my area that my target customer wanted a high quality pizza closer to a NY style pie & I also learned that it's through the customer interaction with watching the fire and or the bake that I connect with my customers.  You can't achieve this w/Neapolitan style.  In 5 years, I've seen 3 other wood fired catering companies go out of business, and I have watched 2 Neapolitan style storefronts do mediocre sales based on several reasons including not understanding their customer base.

I am constantly asked by customers if I have a shop. I smile, say no not yet as if they would magically appear at my door to buy pizza from a storefront but not at my farmers market stand. 

"Best Pizza"/Frank Pinello makes NY style pizza in a wood fired oven and sells by the slice.  He has deck ovens which is where I assume he is reheating slices.  He has a small dine-in area, offers take-out & has bike delivery so anything is possible in regards to a wood fired oven.  We are just talking about 2 different dough formulations/flour between NY style & Neapolitan. 

My day job is that of a GM of a specialty meat, sandwich & salad restaurant so that has helped me on both operations & the business side of things.  I wish you the best of luck & have yet to have a bad piece of advice from this forum.

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Offline hellskitchen

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2017, 11:13:42 PM »
@ kkgator - I know this might be an idiot question to ask... but if you are running a wood fired oven can't you go with another option of pizza or is it just Neapolitan style? We love the wood fired oven concept and the interaction it can bring with the customers coming in.

I assume "Best Pizza"/Frank Pinello who makes NY style pizza in a wood fired oven and sells by the slice that he does it by the whole too? Maybe we should just think of another style of pizza such as NYS. I'm used to amazing NY Style Pizza from around the blocks of hells kitchen. I would love to replicate that.

The oven temps shouldn't be a problem as long as we don't deliver or sell by the slice? Baking between 550F & 650F are you using less wood I assume for fire temps? And cooking on the opposite side?

@ PizzaGarage - thanks for the feedback and it's appreciated. I apologize for the delayed response in replying to your comment. I'm certain this cost them a fortune just in the build-out. I'm looking for a hole in the wall place 1,000-1,500 square feet at most.


Offline waltertore

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2017, 11:24:39 PM »
@ kkgator - I know this might be an idiot question to ask... but if you are running a wood fired oven can't you go with another option of pizza or is it just Neapolitan style? We love the wood fired oven concept and the interaction it can bring with the customers coming in.

I assume "Best Pizza"/Frank Pinello who makes NY style pizza in a wood fired oven and sells by the slice that he does it by the whole too? Maybe we should just think of another style of pizza such as NYS. I'm used to amazing NY Style Pizza from around the blocks of hells kitchen. I would love to replicate that.

The oven temps shouldn't be a problem as long as we don't deliver or sell by the slice? Baking between 550F & 650F are you using less wood I assume for fire temps? And cooking on the opposite side?

@ PizzaGarage - thanks for the feedback and it's appreciated. I apologize for the delayed response in replying to your comment. I'm certain this cost them a fortune just in the build-out. I'm looking for a hole in the wall place 1,000-1,500 square feet at most.

Remember a true WFO will not handle many NY style pies (16"-18")>  With low temp bakes you will be so far behind when busy unless you have many ovens and  will not be able to generate much $.  A typical NY pizzeria will run at least 2 deck ovens that can put out 8-12 large pies when full and at 550-600 degrees you will have 5-8 minute bakes and longer when in continuous use.  We are a 1,200 sqft  "hole in the wall" and run 2 blodgett 1000 ovens.  When it gets real busy we have to delay times due to the ovens being full.  Walter
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 11:33:15 PM by waltertore »
SMILING WITH HOPE PIZZA MISSION STATEMENT
TO CREATE HOPE AND MEANING IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
http://www.smilingwithhopepizza.com/

Offline hellskitchen

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2017, 12:16:34 AM »
Remember a true WFO will not handle many NY style pies (16"-18")>  With low temp bakes you will be so far behind when busy unless you have many ovens and  will not be able to generate much $.  A typical NY pizzeria will run at least 2 deck ovens that can put out 8-12 large pies when full and at 550-600 degrees you will have 5-8 minute bakes and longer when in continuous use.  We are a 1,200 sqft  "hole in the wall" and run 2 blodgett 1000 ovens.  When it gets real busy we have to delay times due to the ovens being full.  Walter

Thanks for your advice Walter. It is much appreciated. We feared going with too small of an oven would get us too backed up waiting on pizzas to cook, so we intend to use the largest WFO from Mugnaini which is the 180x180. The cooking surface is 72"w x 75"d, and it will hold up to 16 - 12" pizzas at one time, though obviously that would be quite a task. We may opt for a 16" for our large rather than attempting to go any bigger.

http://www.mugnaini.com/pizza-ovens/commercial-pizza-ovens/oven-models/model-180x180

What are the problems faced with warming slices on a WFO instead of a deck oven? We may not do slices in the long run, and instead offer a 10" and a 16".

We are pretty certain that we will not be attempting to deliver, at least initially anyway.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2017, 12:54:50 AM »
You are welcome.  You have to figure for the wood pile as that will take up quite a bit of space.  I am not very versed in WFO but have worked some with them.  The small opening will mean a skilled hand at launching and getting that many pies in/out.  For me NY pie is deck oven and has been for decades. NY pizza can look pretty good made in a deck oven. The pies I grew up with were made by 1st generation Italians and had a definite raised rim and a fusion of Neapolitan instead the flat rim/dense NYC pies most are familiar with.   A cool old deck oven like the 2- 50 year old ones we have generate a lot of discussion with customers.  We have an open kitchen set up with the pie making/ovens front and center.   We only do slices at lunch.  They are PITA IMO.  They melt stuff on the stones, take up a lot of valuable oven space, and can stick to the stones with the runnoff.  We only make 2 slice pies per lunch service - 1 pepperoni -1 cheese.  Once they are gone we suggest the 12" pie.  We make 12" and 18".  Reno is whole pie and not a slice town thank god :)  Much success  with your pizzeria.  Walter
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 02:13:53 AM by waltertore »
SMILING WITH HOPE PIZZA MISSION STATEMENT
TO CREATE HOPE AND MEANING IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
http://www.smilingwithhopepizza.com/

Offline hellskitchen

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2017, 11:01:11 PM »
@Walter - I never truly realized everything that is involved in starting up your very own pizzeria. After joining this forum it has become a great help and without it I'm certain we could have made some serious mistakes that could be costly. Great group of people here and thanks to everyone who has commented and made suggestions.

I just want a hole in the wall location with lots of traffic and make pizza. That's all! :)  and make enough to pay the bills!


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Offline RockyMountainPie

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2017, 04:33:17 PM »
This place: http://www.mymidici.com/menu/pizza/

Recently opened in my area.  REAL Neapolitan pizza, fresh basil and oregano, 90 second bake times in a fast-casual setting.  Amazing pizza for about 10 bucks a piece.

Their ovens: http://www.mymidici.com/functional-art/our-ovens/

If you can replicate this place, you will be very successful.  I would sure hate to compete against them.




Offline jsaras

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2017, 05:19:21 PM »
This place: http://www.mymidici.com/menu/pizza/

Recently opened in my area.  REAL Neapolitan pizza, fresh basil and oregano, 90 second bake times in a fast-casual setting.  Amazing pizza for about 10 bucks a piece.

Their ovens: http://www.mymidici.com/functional-art/our-ovens/

If you can replicate this place, you will be very successful.  I would sure hate to compete against them.

Midici is a franchise and it's been discussed a bit on this forum
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2017, 05:26:08 PM »
This place: http://www.mymidici.com/menu/pizza/

Recently opened in my area.  REAL Neapolitan pizza, fresh basil and oregano, 90 second bake times in a fast-casual setting.  Amazing pizza for about 10 bucks a piece.

Their ovens: http://www.mymidici.com/functional-art/our-ovens/

If you can replicate this place, you will be very successful.  I would sure hate to compete against them.

If you think about it next time you are there, I'd be curious what their actual bake times are.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline RockyMountainPie

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2017, 01:32:08 AM »
Craig,

Timing a bake was my top priority at my first visit: 96 seconds.  I've been there about 5 times now and the pizzas have been consistently excellent and prepared and served quickly.   The bottoms are just a tad under-cooked, but the overall quality and value for the money is unbeatable.

I'll post a review with pics in the Restaurant Reviews section.


Offline hellskitchen

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2017, 06:28:29 PM »
Wife and I have a similar concept in mind on a 1/4 scale.

We are still searching for a location and not settling for just anything.

Important note:
I was reading on google where an individual stated that he makes 7 cents on the dollar profit with his pizza shop. This isn't even with him paying a salary to himself. This just doesn't seem right. After all you have to make a living somewhat.

Correct me if I'm wrong. But if this is the case then I need to hang it up before we get far too advanced on the financial side of investing.

I find it hard to believe that if you make let's say $100.00 you profit $7.00. Just seems crazy!

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Offline waltertore

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2017, 01:14:47 AM »
Wife and I have a similar concept in mind on a 1/4 scale.

We are still searching for a location and not settling for just anything.

Important note:
I was reading on google where an individual stated that he makes 7 cents on the dollar profit with his pizza shop. This isn't even with him paying a salary to himself. This just doesn't seem right. After all you have to make a living somewhat.

Correct me if I'm wrong. But if this is the case then I need to hang it up before we get far too advanced on the financial side of investing.

I find it hard to believe that if you make let's say $100.00 you profit $7.00. Just seems crazy!

It all depends on your set up.  Things like rent, utilities, how much you are paying for employees, food waste, amount of product used per serving vs. pricing, advertising, do you do specials, etc...  A large cheese pizza can cost under $2 in materials.  It is all simple math.  You have to go backwards in that you see how much $ you need in your hand each day/week/month and then build your pizzeria concept around that.  The biggest variable - will your pie sell, is really the easiest if you make a world class pie and know the entire pizza process from A-Z.  Most going into this business lack both the knowledge of pizza and the other stuff mentioned and even if their shop ran at  full capacity often it is the case that amount would not sustain the owners financial needs to stay afloat.  This is why franchises are so popular.  They give you/train you in the model.  Walter
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 11:40:25 AM by waltertore »
SMILING WITH HOPE PIZZA MISSION STATEMENT
TO CREATE HOPE AND MEANING IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
http://www.smilingwithhopepizza.com/

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2017, 02:55:15 PM »
So many pizza shops go out of business for not taking into account setup costs and rent.  I suspect people think the product will be so great everyone will come, so it's ok to spend $5K or $10K per month on rent - it will all work out. Too many times that's not the case and especially if marketing plans are not considered, the competition, operating expenses, and for the big deal the product itself.  If someone else is going to develop the product (and not you) it has to be above average and better yet be unique.  Otherwise it's just an average product that will struggle to sell unless price points are lower. 

Personally if I had to rely on some person who holds the key to my success (and not me) then I would not open up a shop. Unlike a 5 star restaurant with executive chef's, it's a small pizza shop w/o the capital and investment capabilities.

If the product is great and you have the passion then by all means move forward...

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2017, 03:18:13 PM »
The bottoms are just a tad under-cooked,

That not surprising. They are putting a lot of volume through those ovens. For an operation like that, they really should use site-built ovens that have a lot more mass than mobile ovens.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2017, 07:23:59 PM »
Hellskitchen, I don't know anything about the pizza business but I was a management consultant for many years before co-founding my own 125 person business. Here are some things I learned from starting a business:

- create a business plan that includes an excel spreadsheet which models assets, expenses, and revenue. Keep the excel model up to date as you learn more about your business.  I'm sure there are business models extant for pizza

- Most businesses fail in the first six months due to lack of operating expenses. The excel model must show the impact on assets (cash) over the first year.

- Consult with an attorney and an accountant well in advance of starting a business. Personally, I wouldn't  have been able to sleep at night without the liability protection of an S corp or an LLC.

- It sounds you're going to suffer from key man risk. What happens if your pizzaiola gets sick? takes another job? is hit by a bus? You need a contingency plan.

- Find a mentor, someone that has done this before. Pay them if you must for advice.

Personally, I'd never open a business in a domain where I lacked expertise. Could you work at a pizza parlor for six months?

best,
"Pizza is a lot like sex. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good." - Woody Allen

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Looking to open pizzeria - Advice needed!
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2017, 12:42:35 AM »
I couldn't imagine opening a wood fired pizzeria with a budget less than $300k. And that's being generous.

You need working capital. Smallwares. There's a lot you're overlooking...and you can't just pass it off to a "pizzaiolo who's going to run the business" for you...

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