Opening My First Pizzeria (in the Gulf)

Started by ThePizzaDJ, August 27, 2021, 12:52:14 AM

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Good morning/afternoon Pizzaiolos wherever you are. I am in need of some help and suggestions with running a small-scale pizzeria.

I have been making pizza at home for the past 20 years and I intend on opening a pizzeria in 2022 (10 months from now).

I have been planning a menu and practicing my very own recipe using ingredients found locally. I make my own dough and sauce from scratch (as we all do). I have 2 years of restaurant experience and don't intend on running the business. My brother on the other hand has been working in the pizza business for over 10 years and he'll be adding the managerial aspect to this restaurant. We will both be the master chefs, I'm the investor, and he'll be the head manager (as I continue working my own full-time job which will be used to support the business).

1. The first and foremost question I need to ask is within the flour. I am Canadian so I speak in Canadian dollars. The flour I currently use is local All-Purpose flour and costs approximately $1.5/kg. Ideally, I'd like to work with this flour to cut costs, otherwise, Caputo 00 flour will hit me with $5.00/kg and if you know business, I need to cut down costs as much as possible. So the question I have is just how important is the flour in your recipe? If you swapped your flour for a lower-grade flour, what percentage do you believe your recipe will fluctuate? I am experimenting with semolina and believe that a mixture with semolina will solve my dough quality problem (enhance the flavor and texture of this dough). For the record, it's really not bad flour. I'm just questioning every aspect to the recipe and making everything a priority.

2. Another issue I have is with mozzarella cheese. I have finally found a mozzarella cheese that works. There's a huge issue here in the Middle East with cheese. It's super full fat. One slice and I'm just done with regular mozzarella cheese! When I switched to low-fat, it was perfect, precisely the way it is in the West and I can go for 4 slices and still feel well. However, I am looking to mix it to enhance flavors. Kashkawan cheese works well in my experiments but I wanted to ask about provolone and cheddar. What mixes do you use and if you have suggestions for what to look for and try in my cheese mix? I am looking to use a 50% mixture of this mozzarella cheese with another cheese. But I am also curious if anyone else has tried a 33/33/33 or 50/25/25 mixture?

3. Last but not least and probably the most important aspect of this pizzeria is the finances. I am looking to open in a total area of approximately 125 - 150m2. Rent for an area like this goes for around 5 - 8k/month. I am shocked at the cost of rent but when I did my research, I have found that rent in many restaurants are just about the same and even higher in many parts of the world including Canada. My question about this is what amount of funding do you believe is necessary to run a business like this for a total area of approximately 125m2. I am unsure of how much dining space we will use to run this pizzeria. Along with finances, how much do you suggest spending on equipment? We are looking to get a double-decker gas conveyor belt oven. I might have to settle for a single decker for now and later invest in a double-decker.

Here's my current budget:
$75, 000 on equipment and supplies (oven, fridge, dough mixer, flour, cheese, ingredients).
$30, 000 on rent for half a year.
$25, 000 on payroll for half a year.
$50, 000 on interior design, and furniture.
I think I'll need another $25, 000 for logo design, marketing, website, menu design, and a computer ordering program with those transaction things (not sure what you call them).
Total costs for running for half a year start-up: $205, 000

Is this realistic? Am I under budget? I am saving now for a full year's worth of costs instead of half a year.

Our focus will be strictly on gourmet New York style pizza. The authentic New York-style here in this part of the world is lacking and we want to bring this here in this part of the world. I can only count of approximately 2-3 pizzerias here that get the job done well but we want to take it to a whole new level. Not much else on the menu other than fries, some salads, wings, and a one to two-item desert.

That is all for now.

If you can comment on anything here I posted that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all of your help and suggestions in advance.



I had a food biz, just not pizza. For true NY style you would ideally want a high gluten flour, not 00 or AP. I use a reinforced 00 for my pizza at home but the cost is silly for a restaurant.

Can't comment on the costs of equipment in that part of the world, but most new business owners underestimate and underfund.

Cheese, my first choice is 💯 percent Provolone.


I know nothing about opening/running a restaurant and I'm a beginner compared to lots of folks on this board. Think I remember a video from Ardent Mills discussing various flours and techniques for different styles of pies. One thing they mentioned was hydration. The higher the hydration, the more dough you get and basically water is practically free so your profits go up.

Best of luck... Steve


You definitely don't need Caputo 00 flour for NY pizza!!!!!!  Look for All Trumps Flour if it's available.

Peter B

Quote from: billg on August 27, 2021, 06:51:30 AM
You definitely don't need Caputo 00 flour for NY pizza!!!!!!  Look for All Trumps Flour if it's available.

Or some form of bread flour as a plan B.
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/



What gulf? Look at what flour you can get there. A reliable sourced high gluten flour will work..


Being from Chicago (True pizza capital of the World), who wants some whimpy folding chewy carboard crust when you can do DEEP DISH!!!

Now we all know Deep Dish is the worlds greatest pizza, I say wow them with that instead!!!!!

Nothing like an All Trumps crust to pull out your teeth - do the always flavorful and tender Deep Dish......


Good Luck,
High gluten bread flour and AT 50/50, 60/40, 40/60 you can play with it  to see which combo you like. 
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered, love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives, do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable, Be honest and frank anyway. If you are successful , you will win false friends and true enemies, succeed anyway.


How is it going with your pizza shop, were your able to open it?

I'm in the middle east and want to do the same