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Author Topic: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!  (Read 2374 times)

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Offline waltertore

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2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« on: April 10, 2019, 05:36:10 PM »
We have had over a dozen offers to partner with others since we opened 3 years ago.  They seem to come once in a while but this week we already had 2. Some of the offers were - give us all you know and train us for free  cause we want to open a shop and are pizza nuts like you to one of the biggest casino operations in the world and a bunch in-between propositions including one with a Big Foot spin on it :) .  It  is not at all in Judy and my DNA to have partners or oversee multiple shops.  Are we losing money?  For sure and big time but the headaches are not even tempting to go that route.  We are willing to share all we know for a set price and have no financial affiliation but none wanted that.  They wanted us involved in the day to day stuff and that sounds like a terrible way to live.  Our shop could easily double its income if we had booze, worked with 3rd party delivery services, were open 7 days a week, had wifi onsite, large tvs for sports, but all these things would ruin our quality of life.  I don't know how people own multiple shops/partners as once you are not making all the pizzas and onsite all hours things will definitely change and most of the time not for the better. 

All said and done we take these offers as compliments that our product is good enough for people to want to be involved with it.  That is very rewarding and hopefully when we retire a passionate buyer will want to continue with our recipes/processes of making pizza.  We get by ok and that is good enough for us as you can't buy time back or buy good mental and physical health, quality of life, when stressed and working countless hours a week dealing with problems.  I have observed this happening to several people I know that have large operations.   We will remain a small off the beaten trail, throwback to the 1960's pizzeria  model,  that keeps unfriendly hours to most but are needed for us to stay happy.   I guess I ain't too smart with business  :-D Walter
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 05:43:47 PM by waltertore »
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Offline Dan520

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 05:46:55 PM »
Great decision to keep doing it the way are doing it and being happy!

Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 06:24:45 PM »
Great decision to keep doing it the way are doing it and being happy!

Thanks!  Life is quick trip and to be able to own ones universe is very special. 
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Offline nick57

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 09:56:07 AM »
Walter,

 I have been following your success since your move to Reno. You are profitable, help those in need, and are having fun doing it. No need to change your business model unless you are looking to make more money, and there is no guarantee that would happen. I see it all the time, a business expands and the quality declines and the business becomes too burdensome for the owner to keep up. As they say, if it ain't broke...... You don't need 3rd parties trying to tell you how to run your operation or trying to steer in other directions. You seem very happy with your life, no need to take a chance on something that could cause problems down the road. You are the captain of your ship and you seem happy on where you are sailing to.

Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 12:19:04 PM »
Walter,

 I have been following your success since your move to Reno. You are profitable, help those in need, and are having fun doing it. No need to change your business model unless you are looking to make more money, and there is no guarantee that would happen. I see it all the time, a business expands and the quality declines and the business becomes too burdensome for the owner to keep up. As they say, if it ain't broke...... You don't need 3rd parties trying to tell you how to run your operation or trying to steer in other directions. You seem very happy with your life, no need to take a chance on something that could cause problems down the road. You are the captain of your ship and you seem happy on where you are sailing to.

thanks and that is the truth ^^^   and we take it as a compliment that people want to get involved with the business. 
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Offline Tuscan Street Pizza

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 09:34:17 AM »
..or  take the bull by the horns... build it into a quality empire, then sell out and order Long Island Ice Tea on the beach of your favorite vacation destination and retire.

There's always that... :-) . That's my future,. Off shore fishing included...  :-D

Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 12:21:30 PM »
..or  take the bull by the horns... build it into a quality empire, then sell out and order Long Island Ice Tea on the beach of your favorite vacation destination and retire.

There's always that... :-) . That's my future,. Off shore fishing included...  :-D

That sounds wonderful until put into operation.  My method of doing pizza is very detailed and requires high skill levels that takes years to master.  The problem is expanding would eliminate that as there is not a skilled work force out there and we would have to dumb it way down.  Then it would just be another so - so place or maybe I am just dumb ??? ???  This is why we will only sell our recipes and processes to people that will not have any financial ties to us.  They can apprentice to learn it as deep as they want. 
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Offline woodfiredandrew

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 12:32:07 PM »
That sounds wonderful until put into operation.  My method of doing pizza is very detailed and requires high skill levels that takes years to master.  The problem is expanding would eliminate that as there is not a skilled work force out there and we would have to dumb it way down.  Then it would just be another so - so place or maybe I am just dumb ??? ???  This is why we will only sell our recipes and processes to people that will not have any financial ties to us.  They can apprentice to learn it as deep as they want.

Walter......Reason to get into pizza shop was to make a living while having fun and give something great back to the community without robbing , then do not open another shop, As you said rightfully that you will not find another person who would apply equal passion as you to the game and if you find one then by all means...... expend.
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.

Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 07:24:40 PM »
Walter......Reason to get into pizza shop was to make a living while having fun and give something great back to the community without robbing , then do not open another shop, As you said rightfully that you will not find another person who would apply equal passion as you to the game and if you find one then by all means...... expend.

Expansion is scary to me.  You have to give up control of your product.  I have been to some of the big name pizza guys places.  They were not there and the pizzas were not very good.  Not our scene.  Walter
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Offline Yael

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2019, 11:32:55 PM »
Walter,

FWIW from a French (haha), I think that if you share this story here, it means that you are +/- thinking about expanding. From my own experience in China (almost 10 years now), I already had many kind of working operations: partnerships, associates, alone... And mistakes were mostly made when I didn't know clearly what I wanted, and/or when I was in a bad (financial) situation and wanted to move on quickly. Later on, I started to define clearly what I wanted - and what I didn't want. And then you feel more confident, and people who come at you offering like "we work together, YOU do everything, I don't pay you, and then you take 10%", you just smile, thank them and leave. Actually no, you don't even meet those people anymore! You will not attract them! And you will attract serious people who are willing to work with serious people.

I'm not as successful as I'd like to be yet, but I truly think that having understood this will help me for the future.

So I think that even if there is risk, even if it'll be a lot of work at the beginning, it's not impossible to make it, keeping the good quality, training new staff, not working everyday, make money... if you know exactly what YOU want and don't want.
But again, that's just my point of view from my own experience and only from the post you wrote  :)
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Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2019, 07:36:53 PM »
Walter,

FWIW from a French (haha), I think that if you share this story here, it means that you are +/- thinking about expanding. From my own experience in China (almost 10 years now), I already had many kind of working operations: partnerships, associates, alone... And mistakes were mostly made when I didn't know clearly what I wanted, and/or when I was in a bad (financial) situation and wanted to move on quickly. Later on, I started to define clearly what I wanted - and what I didn't want. And then you feel more confident, and people who come at you offering like "we work together, YOU do everything, I don't pay you, and then you take 10%", you just smile, thank them and leave. Actually no, you don't even meet those people anymore! You will not attract them! And you will attract serious people who are willing to work with serious people.

I'm not as successful as I'd like to be yet, but I truly think that having understood this will help me for the future.

So I think that even if there is risk, even if it'll be a lot of work at the beginning, it's not impossible to make it, keeping the good quality, training new staff, not working everyday, make money... if you know exactly what YOU want and don't want.
But again, that's just my point of view from my own experience and only from the post you wrote  :)

I agree that one has to project what they want and then follow the trail that it presents to you.  You are right in we would like to sell our recipes/procedures/etc for a set price but do not want to join into any financial situations with others.  I spent 20 years playing music, owned my own record label, booked/promoted, did basically everything.  The weakest link in that and pizza is people.  They come and go as it is not their business and they  have other goals in life.  The more people you have working with you the harder it is to keep things consistent due to the coming and going of employees.  The pizzeria model we operate is based on the one I grew up with - small one shop family run but we have no kids and keeping a steady staff is an ongoing challenge with only being open 23 hours a week.  Last night Judy and I decided to stop making calzones,  Sicilian and small NY pies, at night as well as discontinue garlic knots altogether.  Nights will just be large pies as we are getting too busy to keep the consistency up with the other items as we are limited with oven and cooling space. Lunches will continue with slices, small/large NY pies, and Sicilians for now as we are still able to do it right.  We are also going to make a lunch menu and separate dinner menu so as to lessen confusion for customers.  I believe people will hang with it as if we are going to continue with our approach to food it is the only option. 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 07:41:59 PM by waltertore »
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Offline dmckean44

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2019, 08:47:53 PM »
Recipes and procedures just won't be enough, you can't open a pizzeria with just recipes and procedures. Maybe if you offered in house training and remote consulting/support you might get more interest.

Offline Yael

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2019, 09:08:51 PM »
I agree that one has to project what they want and then follow the trail that it presents to you.  You are right in we would like to sell our recipes/procedures/etc for a set price but do not want to join into any financial situations with others.  I spent 20 years playing music, owned my own record label, booked/promoted, did basically everything.  The weakest link in that and pizza is people.  They come and go as it is not their business and they  have other goals in life.  The more people you have working with you the harder it is to keep things consistent due to the coming and going of employees.  The pizzeria model we operate is based on the one I grew up with - small one shop family run but we have no kids and keeping a steady staff is an ongoing challenge with only being open 23 hours a week.  Last night Judy and I decided to stop making calzones,  Sicilian and small NY pies, at night as well as discontinue garlic knots altogether.  Nights will just be large pies as we are getting too busy to keep the consistency up with the other items as we are limited with oven and cooling space. Lunches will continue with slices, small/large NY pies, and Sicilians for now as we are still able to do it right.  We are also going to make a lunch menu and separate dinner menu so as to lessen confusion for customers.  I believe people will hang with it as if we are going to continue with our approach to food it is the only option.

Yeah, people... I know it's the hardest part. Your model is the model I used to have too (husband and wife operating), and what I realized (but it was already too late!), is that you cannot be good at everything. When you're the owner of a restaurant, how many jobs do you have to do??
- chef
- manager if you have staff
- negotiator
- PR
- HR
- marketing
- accountancy
- waiter
And so on.
And usually, as I listed above, we are a chef prior to the rest  ;D We love what we do, right?! But this means that unfortunately we may not have the skills for the other ones - including managing.
I think that the key to success (nothing new here, so many people knew this long before me, that may include you) is to have one person for each of these tasks! But this is not possible for everybody...
Anyway, I don't try to convince you of anything or teach you anything because I really don't know a lot, I'm just sharing some of my discoveries while being an entrepreneur in China  ;D
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Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2019, 10:55:08 PM »
Recipes and procedures just won't be enough, you can't open a pizzeria with just recipes and procedures. Maybe if you offered in house training and remote consulting/support you might get more interest.

That is the plan.  We would agree on an apprenticeship time frame that would be mutually decided. 
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Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2019, 11:01:28 PM »
Yeah, people... I know it's the hardest part. Your model is the model I used to have too (husband and wife operating), and what I realized (but it was already too late!), is that you cannot be good at everything. When you're the owner of a restaurant, how many jobs do you have to do??
- chef
- manager if you have staff
- negotiator
- PR
- HR
- marketing
- accountancy
- waiter
And so on.
And usually, as I listed above, we are a chef prior to the rest  ;D We love what we do, right?! But this means that unfortunately we may not have the skills for the other ones - including managing.
I think that the key to success (nothing new here, so many people knew this long before me, that may include you) is to have one person for each of these tasks! But this is not possible for everybody...
Anyway, I don't try to convince you of anything or teach you anything because I really don't know a lot, I'm just sharing some of my discoveries while being an entrepreneur in China  ;D

I am in charge of the food end (every recipe, procedure, layout of pizzeria is my creation) and my wife does the accounting end, mans the phones, makes salads, greets people.  We do not pay for advertising as we get lots of free media coverage and coupled with being in the top 100 restuarants in the USA on Yelp, a near 5 star on google, named the best pizza in Nevada by TIME, MONEY, magazines, and the same by MSN, local awards,..... all adds up to a powerful presence on the web and locally.   We don't have wait staff as we are come to counter and order and our employee average $6-8 dollars an hour from the tips people leave on top of their hourly rate of pay.  Our staff is made up of people with special needs, college students, and a retiree.  I train them to my system as they are blank slates so to speak and we are now at the point where current employees train new people.  I continue to make every pizza and am involved with all areas of prep.  That amounts to about 50 hours a week currently.   At 62 and my wife 65 we are lucky to have such a place to end our work careers :) 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 11:05:30 PM by waltertore »
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Offline Yael

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2019, 01:16:08 AM »
I am in charge of the food end (every recipe, procedure, layout of pizzeria is my creation) and my wife does the accounting end, mans the phones, makes salads, greets people.  We do not pay for advertising as we get lots of free media coverage and coupled with being in the top 100 restuarants in the USA on Yelp, a near 5 star on google, named the best pizza in Nevada by TIME, MONEY, magazines, and the same by MSN, local awards,..... all adds up to a powerful presence on the web and locally.   We don't have wait staff as we are come to counter and order and our employee average $6-8 dollars an hour from the tips people leave on top of their hourly rate of pay.  Our staff is made up of people with special needs, college students, and a retiree.  I train them to my system as they are blank slates so to speak and we are now at the point where current employees train new people.  I continue to make every pizza and am involved with all areas of prep.  That amounts to about 50 hours a week currently.   At 62 and my wife 65 we are lucky to have such a place to end our work careers :)

Woaw, so many good reviews! I understand why people keep coming at you for business  ;D
I wish you all the best then! And I hope that when I go to the US (I still have hope to go there one day...!) I will be able to visit your place!
Cheers
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Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2019, 03:34:58 PM »
Woaw, so many good reviews! I understand why people keep coming at you for business  ;D
I wish you all the best then! And I hope that when I go to the US (I still have hope to go there one day...!) I will be able to visit your place!
Cheers

Thanks Yael  :)  We get lots of pizza fanatics and owners stopping by and I hope to meet you someday.  Take care. Walter
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Offline RPCLady

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2019, 03:47:47 PM »
  Our shop could easily double its income if we had booze, worked with 3rd party delivery services, were open 7 days a week, had wifi onsite, large tvs for sports, but all these things would ruin our quality of life.  I don't know how people own multiple shops/partners as once you are not making all the pizzas and onsite all hours things will definitely change and most of the time not for the better. 

[snip]   We will remain a small off the beaten trail, throwback to the 1960's pizzeria  model,  that keeps unfriendly hours to most but are needed for us to stay happy.   I guess I ain't too smart with business  :-D Walter

I hear you!  We have been running our little shop for 8 yrs now, and our motto is keep it simple, stay focused on what we do best and just avoid the rest of the chaos!  Tourists who come through our rural town LOVE our pizza, LOVE our prices, etc.  We do have local LOYAL customers who never want us to go away, but we can't do this forever! (we still haven't found an exit strategy, and with 0 retirement, we do this until we die or we can find someone who wants to take on the torch)

Meanwhile, people think the 'old shop' of 10 yrs ago which has tried to come back recently because of ??? who knows why, (they were shut down by the State due to financial incompetence) opened a place with the intent to compete --- the only problem is they have a HUGE menu (meaning they put everything on their menu that all the other restaurants in town offer, burgers, fries, shakes, sandwiches, salads, etc.), sell alcohol, and priced their menu to undercut everyone else in town.   

The joke is on them, they get to work a lot harder than we do -- they are stuck with the high cost of labor - which we don't have. And the good news is, I get complaints from customers about how awful their pies are.  So really they are NO competition!!!! (we are in a town of 1,000 and a county of 6,000  that is OFF the beaten path!)  We still serve the LARGEST pizza in the county 16", and its still less expensive to eat at our place than any place in town when you're feeding a crowd!  So we hold our own and stay in the black! 

You do you!

Offline waltertore

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Re: 2 offers for us to expand in the last 2 days!
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2019, 06:40:54 PM »
I hear you!  We have been running our little shop for 8 yrs now, and our motto is keep it simple, stay focused on what we do best and just avoid the rest of the chaos!  Tourists who come through our rural town LOVE our pizza, LOVE our prices, etc.  We do have local LOYAL customers who never want us to go away, but we can't do this forever! (we still haven't found an exit strategy, and with 0 retirement, we do this until we die or we can find someone who wants to take on the torch)

Meanwhile, people think the 'old shop' of 10 yrs ago which has tried to come back recently because of ??? who knows why, (they were shut down by the State due to financial incompetence) opened a place with the intent to compete --- the only problem is they have a HUGE menu (meaning they put everything on their menu that all the other restaurants in town offer, burgers, fries, shakes, sandwiches, salads, etc.), sell alcohol, and priced their menu to undercut everyone else in town.   

The joke is on them, they get to work a lot harder than we do -- they are stuck with the high cost of labor - which we don't have. And the good news is, I get complaints from customers about how awful their pies are.  So really they are NO competition!!!! (we are in a town of 1,000 and a county of 6,000  that is OFF the beaten path!)  We still serve the LARGEST pizza in the county 16", and its still less expensive to eat at our place than any place in town when you're feeding a crowd!  So we hold our own and stay in the black! 

You do you!

Thanks for sharing your story.  IMO if one makes a pizza with love, knowledge, and knows their p's and q's with consistency, down home old school service, and money management there never is any competition.  I love it that 20 or more pizzerias have opened here in Reno since we opened.  It just makes ours shine all the more.  I am happy you have found your path and I am sure when it is time to retire someone will appear to take over.  Walter
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