Anyone else having a bad week?

For all the good that is going on with our store - we’ve had a terrible week so far. Usually the ball starts rolling on Wednesday but we haven’t had hardly any customers in the store since 2:00 p.m. We had one pick-up, one drive-thru and 6 dine-ins. Our store only did $263.00 net today.

My people have been out door tagging all week - can anyone tell me what might be going on?

same with us, running about 40% off of usual numbers.The local college is on a week long break but they don’t make up that portion of our business when in session.Could it be all the negative talk about foreclosures???

NCAA’s start tomorrow, your weekend SHOULD be huge.

Be prepared…


What has the weather been like? The weather here has been BEATIFUL the past 2 days. We got some rain today and tonight was a decent night – but I was down slightly on Monday and Tuesday. I think people had fired up the grills, I know I would have.

I may be wrong (I was once before) but if I recall over the years that I spent as a delivery service, the week that time changes have generally sucked.

We’ve discussed all the things mentioned here. It has been beautiful here since last Friday - 60 to 70 degree weather, sunny, college kids are on spring break - we wondered if people were grilling out and working in their yards.

I hope this doesn’t last much longer!!

a little off for a wed.
mon+tues were normal,

This whole week has sucked as far as sales go. I hope the weekend isn’t the same story

Even though people continue to have good sales, or enough to keep them open, the restaurant business in general is terrible here in Michigan. I think that we are second in unemployment rate in the country, and there are quite a few places going under and shutting down or completely changing menus using cheap food stuffs so that the restaurant remains open, and so that the customer can actually afford to purchase the food.

So for the most part, it seems in the northern areas anyway, the cheaper the better, even if the quality is terrible. My sales have dropped a little since January, but they’re picking back up to the norm again, which is wonderful.

Our Tuesday was pretty good this week, but Monday and Wednesday have really missed the mark.

I think it’s the good weather here combined with changing the clocks this week. It’s beautiful out, and light out here until 7:30pm already (we’re all the way on the west side of the time zone.) I see bike paths and trails FULL, as well as all of the parks around town.

If I didn’t have to be at my pizzeria, I sure as heck wouldn’t be. I’d be out enjoying the first days and nights of spring.

Well, it turned cold and overcast today and my sales were more normal today with some deliveries at lunch. I guess you all are right again!! I was getting a little depressed . . .


Have you noticed an increase or decrease in sales since you dumped your overpaid staff?

Are you making your own dough now? How is it working out?

Sales have been about the same - this week from last friday on have sucked because of the beautiful weather - at least until today. The difference is that we aren’t shuffling around trying to figure out how to rob Peter to pay Paul at least not as much.

We’ve noticed that our sales went down on buffet but menu item purchase has gone up.

It’s actually getting better slowly. We did find out that we lost a school because of my son-in-law refused to donate anything or offer a special for their PTO carnival. We did damage control and they are ordering from us again.

We did finally start making our own dough and have finally perfected it. It’s beautiful and tastes great. Even though we were so slow the first part of the week - we’ve had many compliments on our new dough and today, we’ve had a pretty good day.

In fact, the local boat factory ordered pizzas from us for lunch today - then late this afternoon, they made a $189.00 order for their lunch tomorrow. They close at noon on Fridays and have a luncheon for office staff. They liked our pizza so much today that they told us they would order from us on Fridays from now on for these luncheons. They ordered 10 pizzas and 4 desserts pizzas for tomorrow - Full price and did not ask for any specials or discounts. WOO HOO!!!

Thats Great to hear. how did you manage to cut down your food cost that much? i think u said from 2500 to like 1400. are you in the ballpark figure of labor and food cost 55%? thats the number to hit and you’ll be fine.

sales 5000/wk

labor 1250/wk
foodcost 1500/wk

should leave you with 500+ profit depending on your other expenses.

What POS system are you using? Are you boxtopping? marketing to existing customers? 30/60 day postcards?
just wondering how your marketing your takeout/delivery business or just marketing the buffet.

Keep it up. We’re all behind you and here to help…

Making our own dough certainly helped with food cost. I think the major factor was that my husband started talking with other food vendors and found quality products at much cheaper prices than U.S. Foods. US Foods wanted us to purchase strictly from them to get better prices and even at that, they were still a lot higher.

The food cost was mainly my son-in-laws fault. He over purchased a lot and only wanted the best products. After he left and Bill took over, Bill figured out exactly what we needed, when we needed it. U.S. Foods only delivered twice a week - on Mondays and Wednesdays. We use Middendorf (PFG) and Farm Boy and can have deliveries almost every day of the week between the two of them.

We have been door tagging almost every day. We box top and I purchased magnets that we put on box tops of give to customers. I got the magnets really cheap from Vista Print. Not the very best quality, but good enough and they used our logo. We can’t afford to start up our direct mail again just yet. We’ve been making the most of our signs and talking with customers a lot - letting them know our specials coming up and talking to them about what they would like.

I’m getting really nervous about our Monday Night $3.99 buffet. It starts this Monday and you can’t believe the phone calls we have had from people asking when it starts and the details on it. We have door tagged it for 3 weeks now, had it on our sign, I even put it on the tables in the restaurant.

We’ve also been accomodating to our customers. We had a church youth group call yesterday late afternoon wanting to come in at 9:30 last night for buffet - about 25 people altogether. We close the buffet at 8:00 p.m. and we close our store at 10:00p.m. but my night shift manager told them “No Problem” and she didn’t get out of our store until after midnight last night. She made the decision and called us to let us know. She only had herself and one other closer. I can guarantee you the restaurant looks perfect this morning because that’s the way my two shift managers are.

We’re back to asking our customers when they come in if there is any kind of pizza they would like on the buffet. More often than not, they say a pepperoni or sausage pizza, which is already on there anyway. But, the customers love it.

It’s also getting around that we have new dough and that it’s good. We had a customer call last night for delivery that said they heard that our pizza was really good and that our dough was wonderful. They ordered a fairly large order for delivery. I plan to call them back today and ask if they liked our pizza and how the service was.

My day shift manager is really getting good with scheduling and scheduling herself for extra hours to keep labor down (she’s salaried at $300.00 a week). She knows that I want to keep labor under 30% and more around 25% and has done a great job the last 3 weeks. She’s working herself and my night shift manager and Bill and Me to death, but she’s all for making the restaurant work. Both my shift managers have no problem with sending people home and taking up the slack themselves. We already had labor down under 30% this week, but due to sales being slow Monday through Wednesday, they sent people home or didn’t even let them clock in and cut my labor even more.

Basically, Bill and I run day shift with one other person and my managers are running night shift (they are both salaried) with one to two hourlys. Weekends we have to have more staff, but we are able to keep labor really down.

By the way, the labor percentage includes hourly and salary.

My husband is probably going to cash a paycheck this week!!! That’s the big news. We need it too as our personal well has run dry.

I have to say that update sounded GREAT!

To hear you are nervous about Monday is awesome…you are worried things are going to be slammed on a MONDAY! Thats a good thing.

What I would focus on is trying to upsell when the crowds come. Somtimes people are more willing to buy other things when they are spending less on the main item. For example, I would design a “wings add-on” for the buffet…so upselling 10 wings for X ammt…also the assumption from the person at the register is that everyone is getting a drink, and that assumption is LARGE…so the person would say, “how many drinks for you tonite” and reach for the cups…which are large. Then after the reply, you say “Is that large”?

There are plenty of ways to upsell on a buffet. One other thing…the 3.99 buffet should ASSUME than they have to purchase a drink in order to get that price…if someone doesnt want a drink, then the price of the buffet reverts back to regular price…

Now how you can say this and not offend customers is to say the price is a promo price and tell the customer that you are probably going to make it permenant going forward (act excited).

Any and ALL promo associated with a lunch price or the weekday price should say “with purchase of a large drink” or whatever you want it to say…

These sort of problems are GOOD problems, it really sounds like you are on your way and now need to ramp up sales as your operations are in much better shape.

“I can guarantee you the restaurant looks perfect this morning because that’s the way my two shift managers are.”…

If one of these folks went over and above what is expected of them last night, please make sure you reward them…I am not talking about a big gift…May be you could send them home a couple hours early another night (and pay them)…This will pay off for a long time…


I have most of your advice covered already. Definitely upselling doing “Add a Side for only $2.99”. My staff is prepared to let the customer know that if they don’t purchase a drink it’s regular price buffet. I like the way you worded what to say to the customer.

As far as sales for this week and my original question - it wasn’t one of our stellar weeks or weekends. Friday’s sales were normal at $1200.00 but tonights were bad - we usually do at least $1000.00 to $1200.00 but came up pretty short at only $811.00 net.

I wonder if everyone is waiting for the $3.99 buffet on Monday night . . . ha ha.


How far are you away from Louisville? What’s your store address, so I can map it. If your pretty close, I wouldn’t mind driving out to see your store or vice versa!


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