Anyone here close 1 day a week?

This got me curious enough to run the actual numbers. Here they are for a full year for my delivery location:

Monday 11.7%
Tuesday 11.2%
Wednesday 12.7%
Thursday 14.0%
Friday 18.0%
Saturday 17.8%
Sunday 14.5%

Closing Monday and Tuesday would cost me 23% of my annual sales for this location. In the end, I think it would cost me more than that in lost customers. Running the math the other way, if I were closed those two days and then opened up for them, once the customers were aware of the change, I would expect an increase in sales of 30%. (23/77)

Since the rent, phone, insurance, marketing etc are all paid, that increase would be very profitable.

Monday 11.7%
Tuesday 11.2%
Wednesday 12.7%
Thursday 14.0%
Friday 18.0%
Saturday 17.8%
Sunday 14.5%

Maybe it is just me, but I thought Fri & Sat numbers would be a higher % of sales

We started closing on Sunday about a month ago.

Before I have a response, I want to restate my support of opening as many shifts as is practical and drawing in as many dollars as one can draw through the door.

One must remember the liability of scale when counting specific numbers. If what you said is true, then I would go from controlling 74.8% of the theoretical market to 97.3% of the market just by opening those 2 days.

Markets are different, and scale does not always carry from large to small markets. One must remember that my marketplace dynamic and makeup is different than many others. . . similar to maybe a couple. I suspect I could truly draw another 10% on one extra day . . . maybe $200 to $250 that night. It just isn’t worth that night to me since I am caught up in public office, need a life outside my shop, and don’t have an employment pool that is dripping with management prospects yet. Not even considering the cost of labor and utilities for that small return, it just isn’t calling to me.

I know the day will come if we keep up our marketing efforts and grow beyond $200K annually. Heck, one good business employer in town needing food occasionally would be a the ticket to make the move.


I hear what you are saying about scale. If $200 is an average night, you have a tough row to hoe. Your numbers would indicate $770 per night on average. If the relationship between a slow night and an average one that I experience holds true, you could expect about $450 per night on those slow nights once the practice was established.

I am really curious about where you come up with “theoretical market” numbers. I don’t think there is a valid way to do that on a small scale. The statistical models used for large markets assume population bases large enough to make the sample valid and a broad array of consumer patterns, motivations and choices.

If you have “74.8%” of the market at 200K per year in sales your market is much too small to look at with this tool. Being open those other days would materially change the amount of choice available to the consumers in the market which would actualy change the market size.

Jack Welch, when he was CEO of GE, directed his divisions that when they encountered situations where they controlled too much of the market to achieve meaningful growth, to REDEFINE the market in such a way that they controlled less than 10% of it. In your case, that might mean looking at the market for food not cooked at home rather than the market for Pizza. If the market really is that small, you can actually work on the task of getting people to eat/order out rather than just the task of buying pizza from you.

This post reminds me of something my dad said a long time ago - I grew up on a farm, several of the neighbors never worked on Sunday. I heard one of them asking dad one time why he didn’t honor the sabbath, that God had set that aside as a day of rest. He replied “Yes, but if I remember my Bible, by Sunday, God had everything pretty much done”.

You can (and should) feel guilty about breaking the Commandments, but I think, to answer your question, that God would understand you honoring him by having your Sabbath on Wednesday rather than Sunday. Remember that originally, the Sabbath was on Saturday, anyway. That’s still the holy day for people of the Jewish faith, which Christianity has it’s roots in.

I only continue this thread to offer the perspective of one “micro” market. I know others may find this tired, and I apologize to them.

I cannot ‘expect’ $450 on my current slow nights Tues & Wed, so I actually anticipate between $250 and $300 average on another night . . . it could be higher, but the taking from other nights to pay Mondays would occur. I would likely average out an additional $250 or so a week in gross revenues given current sales patterns, as well as reports from other eateries in neighboring towns on Monday night sales. Seriously not worth the investment to me today. In three or four months, it might be.

I am really curious about where you come up with “theoretical market” numbers. I don’t think there is a valid way to do that on a small scale. The statistical models used for large markets assume population bases large enough to make the sample valid and a broad array of consumer patterns, motivations and choices.

Yeah, it is not a perfect generalization of sample size, but it is the only real model available in the business. Reduced N (sample size) simply creates a change in the validity tests of results when compared to chance. If the general trend is that households spend 17.85 a month for pizza, then it is likely (given that they have had hopefully thousands and thousands of respondents and data points) that the comparison will carry through to our community in a general sort of way.

If you have “74.8%” of the market at 200K per year in sales your market is much too small to look at with this tool. Being open those other days would materially change the amount of choice available to the consumers in the market which would actually change the market size.

Actually, it means that I have zero competitors to fight me for market share. The amount of choice in the market is me and a small Mexican cafe. The market size won’t so much change until we start sending materials to other zip codes and expanding our sphere of influence. Or if we get a business in town that employs more than 6 people, or some significant multi-family dwelling. I’m tellin’ you, and I’m not exaggerating, we have a very uniquely flat marketplace with no traditional customer centers. Our place and the Mexican place are the only eateries within 10 miles or so.

Opening Mondays will not change the number of people in a reasonable sphere of influence, or the number of eating places available to the customers (except on Mondays). Our marketing machine is geared up for rolling through September and October to get word to more people more often, and then try to push to get our expanded dining room and menu operational by next Spring (Winter would be better). to draw people from more than 3 to 5 miles away, we need to become known as a ‘destination’ place where people can dine and relax. Beer and Wine license will help with that as will the wait staff we have trained and working fine.

I may be a little off in my estimation of the marketplace, but it isn’t way off. We’ve been working here for three years and just now have people understanding what a calzone is, and what tortellini is. It is both education and business marketing where we work and operate :smiley:

We have never been closed one day a week but we used to only be open 4-9 on Sundays. When we moved from a pu/del location to a eat in location we had to rethink our Sunday hours. Because we go to church and many of my staff do as well we decided to open at noon. This means I only need 1 person in before to get the dough done and get things ready for the day the rest can start after church is done. Would I prefere to only open at 4 on that day ya but we sure get a big chunk of the after church lunch crowd. Could I afford to be closed? Sure I could and it wouldnt have to be Sunday it could be Monday or Tuesday, but I dont want to have people go to the other pizza places so I stay open. It is worth it for me as my slowest day is still over 1100.00 Do what works best for YOU. I have the staff to be open and am able to take most Sundays off but if your not able to then maybe you need to have that day to recouperate

The problem with the $$ per month per household model is that it assumes a market where there are many many more choices. I suspect that the market potential you have is considerably better than that on a per household basis if only because there are no other choices.

On the other hand, you are probably right about your off nights not being worth opening for if $250 is all you can get out of them rigth now. Each year we have a handfull of nights where we only do $400 or so, but our slow season week nights are usually more like $600-$700. It is worth keeping open even though that is below my breakeven point to keep my staff working. That way I still have a crew when the tide comes in again.

By they way, just surfed around your website. I like it a lot. Do you do that yourself or do you have a service do it for you?

My wife designed and built it for us. I sent a PM to you about it. We like the freedom and confidence of doing our graphic and web design ourselves.

Obviously market is a HUGE deciding factor…but… there is a prevailing philosophy that stands on what you offer is what brings them in.

You may be in a market where its flat. Thats a given for a lot of of areas all over the US. However you can’t be a Superman/Superwoman for the rest of your career/ownership. Many families have been raised in a pizza joint…I know of one personally:-) But that is not how I’d want it if the situation was different.

So… Heres how I see it. Even in a flat market, you can afford to close at least one day a week. You just have to come up with a marketing plan that shows people why they need to come to you when you ARE open. It all boils down to the creative ways that people are using to advertise, offering people reasons to use your establishment, and giving them something that they can’t get better anywhere else. Case in point:

I live in rural Idaho. When I say rural I mean “out in the freaking sticks”. Even farther out in the sticks than I am , I believe you take a left at the sticks and drive south 30 miles…, there is a place called the Blue Canoe. They are out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe 200 people within 25 miles and they are open only 2 DAYS A WEEK. Their food is good, the atmosphere is pretty cool and the prices are pretty market “normal”. Its not the location, its the food. People WILL come to you if you give them a reason. Just do what you do BETTER than your competition when you are open and make sure people know you are there… build it and they will come. People will drive 50 miles for it. You have to think outside of the cardboard box…

People are creatures of habit… you have 21 days to change their habits. Its all in the marketing.

Just MHO

Sunday 11%
Monday 8%
Tuesday 10%
Wednesday 13%
Thursday 12%
Friday 26%
Saturday 17%

So far my Mondays average about $1K a week.Last week it was $700 and I was told i was slow as it is the first week back to school.I wouold love to find another good inside person and actually pay them well($12) or so and have faith that they could take over my spot.Even on $1K in sales I figure with me being there I still make close to $250 for that day.If I pay “Joe” 12 and hr X 10 hrs that is only $120 and I still make $130.
Now if Joe makes the customer a not so great pie and I lose them as a customer that figures out to how much over the year?
I figure as of now I cook about 99% of the pies going out of my store.
Actually had a guy come in tonight and tell me he has eaten at a pizzeria that is about 20 miles from us for 60 YEARS!!! but not anymore. :smiley: .I 100% want to make sure I make that guys pizza everytime so I know he gets a good pie.I have a unique pie and think I may be ok to close on Mondays.I’m going to wait out monday night football for a few weeks and if I don’t get alot from that,after the first of the year I’m pretty sure I will close Mondays.

All of this is fine and dandy till you look at it from someone elses perspective. What will you do when you are sick, or you are on vacation, or any of a million things that happen when you can’t be there? Will you just close for a few days? That may hurt more than serving a substandard pie! Enough training, and anyone can cook a pizza like you can.

Paul…you’re right, with the correct training, anyone can do it. But will they have the pride, the drive and the desire to make the business grow and look for those repeat customers. Some will, some won’t. It’s a gamble everytime.

I finally got a couple good people who stopped by to talk and I gave them the app. So, we’ll see how it pans out. As for taking the day off, it’s still up in the air.

lool@ never trust a skinny guy

From my personal experience ( been doing the pizza biz 21 years now), I see nothing wrong with closing 1 day a week, I close Sunday’s. I know for some, that’s a huge part of business, but I used to be open 7 days a week, and when you have multiple locations, anytime someone calls in sick, is in jail, or whatever, that day off you thought you had goes up in smoke. So about 10 years ago my brother and I decided to close Sunday’s, and what I experienced was a SLIGHT decrease in sales a week. I found that MY REAL CUSTOMERS would find another day to come in.
Look, everyone needs rest, so does your store. I have 4 locations that avg about 17k a week, in 6 days. I could probably open Sundays and avg 20k a week, but what would i have to give up. My payroll would increase because I would now need at least 4 new ppl minimum at each location.
I understand we all need money, but my peace of mind for my staff and myself is more essential. Remember, you are a mom and pop operation on average, ppl come to us becaue we offer them something the chains can’t, but it doesn’t mean we have to be a slave to our businesses and work 7 days a week because you feel noone can do it as well as YOU can.
My father opened the business over 27 years ago, and for the first 3 years he only took the major holiday’s off because we closed those days. He then would take maybe a 1/2 day here or ther if staffing permitted. Then when I came of age he slowly let go of the reigns. But it took him YEARS to appreciate what he building, and the stress was killing him.
Remember, even chains stores like CHICK-FIL-A are closed on Sundays.
With the same rationale, family and well being are more important, if it means training a few more ppl so you can be staffed for 7 day weeks, more power to you, I built my store around the idea that they will come to me cause I AM THE CHOICE when it comes to great food, and they anticipate when I open. Because I feel if they are willing to run somewhere else because I am closed, then I either am A) not doing my job as an owner to keep the customers coming back or B) not wanting them as a customer because they have no loyalty.