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Hello Steve,

My name is Casey Zitkus and I am a senior accounting/entrepreneurship undergraduate student attending Indiana University of South Bend. I am doing research for a marketing project and I need to know the target age group for pizza consumption in the United States. I have been searching the website for a few hours and I can’t find an article containing this information.

Could you please provide me with this information and/or an accesssible article containing this information? This would be a great deal of help and I would very much appreciate it? I will continue searching the site and other sites as well.

Thank you!


Demographics of Pizza

Dear Casey,

In the 1980’s Domino’s spent lots of time figuring out the demographics of pizza. At one point they did a regression analysis and discovered that the most relavant piece of information with the highest likely hood of predicting pizza consumption was the percentage of household with 3 car garages. Now that the pizza industry has matured and the cosumption of pizza is practically universal, demographic information has become less and less important.

In 1984 as a Domino’s franchisee, we typically went after the 18 to 34 year olds. But when I bought an existing Domino’s pizzerias in Buffalo New York, where pizza had already been popular for a generation, I noticed something funny. Even old people there ate lots of pizza.

If your deciding where to build a store, perhaps demographics has a role, but it needs to be adjusted by the likely higher number of suppliers in that market. If you’re looking for a report which does site demographic information we’ve used that in our pizza power report and you can ask my editor Liz Barrett to send you the reference. but For most pizzerias already in business, your neighborhood battlefield has already been determined and you’re not going to be able to change the demographics of your area, you’re going to have to challenge yourself to create the right kind of pizza mix which will attract the dollars of those customers in your market area.

Pizza Shop Income Statement…


Thanks in advance for taking my question:

I’m wondering if you could tell me what a typical start-up pizza shop’s income statement looks like. In otherwords, what is typical reltive to a percentage of gross sales for; COGS, debt interest, franchise fee (if it is a franchise), rent (both equipment and facility), labor, marketing, etc. I’m trying to get a handle on what things might look like prior to perhaps trying to start my own pizza shop. Also, how much debt, both principal and interest (debt service) is typical from a percentage of gross sales, since ultimately both impact cash flow. Finally, what is a typical range of costs for all equipment and supplies necessary to start up a pizza shop.

Thanks again.


Hi Steve, I recently bought a pizzeria in a kind of diverse lower working class neighborhood where people dont seem to have much money. I am having trouble getting customers in this neighborhood.we remodeled and changed to high quality ingredients like Grande’ and dietz and watson with slightly higher pricing. Any suggestions on how to get my phones ringing?


Please help!!! I have found a location for a pizzeria I truly love it is in Seaford NY and it is a brand new retail building that just went up. The rent is 1500.00 per 500 sq ft and I would be leasing 1500 sq ft.(making the rent 4500.00 neg) It is just a shell and they are responsible for putting in one of the bathrooms. Now what I would like to know is how much total would it cost be to build this out with permits gas lines etc using primarily used equipment. Please help as I truly love this location.

Thank you,

Building out a pizza restaurant

Great question. It cost me $80,000 to build out 3,000 square feet in '86 and that was with no seating. Anyone build lately? Is there a website which allows youto layout a design and assume some numbers to work with?

Dear Mr. Green:

Here in Colorado we have really only one decent pizzaria named Beau Jeaos. They do a really good mountain style pie.
The NY style and Chicago style pizzarias (Anthony’s, Belemonte, Pisquale’s to name a few) just don’t have the NY style going on. Mainly its the cheese. Ok, it IS the cheese. EVERY Colorado Pizza comes out of the oven and then served on your dish/napkin/paper plate with cheese that is like the rubber sole from your grandfathers loafers. Everyone of them. Its not hot, its not liquid, its not smoking. Instead, and from the oven to your plate (maybe 10 seconds), its a congealed, cooled mess that could all be lifted with one finger.

I think it certainly has to do with our +5000’ altitude and very dry semi arid environment.

Sorely, everybody in CO complains about this especially after having authentic NY or Chicago style pizza. Here the cheese oozes, is smoky, is hot.

Nobody has duplicated yet in Colorado.

Any ideas on what is going on here in the mile high city?


Kevin Kuczek


The altitude could have a big impact on the product, just like water, humidity, temperature, local ingredients but these can be controlled and there is no reason why a good New York Pizza can’t exist in Denver. Afterall, how can Domino’s and Pizza Hut create the same tasting pizza in Denver as well as Miami? It can be done.

It is very easy to underestimate how bad someone elses pizza is. If you find a really bad pizza, the question to ask is how many customers do they have. Perhaps the pizza is not as bad as you think? Or maybe it is.

hello steve,
My name is brennan wilkinson, and my cousin is having some trouble interacting with his customers. He owns an organic pizza shop that buys local organic produce and meat. He has asked me to help him expand his advertising abilities. If you could offer any help it would be much appreciated. Thank you

After 15 years in our current location we have decided to build at a new location. We have a set of plans that we have drawn up as well as a parking lot layout. How might we get these professionally reviewed without actually hiring an architectural or engineering firm?

hello steve,

          To get started we have been open for about 4 years now. We are looking to franchise out coming up here in a year or two. So we been trying to get everything together from employee handbook, how to make everything, weights of cheese, etc... My biggest problem I'm coming across is portioning of the meats such as sausage, and ham... Maybe some other things you can think of... Portioning is a very important process is the pizza business due to customers getting the same product every time they come in... Would help alot with our franchises in the future... I'm really looking forward to your advice.... 

Thank you,

Andrew L.Quintano
green lantern pizzeria
royal oak michigan 48073

Steve, do you answer questions here alot? What type of questions will you answer and which ones do you ignore? Thanks!

I try to answer all questions. Sometimes by the time I answer a question, there is already a good answer and I will feel satisfied that our visitor got some help. I prefer to answer questions that I know something about. Marketing is my specialty so I like marketing questions.


My partner and I purchased an existing pizza restaurant in February. We want to come up with a hit it out of the ball park special now to bring in more customers. We want to expecially build up our pizza sales. Would the best way to accomplish this to put an ad in the paper for 50% off all Pizzas on Wednesday? We’d put an ad in the paper on Monday and Tuesday of the same week?

Thank you,
Darin Farrar

Hi Steve,
My partner and I are getting close to opening our first pizza delivery business (from scratch, not a franchise), and I am looking to confirm my sales forecast. I’ve collected primary data through phone surveys within our target market. So far, the average pizzas bought are 2.5 pizzas per month per person. Because our target market has 10,000 people and 30% are children, we are planning on 7,000 able buyers. Of that seven thousand, we are only planning on having 35% of the market share. In this small town, there Is one other pizzeria. I plan on them having 1/3 of the market share and the city 20 minutes away having the other third.

I recently had a pizza at the local pizzeria here, and while they are slow and don’t do any marketing, he said they’re only selling about 150 pizzas a week. According to the monthly costs that I have assumed, we’ll need to sell at least 250 pizzas a week to break even. The commercial space where we’ll set up shop just had a new supermarket open across the street, so that should help sales a lot through the added exposure.

With all that said, is there any way to figure a solid sales forecast? My primary data figures seem well founded, but I can’t imagine selling 1500 pizzas a week in a small town of 10,000 people.

Thanks in advance for your help,

Jason Dove