buffet, should i keep it or go to personal lunch pizzas

lot of my customers want a lunch buffet, but it seems i am throwing allot of pizza away every day. then some customers complain that the pizza gets dry when it is on the hot table , if it sits thier 10 minutes the taste and qaulity go down . tell me what ya think , thanks scott , from cuginos.

  1. Make 12" pizzas, cut into 10 slices
  2. Limit the # of pies to 8-10
  3. Make some your pies 1/2 & 1/2, say 1/2 pepperoni, 1/2 sausage & mushroom
  4. Consider adding some TIC to your dough…expensive but crusts retain moisture
  5. Remember, most popular pies are cheese or pepperoni…
  6. Shelf life under heat lamp will only be 20 min…CiCi’s standard…

Good Luck!

To me, it is about the numbers. Add up your total food costs, and your sales. If the numbers run right, then throwing out pizza seems irrelevant . . . a cost of doing business as a buffet. If your overall food costs run 30% or lower, then game on.

Seems that if your numbers are off, you can choose to dump to buffet or raise your prices to make your margins. I suggest that the key is to set a measurable goal for lunch and assess if you are meeting it. If you are not, then change the steps you are taking. It could be gross revenues or profit margins, or food costs margins, or whatever. Get something measureable so you aren’t 'gut feeling" it and getting caught in details that could be meaningless.

I am betting CiCi’s adds in a margin of waste into their pricing structure. Maybe you should as well.

I never liked the idea of pizza buffets. I used to work at Pizza Hut and delt with 190-250 buffets a day in northern NJ. I just don’t like the whole idea.
I’d go with personal lunch pizzas if I were you. But you have to do what makes the most sense for your shop/area.

I have to say that if your buffet is making you money and not out of control on food cost, keep it. I think buffets do so well at lunch because the food is ready and you just pay and eat. So many people are in a rush to get back to work and I feel this is a major draw we can offer. Just limit the size and number of pies you keep out and your biggest problems should go away, and you will probably get busier because the pizza will be just that much better! Good luck!

I think the personal pans would be the best.They shouldn’t take very long to cook and the customer will get a top quality pie and only a minimum wait.
Derek

if you are doing buffet in small town don’t stop it will kill you i stpoed at night and went down in sales 2k a week started back up and now slowly getting back up

The Fat Boy writes:

if you are doing buffet in small town don’t stop it will kill you i stpoed at night and went down in sales 2k a week started back up and now slowly getting back up

We’ve got a store in a small town (1,000 +/- addresses with a small college) that was averaging about $150/day on dayshift. The operator decided he wanted to try buffet to see what happens. He put together this crappy, plywood stand with a 4 foot hot shelf on top and had a bowl of fresh cut Romaine lettuce on the side with the basic veggie pizza toppings (onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes). He made 12" pizzas which consisted of a few different specialties, a pepperoni, a cheese, a sausage, and a pepperoni and sausage. His dayshift sales jumped to almost $400/day with this crappy buffet. The only reason he didn’t do more because he didn’t have enough seating (32) to handle the big lunch crowds. This was about 6 months ago. Today, he still averages over $300/day on dayshift.

I hate the idea of having pizzas sit up there because I feel after a short time your product becomes sub-par and I cringe at the idea of serving pizzas that are not up to my standards. However, you cannot argue with the numbers. You can have the dinkiest buffet and if there is demand for it, you can double your existing sales.

As far as the personal pizzas: I’ve got a lunch special right now advertising a small one topping pizza and a fountain drink for $5.99. I guarantee (and advertise) 10 mins or free and most days I still don’t match the lunch sales of the 1,000 address town with the dinky buffet. -J_r0kk

they key 2 any successful buffet is volume…move the people & the pies thru…the CiC’s concept is good only when volume is injected…

BUFFETS: Price is why they buy. Volume is why we sell.

you are so correct, the key to buffet working is volume. I worked at a PH that had buffet and it’s lunch volume was average, we ended up throwing out a lot of pizzas. If you want to do buffet advertize the hell out of it. Print up fliers and take them around. Send out mailer coupons, door hangers and post signs in your store to let the customers coming in know. If you have low volume buffet will end up costing you.