Business Name Change and Staff

Hey, guys,

Totally 100% irrelevant to my current situation, I have a friend who just signed the papers tonight to take over a del/co. The location has been open for 13 years, and had 1 name change for a little over 5 years. He bought into it about 8 months ago and decided he wants it all. There are 3 main cooks/pizza makers and 1 of them has been through all 13 years and one guy whos been there for a long time as well.

He’s changing the name and we’re wondering is he should clean house. He’s doesn’t really want to but he knows its a common practice and could be an option. The staff would be great employees IF they follow the new rules and procedures without ant problems.

That place had no structure, they didn’t even portion… ANYTHING. Just wants to improve everything and he’s completely overhauling it.

What do you guys think?


Is the business being taken over profitable as it is running now?..If so, changes need to be slow so as not to lose what they have going now…And slow may mean keeping the existing name for the time being…If the business is not profitable, then drastic changes are required…

Staff is always a slippery slope…Most folks despite their apparent willingness to change, do not change well…Now with the long tenure of the current employees I would let my kind nature over ride my instinct…And hope it worked out well…

It is nice to have staff with a long history. Past behavior predicts future behavior. The problem I see for your friend is the only history he has on these people is they have been there a while. He doesn’t know if they call in a lot, if they hung around cause not much was expected etc. Were they part of the downfall or part of the success of the past 13 years.

If it were me, I would come up with my plan, put it in writing in the form of job descriptions, prep lists, clean up lists etc and have a chat with these guys. Find out why they have been there for so long. Find out where they are headed and if they are still wanting to work there… with the changes. Find out if they are on board and willing to be part of the new place and procedures.

To be honest we have a lot of long term employees. When one of them leaves we go through a 'bout of fear about them leaving but find when they are gone things are fine. Not to mention new employees are a clean slate on expectations.

Heck maybe he will need a manager…and as luck would have it you need a job :wink:


Why would he have these questions after 8 months of being involved in it and wants to buy it all now. These questions should have all be worked out ahead of time, or he could walk in the first day and have no employees. I have never heard of it being common practice to “clean house” with a profitable business.

Thanks for all the replies guys!

Royster- Yes, it is turning a profit. They put up some pretty decent numbers. There are just way too many things that are negatively affecting his bottomline. It could be much more profitable with some serious managing, portioning, quality/consistency control etc. The previous owner he bought it from let the guys do what they want and everyone makes things differently. Its pretty crazy.

Kris - Yeah I know what you mean. Its hard to tell if they were part of the downfall or part of the success. As I said the owner just let them do what they want, and we’re having a mandatory meeting very soon and will be discussing that there will be some serious changes and if they dont/cant comply, theres the door. Everything they learned and ‘practiced’ with the last owner is GONE. Theres a new sheriff in town lol.

Perna - Again, its a profitable business, just not as profitable as it could be. The staff are good hard workers/people but they need to change their ways according the new owners requirements.

The previous owner has another location so we’re worried that the staff could still be in contact with him with all the new changes/recipes/procedures etc etc.

If it is profitable you want to concentrate on things that are behind the scenes versus noticeable to the customers…

Portion control is a great place to start if it not too drastic…If for example cheese has been over portioned for years it is hard to cut it back to ideal all at once…Better to adjust slowly…Too much at once can cause customers to jump ship…Systems do need to be put in place but slow and steady is the best way to go…

As far as changing name…In my mind, it is best to get every thing else running smooth and then change names…Then you can proudly advertise that nothing is changing except the name…If you do a name change and then continue to make changes folks will look for them and it could adversely affect you…This only applies if you are profitable…

Now if anyone is taking over a “sinking ship” it is best to change procedures, staff, marketing, name, etc. all at once so you can “cleanse” yourself of bad history…