End of first month in new place

<Warning . . . long winded exposition of thoughts on our month . . . >

So, last night marked the last day of pizza baking in our first month being re-opened. It has been quite a whirlwind of experiences to say the least (like we definitely need another 5 to 10 tons of AC when we get our dining room opened). Our sales have been envigorating to stupendous this month. Staff has gotten back into a rhythm and are finding the space we built to be actually very functional and efficient for the most part. Some modifications are still needed, but they have gotten used to working in closer quarters and less walking around.

Sales: We exceeded my desires quite nicely. Had second highest Saturday yesterday. We had our 2nd highest sales month ever. Even better is that we had our highest daily average by a good margin. If we had 2 more days this month, we would easily have made the top month. Previous top month had 23 sale days compared to 20 for me this month.

Staff: All staff returned to me and have been striding right along. They grow impatient a little now when the surges go down. We spike a couple of hours and swoon an hour or two this month. They are getting into the habot (with my help) of finding things that need doing. They will next month have opportunities to get hands into some finishing work in the dining room and storage room. So, idel hands will not be so bad. I will also do some recipe development with two of them who want to do that sort of thing.

Customers: We have lost some of our friends/customers to attrition and moving away. Several have had babies, gotten married, gotten divorced and gotten new jobs. It has been fun, as well as exceedingly good customer relations, to reminisce about the past 7 months away and what has changed. New babies are fawned over, kids getting bigger and congratulated, and so on. So many customers are actually conected to us personally, that it has been emotionally satisfying to see them all again and get their smiles and well-wishes.New customers have been big this month as well. We have to build the customer base back up to fill in the gaps of the down trends that will come.

Postcard: The direct mail postcard we sent at end of first full week is responsible for about 15 to 20 new customers alone. They all had heard about us for weeks/months from their neighbors, but the card got them in the shop. Mailed 1800 @ total cost of $350 . … got 15 new customers . . . paid for the project right there just in their 1st purchases, because at least two made $50 orders!! We had 24 fill out the card and return it . . . and countless mention they got it and came in when they found out we were open again. So, 1.333% return rate and closer to 5% ‘response’ rate to the mailed post card.

Food: The quality and appearance of our food has been top rate. Employees are determined to show the town we are back and better than ever. We relay every phone call or comment customers make, and they stand a little taller when a brand new customer ordered $55 in food 1st time out and at their second call, three days later, said, “We wanted to call you right back after our food was delivered (panic on my wife’s face) . . . to tell you it was the best looking and best tasting pizza we’ve ever had!”. The guys gushed from that one. I’ve had a couple goofs with ordering, actually not ordering when we were low on something. We still need to get our menu back to full operation. We are still missing our salads and gyros. Next week should get those back in the fold, and add a new challenge to the staff functioning. We bought a used piece of equipment (cooler worktable) that should work very nicely for this specific need.

We made a great showing for our 1st month back, and have to keep our eye on the prize . . . the completed facility. Next week I go back into construction mode to finish trimming out dining room, and finishing floors so we can have our grand opening celebration July 28th. We won’t have the 2nd dining room ready by then, but we’ll get the final pieces of the pizzeria side done. Still trying to find the $6K for another 5-ton AC unit installation.

We also have been fighting the little demon in our heads that tells us to gloat over getting back in business when previous landlord and a couple others tried to put us out of business and keep us out. I can’t go that road, because it is far more satisfying and soul-warming to see those kids smile and shout when they see that the face on their pizza box is really a guy making the pizza :smiley: Families loving the chice for a quick, time saving meal again; employees paying their electric bills and buying groceries again; town having a business that networks with the rest of the county and building the reputation. Still, that little demon comes whispering . . . . We just listen to our song, get goosebumps, and smile a satisfied smile.

Tubthumping (Chumbawamba)
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/191182/i_ … cked_down/

Power to Nick & Kim and all your loyal staff.

I don’t know if I could hold out for seven months like you did.

When do we get to see some more pics ?

Your little mate, the Aussie dope.
:lol:
Dave

Man, I’m gonna pay for that one for a while, I see.

Next week is our big push to get some pictures.

You will be amazed at how spartan it looks right now while we’re just a DELCO. It truly is almost embarrassing what the front of the house looks like . . . to me, not the customers so much. That will also change next week, though.

Sounds good Nick. Congrats and keep it going !

Not sure about your small town, but you should be able to find a 5 ton A/C for a bit cheaper. I paid 3K for my second one including air handler and duct work, but it’s a pretty inefficient unit, only 12 SEER. My guess is you could find a 14 SEER or so for around 4K professionally installed, but maybe not in grantville.

nick,
try grainger supply,if you buy yourself you will save $$
i bought my 10 ton and installed myself,they have all you will need…

Thanks, Billy and Guest,

The code around here is 13SEER for comercial units, so I gotta look at that aspect. I’ll keep looking around for a cheaper install. I don’t have the help or skill to install it all myself, but I do want to lean on the AC guy I am using and get a better price this time. I paid a little on the high side for my 1st unit . . . not too high, but a little. I’ll get a couple more bids this time and see what we can do about knocking the price a little further down.

Updated info on our return rates:

we got actually 42 returned for a 2.33% return tate and closer to a 6%+ “response” rate . . . people who either returned or mentioned the card as reminding them to order.

Nick, can you tell us about your demographics? I guess my biggest question is who are your direct pizza competitors?

You did get newspaper coverage, right? :slight_smile:

Newspaper coverage pending our “Grand Opening” celebration in July.

Grantville, Georgia 30220 Coweta County

2005 Estimated population per census bureau: 2,550
Approximate total addresses within city: 1,100
Total number of restaurants in town: 2 (me and a mexican place)
Other pizza competitors: 1 Hunt Bros Pizza in a C-Store
Closest Pizza Delco: 9 miles (mediocre on best days)
Apartment complexes: zero
Colleges: zero
Commercial/Office Parks: zero
Empoloyers of 10+ people: zero
Military installations: zero
Strip Malls: zero
Grocery Stores: zero
Banks: zero
Liquor Stores: 3

Other info I am glad to provide if wanted. The census and DemographicsGuru data are not in sync and not entirely reliable. We are a former mill ton creeping out of a 20 year depression and getting to see daylight in the next couple three years.

With all the zeros and 3 liquor stores for every 330 odd houses no wonder you only going to see daylight in the next couple of years. :stuck_out_tongue:

Dave

Remembering that my target is also a small town, I gotta ask. Do your delivery drivers get stuck in the mud when it rains? :slight_smile:

Yeah Nick, how close ARE you to Hazzard County?

Funny you should ask . . . Only on some customers on Grandma Branch and BoBo Banks roads.

Don’t laugh too hard, now. We don’t have a sherriff depot within 20 miles . . . and My wife’s sister dated the blonde guy Duke for a few months back in high school :smiley:

:shock:

Hey Nick, your place isn’t called the Boar’s Nest is it ?? :lol:

No, but Goober here says, “Hey!”

hey nick my kinda place sounds like are neck of the woods we only have two stoplights in our county closest wal mart 22 miles use to be 35 miles closest pizza hut 25 miles a mess of hunt bros no comp though couple of sorry restaurants we are up on top of a mountain and we love it would like to take a ride down and see you sometime we get down to atlanta now and then. you dont look that far away.

rick whiting the pizza barn

We are about 45 minutes south of the Airport in I-85. We’d love to see you any time you are in the area . . . for dinner. Only open nights when everyone is back in town from their jobs and shopping.

Hopefully I’ll have the dining romm completed by the time you make it down, and we can sit for a pizza or something :slight_smile: Going to strip the floors as soon as I send this post.

hey we will be in atlanta on this sunday pickin some stuff up what time you open nick we will try to get by. and see your new diggs!!!

Errrr. We op-en Tues thru Sat . . . but would be glad to show the place if we are in town. I’ll post back about in town or not.