Fried food is 7% of sales

My shop is pretty simple. Just to give you an Idea what I have going on. I do $6000 a week. open 4 to 9pm, 7 days a week. I manage all shifts, I make all dough and sauce myself. I have 1 Insider 4:30 to 8 monday to thur. 4 on Friday and 2 sat-sun. 2 drivers everyday 3 on friday. My store is 550 Square feet. I am very proud of it.

I use a conveyor from the cold war.(lincoln 1000 single) And it made me $5255 this week(6 days cause wheather today). Sitting near the end of the conveyor is a PFA7200 fryer. It made me $282 dollars. It makes only 5 items,

  1. 20 oz fries $4.00
  2. 11 oz tenders $8.00
  3. 7 mozz sticks $6.00
  4. 10 oz Zuc sticks $6.00
  5. Bacon cheese fries $8.00
    Thats it. I got rid of wings 1 year ago. Never to return.

The fryer has been a decent machine for 4 1/2 years. I bought it used for $1500. I have spent $1800 on various repairs over the years. I get the feeling a new big repair is around the corner.

Some thoughts

  1. The tenders total food cost is 45%.
  2. Oil has doubled in price.
  3. And for some reason, it is incredibly hard for the oventender to remember to put something in the fryer, to be timed with the pizza. They dont have to remember the pizza, because it just shows up at the end of the oven. Every 10 minutes I shout out “anything need to go in the fryer”. This causes me stress. because I make pizzas to route. and if they forget to drop the fries for the bacon cheese fries(which still need an additional 3 minutes in the oven) it has ruined my whole routing.
  4. It requies 1 hour and 30 minutes maintance a week, total time
  5. plus $250 a year in filters.
  6. you can only fry limited amouts of food

Should I keep it or sell it?

I would run it until it dies and see where things sit when that time comes. We used to oven bake everything you’re selling and I don’t miss it one bit. The food is just better with a fryer. We ran that same fryer for a year and a half… Had the extinguisher go off a few times… What a mess!

Maybe you could try oven baking while you still have it to see if you notice any difference in sales. It might make your routing of everything easier at least

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At 7% of sales and 45% food costs I am launching the deep fryer into the sun and never looking back. Just going by your numbers, at 282 in sales and 45% food cost your only pulling $155 in per week not counting any other prime costs associated with it. The filters pull another $5ish dollars out of that and then you have whatever your oil costs are. If you were to keep them I would personally crank the prices until my margins were better. I don’t do fried food but I thought one of the appeals to them was they had a low food cost? Maybe its just the current inflation of everything pushing it so high. But yeah, I am always all about getting rid of things that are kind of a headache and aren’t big money makers.

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The only reason I carry wings, is because if I don’t, then I lose pizza orders to competitors who sell both pizza and wings.

Do your competitors sell these fried items?

Are any of these items the main reason some folks purchase from you?

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I defintly agree that those Items are not very good in the oven. It would sell better if it works though, i am sure chump change to you :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:.

oven cooking also would not work cause it is already backed up on fridays.

One other thing is If I got rid of the fryer and the deep freeze beside it. I could have an open table to wrap Takeand bake. Papa murphys came to town 4 years ago and opened 3 stores
and went under in 6 months. Most people didnt understand it.
But the one that was in my area has alot of reviews missing it.

Hell Yeah, When ever it has one of its stupid malfunctions in the middle of busy shift, I fantasize about rolling it out to the parking lot with a baseball bat.

I do good with zuc and fries. If I have to get mozz at US its like 40% too. A decent tasting 10 pd box of tenders is minimum
$45.

I got 8 cans of ketcup left, after that I may get rid of it

Typically fried food is much cheaper, but the model he is using does not allow for raw foods to be fried. Everything must be partially fried before cooking it in this fryer. So then that takes the cost up on these prefried items.

Side note, I think your portions are too generous at their current costs. We sell 8oz fries for 3.49. if look into some cheaper fried items in the mean time while it works, onion rings, fried ravioli, fried mushrooms. Margins would be much better before it’s Louisville Slugger time

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I carried wings for 3 years just to get the orders, I even bought the fryer just for wings. But last january I decided to get rid of them. Sales Just whent up. I bought a 10pd box of “Wing Dings” at RD a couple months ago for the crew, not to worried about the price. When I got to my truck to check the recipt, They were $92.

There are 2 pizza shoppes that have fryers, inside my 2.5 mile radius. One of them charges $8 for 6 mozz and $4.50 for a 2 litter.

Right now I can think of some people that will be very disapointed. Especially the Veitnamise pool hall next door, they come over daily for fried dough and fries. When I took wings off the menu 1 year ago, you would have thought the moon was crashing into earth.

another thing has me worried, is I use tenders on the chicken bacon ranch. Some guy named Hunter has ordered one weekly since I opended July 2017. I use chicken breast on the Chicken bacon BBQ, which sells just as well. I hope chicken breast on the Ranch will work.

Wow $3.49 for 8oz. Thats hardcore. Maybe my prices are to low

To touch on the wings real quick. We pay about $90 but for a 15 lb box of them. They are pre roasted from sysco and we just bake them in the impinger, toss them in sauce when they come out and send them on there way. Wings are about 8% of my sales and the margins on them are god aweful but they are relatively easy and I keep them around almost exclusively to offer them to customers who order wings when they order pizza and breadsticks. Just something to consider if you did want to try delving into them again. I do think fried wings are better but I also think wings put into a takeout container steaming for 15 minutes minimum before a customer eats them taste about the same regardless if they are fried or baked. We also do both regular wings and boneless wings and my boneless wings outsell regular wings 2:1.

Looking at your comment about your competitors price it seems you are underpricing them by quite alot. Don’t feel like you have to arbitrarily stay cheap just because. If market forces allow I certainly wouldn’t try to undercut them.

Disappointing customers is the main thing I struggle with when making almost any decision regarding the pizzeria. I have gotten better about allowing the numbers to speak for themselves but like you I always think of the regulars who specifically want that one thing that I am thinking of discontinuing. And to talk about the moon crashing, we once had sweet chili as a flavor option for our wings. Over time it became less and less popular to the point where over a few months we were averaging only 7 orders per month. Well apparently every single customer who ever ordered it immediately wanted it when we discontinued it and many were very vocal about there discontent.

We use chicken breast on our chicken bacon ranch and it is very popular, my 3rd most popular specialty pizza.

Problem is, it would be tough for you to go that route where you are at this point. Maybe you can back it down to 16oz, but charge 5.99 and list it as “1LB of fries!”

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I get 40lb of jumbo wings, par cook them in the oven, IQF them and then deep fry for 7:30 to order. They cost me 60¢ wing and I sell for $1.30. I sell a 5 Chicken tenders dinner With fries for $12.

I hate the fryers, but they are 12% of sales.

Can you get a cheaper fryer? I use 4 Dean SR142’s at our busiest location. The most recent one I purchased was in 2019 for $850 brand new, looks like they’re closer to $1300 now. We do around $10-$15k in fried food per week with these, most days we only use 3 of them.

The fryer he is using is a self contained unit that does not require a hood and has its own internal ansul system.

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