Growing a new Pizza Shop in a High end mall

I live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I recently (2.5 months ago) opened a Pizza Fast food with no seating currently in a high end mall in a reasonably wealthy area.
It has been a rough journey so far to start a new business.
I am in the food court of the mall next to a movie theatre and also do free deliveries in the surrounding neighbourhood which is densely populated with residential property(High income).

Website for the Pizza Business

Are there any tips you can give to drive sales?

What advise can you give on the road ahead?

I am working 24/7 to offer a top class product and excellent service every single time. Based on this what is an good time period to evaluate where the business is heading? I have only done 3 month ends and all turnover’s and benchmark sales for the day have been similar.

I am also growing a loyal and regular cliental.

Please advise:)
Need help A.S.A.P


Sampling is your greatest weapon. During any lean times, cut a pizza into little squares and get out into the mall and offer samples. Give menus to those that taste your product and be sure to talk up your delivery service and point out where you go and that it’s free.

Thank you for the tips!!!

There is also a popular night club in the mall that pumps on a Thursday night. It’s student night. Going to try something different tomorrow night… Running a student special between 9pm and 2am, ’ Buy one pizza and get another for the same price or less at HALF PRICE!!!’. Cross fingers and lets hope it takes off:)

Hey Boss, First congrats on the new venture…best of luck. I had a thought…not knowing what type of mall you are in…but what about meal discounts for mall employees? My wife is a store manager for a mall company and the “smart” vendors have all come around and most offer 10-20% off to mall employees while working. The nice thing is that mall lunch and dinner hours for workers is not customer lunch and dinner time. So even though you are discounting they tend to buy before and after your rush hours. A couple offer free delivery to mall locations when ordered as a group or multiple person order. Just some thoughts. :idea:

Can you explain to us how your break even point is 120k a month ???

Hey Joker…he is talking is SA Rand…so that is about 8 Rand per $1 US. So not as bad as it first seems.

Yeah, South African Rand. So about R8.00 to the dollar.

Boss you said no seating…is there mall space where people can eat your pizzas and sit? You mentioned you are next to the movie theatre. What about a dinner or “date” package. Include a pizza for two, drinks, and movie passes for $XX? See if the theatre would work with you on a discount…I know this is a hard thing in the US with movies, they dont play nice… but even if they dont…you can package the movie passes at cost and bundle your product around it. :idea:

Keep it coming! I’m reading:) Every bit helps. New business = I will do anything to make it work (Quite simply). There is room for 30 squares seating that can be done which is slightly separated from the shop. Comes with being in a mall… Problem is I am not going to do the seating immediatly… Woke up quite quickly what I got myself into this with regards to overheads…rent(Especially)… salaries … etc… etc… So I need to hang onto everything I have to keep the shop running for at least 6 months +… When things stabalise I will put down the seating a.s.a.p. Will also apply for a liquor license (Need 30 squares seating minimum to apply for it) Supprisingly the business is growing and customers are returning in numbers due to products quality and service, and are happy with just taking away in a mall. We do however have two four seaters just infront of the shop which customers are happy to use for now, but as you can imagine it does’t work cause they get full quick. People even walk into the mall (We are near an easy access entrance) to fetch as a walk in for take away.

Any1 out there able to give an idea as to the time period it takes to see a significant difference in sales? Provided that we are growing regulars rapidly

Boss…I was a General Manager at Sbarros and Villa Pizza which are mall based restaurants. The “how long to make a profit” depends on all kinds of factors. With new stores in the mall, there’s an increased amount of traffic at first, and then it tapers down sometimes. Not all the time does it happen, but it does happen. Like someone said above, sampling is huge. Get the taste of your product in their mouth and even offer a coupon that has a discount on it. Sbarros has a 50 cent coupon the hand out with the samples. Also, the mall employees are people who are always there. Feature one retailer a week or even a day for the smaller ones where they get the 10-20% off like what Mike was talking about. The mall employees will always be there where the customers come and go. Offer delivery to the retailers as well. Some of the smaller retailers can’t always get away for lunch or dinner. Have a whole pie special each week to start out. I was selling as many as 200 whole pizzas a day which is a ton in the mall. You could do a one topping special.
If you have any specific questions pertaining to the mall environment, hit me up. I’d be happy to help.

Keep it coming!!!
Insight into:

  1. General difficulties experianced when growing a new Pizza Business?
  2. Difficulties growing a pizza business in a mall?
  3. Is seating vital? or will I be able to contunue growing like I have without and introduce more seating later?

I understand holding on to your cash instead of paying for the seating area, but what if having the seating area brought a bigger cashflow quicker.

If you’re near the entrance/exit surely people walking past your seated customers with your food would be great promo, shoppers leaving the mall with all their baggage may be swayed to sit down and eat, you can get your banners, posters flyers in a larger area as well.

How much could it cost to get some bistro tables and chairs, or some cheaper tables(table clothes hide all sorts of bad tables)?

I think you need the seating sooner than later. Most people will shop then eat and with any bags they need a place to sit and drop them. I am not going to juggle a slice in one hand, a drink in the other, and my bags on the ground! Too much work. Add the seats!

Wait, this food court you are in offers no shared seating area?

The food court is not you typical circular food court. Its a wide long passage. Most shops seating area is in their shops. The landlord offered me an excellent spot, its not in my shop its kinda under the escalator which is sort of in the middle of the walkway if I can explain it like that. If I brand it correctly you will be able to see people the branding, flooring and people eating right from the time you set foot into the mall. Great spot visually. Will see what I can do, I agree it is vital. Just under soo much pressure right now you won’t believe! Wouldn’t hav it any other way though:)

I ordered tables and chairs… Stress!!! Let’s do this!!! All in!! It’s definately not working without seating. Found a supplier that can do me dark supawood tables for next to nothing and using second hand canteen chairs which are still in geat condition. Will be ready and up for next weekend. Cross fingers…

Very nice, that will definitely help with sales. Until then, make sure you have the samples out and that your staff is saying “hi” and offering those samples. Thats what the mall based pizza places do here and swear by it.

Time to open new credit accounts and exploit more suppliers for cash flow… You have to do what you have to do… If you do it I guess do it properly and go all the way… Mall was so busy today and am loosing big time with regards to seating area. Will lets you’s know how the new seating area pans out

Wondering how it’s all going, was the seating a success?