Help should we start serving SPAGHETTI

Over two years ago my son bought a dirty failing pizza shop. Totally remodeled the place before he opened, his name, his recipes. Been a long two years and still struggling. Has great reviews on FB, Google, and Yelp.
Lunch has been very good but evenings it’s so frustrating hardly seeing anyone walk threw the door. We do deliveries all day and evening but want to build up dinner time.

He doesn’t offer dinners/meals and I would like to know if he should try Spaghetti on a Monday night to see if people would come in for dinner. To boil the water he only has a two burner gas stove top. They make their own meat balls for subs etc and has egg plant. He’s afraid if it were to go over will strong he wouldn’t be able to keep up with two burners.

I would love to have any input, ideas, suggestions on how he could do this and what kind of container would you use, even pictures. I’ve seen some pots have dividers for different portions.

Thank you

first things that come to mind other than spaghetti dinner are chicken parm and eggplant parm both are extremely popular dishes and have excellent food costs. And, ya don’t need to use a burner to make it besides the one used to boil the pasta.

running a cheap “family pack” special on slow days, its great to feed the whole family… give em a big bowl of spaghetti a bunch of meatballs some garlic bread and your good to go, feed 4 to 6 people.

just gotta get the word out!

Put it on box toppers, tell your lunch crowd about it, get a specials board for your front, do flyer drops in the neighborhood (neighbor hood kids work for cheap!)

one thing I learned quickly is that many places fail because they think “if you build it they will come.” it doesn’t work that way anymore (for the most part.) you have to make lots of noise, in this AAD world we live in, to get noticed.

We sell spaghetti(actually I use linguine) I sell a good amount. What I do and most places around here do is this.
You boil enough pasta to get you through a few days in a big pot with salt, cook it a couple minutes less than fully done. Immedatly dump it in a colender and run cold water over it. Put it in a container and submerge it in cold water. Put it in the cooler covered.
When you get an order grab the pasta weigh it out(I use about a pound per entree)put it in a saute pan with some butter, cook it until it becomes hot than add your sauce and whatever else done deal.
Pasta is great bc:

  1. Its like the only item that you buy 1lb and get 3lbs once your done cooking it. Everything else in this indusrty your yield is always less.
  2. People dont mind paying a good price for pasta dishes. Its a great item to have!

We did essentially the same thing as December, we had a deal which included a large pot and four baskets that we would place into the cooking pot with boiling water, this reheated the pasta which we then placed into a saute pan along with the sauce, gave it a few good stirs and it was ready to plate-up. If we had something special going into the pasta like shrimp or chicken we put that into the pan to cook/reheat while the pasta was heating in the boiling water. We had a couple of different sauce options too aside from a red sauce we offered Alfredo sauce and a basil pesto sauce for the pasta. Fast, easy, little to no waste and excellent margins. It’s certainly worth a try. You can also add calzones to your dinner menu too.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

So after you heat up the pasta, sauce & extras, what do you do with the saute pan? Put it through a 3 compartment sink? Seems like you’d need a bunch of pans to turn any volume. Or do you wipe the saute pan out with a sanitizing towel and move onto the next order?

Because the sauté pan is remaining in the kitchen, under your control it can just be wiped out with a clean towel or as many do, just get it ready for the next order. Think of it like your pizza cutting board.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

If money is not coming in during evenings, Dump them and be happy with a good daytime crowd.
Stay open only during your money making hours, then he won’t watch the daytime revenues get eaten up by labor and energy costs at night.

I dumped lunches because of that scenario, We had a busy lunch, but only for 45-90 minutes, then I have a whole crew standing around and the money we did make got eaten up in operating costs until the dinner
Only 2 burners? I wouldn’t even try. I’m rocking an 8-burner stove wishing I had more to work with

Ive been serving spaghetti since day 1.
I have a my marinara sauce in a deep 1/6 pan on my flat top grill in the corner along with another 1/6 pan full of Meatballs in water, so theyre always ready to go for MB subs, chicken parm/eggplant subs.
I have only 3-12" saute pans that I use for spaghetti. Im a pizza joint that serves pasta not the other way around, the OP was asking if he should add spaghetti, im sure they already use MB’s and sausage so adding pasta, even if they throw away some in the begining isnt going to break the bank(stay away from alfredo until you move some pasta id recommened)
Pasta makes great money. Chicken pamesan gets me nearly $13 in profit And takes 5 minutes to put together.
You can just wipe the saute pans, the butter makes it come out easily. I dont do that I just have the drivers take and return thenm when used.

Thank you everyone. I’m trying to get ideas and positive feed back. He’s trying to grow the business not close in the evening.

Not to be a negative thinker… but Pizza is a far more popular menu item than spaghetti. If they are not coming in for pizza in the evening why would having spaghetti make any difference?

This sounds like a traffic problem, not a menu problem. I think I would try to build some traffic for the menu you have before I added other food items to stock and things to prep. If you can build some traffic then adding to the menu to extend that makes sense.

Why not try promoting some pizza specials… I am assuming you have things like salad and wings etc. Do you serve beer? Do you have TVs?

One large TV in smaller shop.
Don’t serve beer, honestly don’t know what’s involved with the state to have small cooler. Theres only one busy pizza shop in the evenings because they serve full meals.

Why do you believe that is the reason they are busy? Pizza is a much more popular menu item than spaghetti. Do you have salads and apps?

This is SOOO true. The spaghetti dinner thing to bring more customers in sounds great in theroy but Ive never seen it work really for anyone, to me it was just an extension of my menu.
We ran a special for a year for BOGO on wednesday nights and no one cared. I should have made that clear from my post.

Depends on the concept really. We are moving about 300 lbs of uncooked pasta a week. Do we move more pizza? Absolutely. But doing away with our pasta dishes would be foolish at this point.

Maybe he will be more successful with his pasta and eventually become an Italian restaurant instead of a pizzeria? Anything is possible I suppose.

Beer sales;
I refused to sell beer for my first 3 years, then I added bottled beer. now I have bottled & tap beer. It is an almost zero labor product with a good cost ratio. It added to our bottom line nicely with very little hassle

My approach is make a great pizza and keep things simple. The more items the more room for medicore, need for more employees, more preps, etc… I would work on creating a pizza that would knock the socks off people. We only serve pizza, calzones, one salad, canned soft drinks, garlic knots, home made chocolate chip cookies. Each item is scratch made with the best ingredients from here and Itay. People regularly comment on the quality of our products. Often we are told it is the best they have eaten and they continue to come in the door - almost too much most nights. Walter