Holiday Week... Our biggest every year

This is our 15th holiday week in business. For every single one of those years the 7 day run beginning on December 26th has been the biggest 7 days of the entire year. It has never even been off by a day.

Our store is a small volume, higher-end delco. Being located in a ski resort with a good amount of summer activity we have two high seasons and two “mud seasons” One of the central business challenges of being in a market like this is the roller coaster of sales. Our sales this week will be every bit of 10-12 X our low season numbers.

I have posted about this for years. This year our trend should make this week and this month the best they have been in several years and 2013 is already the best year we have had in 6 years.

We go to piece rate work for dough prep and get that done early in the mornings as there is too much of it to do during the day. (the daily prep chart calls for 600 lbs of dough, 200 lbs of cheese and 20 gallons of sauce on hand, for us big numbers) for dinner, we have three on phones, four cooks, one “cut”, & 6 drivers. I know for some of you guys that those are not impressive numbers. The challenge for us is that we ramp up to that from much smaller numbers over a 6 week period… each year.

Not complaining… I sure like the bank balance at the end of the month… but it is exhausting. One piece of good news is that once we get through this week, the crew knows how to get it done and the rest of the winter is “easy”.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes to all for the new year!

When things are hectic with extra business I just keep telling myself that these are good problems to have. Our store have been up 10% or more year after year for the last 5 years running.

Our biggest problem is that one of the locations is now so busy that we cant bake the pizzas fast enough to handle the rushes. We run a 30 to 45 minute pick time on Friday and Sat nights as well as some afternoon rushes. My only option to increase baking production is to get the Middleby WOW 570 triple stack which will also require a new hood and put me out close to 100K. I’ve heard so much negative about these ovens from you guys and the repair dude that I’m can’t justify spending that kind of money on them. The customers seem to be content with the wait times at this point, I just don’t think they will wait longer if we continue to get busier.

We too had our busiest week ever last week, $49000. My daughters call these " first world problems"

I’ve only heard great things about the wow ovens. Crust Pizza in Australia seem to love them and they do pretty big trade. The guys at Aussie Pizza Supplies seem to love them and they seem incredibly knowledgable.

I’m going to upgrade a used ps540 to a ps636 hearth bake belt shortly.

We run two MM wide belts. Our cook time is 7 minutes so with wings, calzones, deep dish etc in addition to our basic pizza menu, we max out at about 120 pizzas per hour. During the holiday week we come pretty close to that during our peak rush for maybe 90 minutes a night. The total rush is about 4 hours.

Well… we got through the week in good style. Our second best 7 day run in the 15 years we have been open. We missed the best ever by about 8%. Door time for the week stayed under 20 minutes which is a minor miracle in the snow and the average ticket just missed hitting $40.