How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same street?

Hi there

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a struggling pizza shop owner in the UK.

Recently another pizza shop opened up from us just 2 doors away making a total of 5 in less than half a mile, all on the same street. We are really struggling.

I would value any tips or suggestions you could give to help us compete with them and stand out from the crowd. We really need your help. :frowning:

Thank you so much.


Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

It is hard to generalise without knowing too much about your demographics etc but to simplify it I would be looking at the following.

Quality, presentation, marketing, service and point of difference.

Make the best pizza you can, not necessarily the best price in town. Give your customers a taste experience that will bring them back time after time, and advertise the hell out of it how good you are.

Ensure your service levels are one that make customers feel they are the most important thing about your business. Train your staff to be friendly, efficient, informative and well presented but most importantly to your effective in what they do.

Look at your competitors and see what they do well and better it. Look at their offer and see what they don’t do and see if there is an opportunity to add new lines or products that value add to your offer, something that customers will want to buy and then push these hard.

Step back and take a critical look at your own operation through the eyes of a customer and ask yourself (and answer honestly and without bias) “would I shop here, and if not why?”

It is not easy fighting against mulitple competitors but in the end of the day it becomes survival of the fittest - “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. You are not alone feeling the pinch as all of you are fighting for the same dollar (or pound in your economy) so make it as hard for them and maybe they will capitulate and then there will only 4 or 3 of you left fighting for survival.

You will probably get a lot of different answers from others here but in the end of the day it is what you do which will decide your future. Take out what you can and what will work for you and drive it hard even when it may seem no light at the end of the tunnel. What works for one won’t necessarily work for all but there will be something that will click.

If you are not getting the customers in have you ever got out and asked people up the street why they go elsewhere, or why they have purchased a pizza where they just have.

It’s knowing your competition and knowing yourself that will give you the answers.

Now I will go out and do this myself. :?


Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre


Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre


Thank you so much for your detailed and comprehensive post. It has certainly given me food for thought (no pun intended LOL).

We are trying to be objective about why somebody may not decide to come to us and go to our competitors.

I honestly don’t think that it is anything that we are doing wrong as we are very friendly to our customers and provide good pizza. I also don’t think that our competitors are doing anything better than us…there are just too many pizza places for such a small area.

We counted up that within a 3 mile radius we could visit 37 pizza places. Most of these are independent but it also includes Dominos and Papa Johns. Just outside of this catchment area are 2 pizza huts at our local shopping centre.

We need to do some effective PR work and try to generate extra business. Once the customer comes through the door we will do all we can to keep them as customers.

Thanks again


Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

As you’re taking a look at your business, and those near you, don’t look for things you are doing wrong, per se. You’re looking for aspects of the business that you can be better than your competition. Pizza is a very versatile product, and there are many points of differentiation.

What type of crust do you and everyone else have? Can you make yours more flavorful? fresher? crisper? chewier? thicker? thinner?

Whats ovens does everyone use? Can you say your pizza is cooked in a brick oven, and everyone is not? or the reverse?

What about toppings? Are you using fresh toppings, and others are using frozen? Are your toppings unique? Are you using local ingredients?

What about specialty pizzas? Do you have any unique combinations that everyone doesn’t have? Should you develop some?

More detailed info on all these aspects are available on this message board by doing a search, or in past issues of PMQ.

Remember, you are not in retail! You are not stuck selling the exact same product as your competitors. The advantage you have as an independent operator is you can change anything tomorrow!

good luck!

Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

Thank you so much for such a great reply. It has really helped us to look very closely at our busines and how to improve it.

Since finding this forum I have been able to do lots of research as you suggested and it contains a wealth of information which is proving very helpful.

I’ll keep you informed how we get on.

We just need to get people through the door in order to benefit from any changes we make…that is the challenge.

It’s going to be an uphill struggle but we have got our sleeves rolled up ready for action.

Thanks again to you and everybody who has responded. It means a lot.

Best wishes


Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

Hi Billsams;

Its strange but we have had buyers come to us planing to open a pizza shop in an area like yours that is saturated with existing shops. When we asked why do you want to locate there? They have replied " it must be a great area for pizza look at all the pizza shops there".
George Mills

Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

Hi George

Thanks for the comment.

There is definitely a flip side to every argument, however, in reality, there are only so many customers to go round and our area population is not particularly huge.


Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

Hi Bill:

Actually You are absolutely correct: I should have noted that the reason given to us is probably the worst case of a demographics study.

My Grandfather was an ardent fisherman, he would never reveal his best fishing spots because when the word was out the spot was quickly over fished and catches became to small to bother.

George Mills

Re: How can I compete with 5 other pizza places on same stre

As people have mentioned before find points to be different or areas you can do things better. On the getting people into your doors what type of marketing have you done, have you reached out to your community in some way (through local organizations, community events, schools, chamber of commerce, etc?). Marketing and advertising doesn’t have to be huge tv and radio ads but it does need to be proactive. Don’t miss opportunities that are low cost and/or free. Try to find out if there is an under served niche and fill it to help get people in. Get your pizza into the hands of the community and give them an opportunity to taste the difference.

Good luck!