How do I find the right town in my area to open a new pizza shop?

Hello…I’m Jeff from Mid Tennessee. I have been a pizza lover all my life. I have worked at several pizza places over the years and plan to open soon. I found this site while searching on Google for information on how to figure out the best town/city in my area to open a new pizza place. I have gathered lots of numbers, done plenty of research, and have years of experience, but want to make the most educated decision possible when it comes to finding the best location. I don’t mind (and kind of expect) having to travel to another town for my best shot at success…
ANY ADVICE on what sort of mathmatic equation I should use to figure out the best location in my area???

where in TN are you?

McMinnville, TN

I would look for the place that has the most pizza shops that seem to be doing alright. Then you have proven demand for pizza and all you have to do is not suck!

In a race with a bear, I do not have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than some other guy. Generally not to hard to do.

Interesting thought. So location isn’t as important as I might be making it out to be? Like Ken, I’m also looking at location details and competition in my market research…

I will preface this by saying I am not in the business anymore. However… there were several factors I looked for when I searched for a location. It would be great if you had a mix of each:

[]Campus stores and military stores always seem to hold their own in the sales department. The reason: younger adults always on the run and are either too lazy to cook, don’t have the facilities to cook, or simply don’t know how to cook.
]Blue collar families with a couple kids, on average, in the household. Blue collar families generally have mom and dad both working, and “Pizza Night” on payday is a cheap treat for everyone (once you establish the habit).
[]Competition - don’t expect to jump into the market with your hair on fire, trying to handle 200 pie hours from the word go. Creating marketshare is a slow and deliberate process. You can ballpark expectations by finding the total number of addresses within a 3 mile radius. Cut that number in half and that will give you the number of customers in your marketshare pool. Your big 4 (Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, and Little Ceasars) will occupy roughly 80% of this pool. The other 20% is divided amongst the second tier companies (Papa Murphy’s, Kenzeroni’s Pizza, Bucks Pizza, Sir Pizza, Gondola Pizza, Quickseller’s Pizza).
]You have roughly 13,000 addresses and 741 apartments in zip code 37110. 13,741 x 20% = approx. 2,750 customers
[*]2,750 customers / 6 pizzerias (including your upstart) = approx. 460 regular customers that you can call your customer base. These customers will order from you (safe estimate) once per month.
4. As an owner/operator, it is your job to market your business and your product in attempts to persuade residents to try your product. Marketing has to be imaginative, cost effective, and it should produce good ROI.

  1. The other factor, which is probably one of the most important: Location. You want a location with good traffic counts, but it should be easily accessible. Make sure you are illuminated at night so that you stand out from the clutter around you. Free standing locations are optimal, but some have been successful in busy strip centers.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

  • J_r0kK

A little equation that I found to be fairly accurate is that “20% of the population goes out for pizza 2 times per month”
Take that number, divide it by the number of other shops, and you may have an optimistic number to work with , I would also use 10% & 15% figures for a “poor” & “midline” basis.

Now, is the community “Budget Hunters” or do they like quality of quantity?

Thanks for the reply and insight! Just curious, why did you leave the industry? makes me wonder if i should even get in! haha…