How much did it cost to open your pizzeria?

Very curious to know how much money it cost for you guys or gals to get your pizzeria opened(current one or in the past)? ANY other info is appreciated as well-ie; size, seats, delivery, carry out only, eat-in, type of pizza sold, square feet, etc. Also did you do most of the work yourself or did you strickly hire contractors/trades?

Thank You,


Moved from 530sq ft to 1,500. Take out/delivery only. Did 85% of the reno myself. Replaced ovens with quality used. Spent $65,000.
Setting up second location. Landlord doing vast majority of the leasehold improvements. 1,500 sq ft. Spending $100,000 .
I’m sure that if I spent a lot of time scouring used ad’s and attending auctions etc I could have done it for a LOT less. However, being an absentee owner I do not need equipment grief so chose to buy new or close to new equipment.
$16,000 on POS in each location. More than pays for itself.

Purchased a full store of equipment in place from a failed PJ’s, had to add a few items like POS, freezers, dough trays, mixer, sign, small wares etc. Opening marketing budget etc etc. All-in cost for a high capacity delco was about 110K 13 years ago next month. (Best I can remember).

Would have made some money from year one if I ran it myself. Since I was paying a manager it took a bit longer.

Jason I will share one thing that is in almolst a 100% agreement around here…and that is a very unusual thing to find. As Boatnut said… it is not an inexpensive item but you need to have a good and fully operational POS from day one! The people with them from the begining seem to be much better off in forcasting their opertion and those that add a POS later kick themselves for the money lost. So when budgeting make sure to include one.

In my 6th year. Spent about $80K opening, and lost another $150K before I started making it back.

Different owners bring different skill sets to their businesses that in turn provide better values. IE, having a great deal of computer experience, I set up and maintain 365/24/7 support for my POS that cost about $2500, all told. Average that by 6 years and I’ve had a good ROI.

As Boatnut mentioned, having renovation skills helps a lot with initial costs. Other owners have excellent skills in equipment repair.

Depending on the location, you should have access to capital to bridge the development of your business until you learn how to make a profit. In my experience, learning how to make a profit is the most difficult and expensive task.

I have learned that a POS system is neccesary. I’ve been working in restaurants now for 13 years and have never seen a place without one. What does DELCO mean? I would be doing most of the renovation myself as Boatnut did, so that will hopefully bring some costs down. I really appreciate your responses.


Delco is pizza speak for a delivery/carry-out operation.

All education is expensive… one way or another!

I’ve been told by all the experts here that it costs $300,000 for a small sit down restaurant. I’m only half way there. :frowning: I may have to borrow some money.

Bodegahwy-Thank you sir.

Freddy-That’s alot of money. You’ll get there! I know there was a guy on here that started his place for alot less than that. But I guess it all depends on what you want to do.


Jason… there are many price points and that $200-300K number is a good ballpark. Yes you might fall into a fully equiped local that is turn-key and will take $20k to clean up and open or you might find that perfect location that is brand new and has nothing in place. First, where are you looking to open at and what type of operation are you planning. It really does not matter what other people spent but what you are wanting to do. This business can go in all directions and as with all startups…the more you have in reserves the safer and better chance you will have to succeed.

There is a huge difference between opening from scratch in a space that has never been a restaurant let along a pizza store and walking into a purpose built location.

My location was a PJ’s so pretty much spot on our business model except for the fact that we make dough and sauce etc so needed some additional equipment. My understanding is that PJ’s spent 300K opening it to begin with.

$100,000.00 Invested, I paid 1 year up front on my lease to my landlord in exchange for buildout and other things. Be very cautious, I wish that I had $200,000

I purchased the equipment from the owner i worked for 15 years for $16,000. About another 10,000 for cleanup, repairs, deposits, inventory. Took me about 3 months to get back to breakeven and in the last 3 months I am starting to take a small salary. I work 20 hours a week there and still have my full time gig. The best part is it cost me nothing out of pocket. Loans from parents. 1400 sq ft

Thanks everyone for your posts and info. I was only curious as to what types of situations everyone had and how much those different situations cost at the end. I was hoping someone had a similar situation to my own. That’s why I didn’t post a vague question like "Can I open a pizzeria for $70,000?. Or something like that. I know that it’s almost impossible to answer a question like that.



I typed out a whole long post that was very detailed and good but it just disappeared, lol.
Here is the short version:
I took over an existing failing store before for $30k down and $20k in payments, put in another $25k and was good to go. so $75k total, only $55k up front. That was in 2008. Only had 3 years left on the lease at the time and was promised a renewal which didnt happen.

My new project is converting a closed down insurance agency into a delco. 1200 sq/ft unit in a 5 unit mixed use building with a killer set up. Cost around $200k, but i got great deals on a lot of the work and equipment because of relationships i had already established - it should have come in around $300k. This includes required updates to the rest of the building that are related to the pizza shop. I only spent this much because I own the building now and dont have to worry about the lease ever again.

Regardless of how much money you spend of plan on spending always make sure its protected! Never make the same mistake I did with a short lease. If you plan on investing big money (or any money at all really) make sure you have a really nice long lease or own the building.

I renovated a Karate studio in a newer strip mall. We seat 135 with a full bar (28 stools) and a patio. I was very frugal especially in shopping for equipment. We spent about $180,000 plus about $30,000 in TI dollars.

In my opinion creativity is key. If you’re looking to turnkey the cheapest restaurant, you’re going to get a cheap looking restaurant. If you spend some of your sweat equity, you can get a finished product that looks way better than what you spent.

Good luck!

We opened our first location 12 years ago, a delco in a former Dominos. They left behind a working vent hood and 8X10 walk-in. Little caesars had just closed a bunch of stores and we got a whole store package minus ovens for $3500. We got a stack of lincoln 1000’s for $7000. We used DOOR sheets for the first year and a half. Our first POS was from (an excellent, stable, inexpensive way to start) 3 years ago we got point of success. Our second location we also opened on the cheap with mostly auction equipment (this stack of lincoln 1000s was just $500), again moving in a location that already had a vent hood. We did buy a new walk-in and started with point of success.
It is certainly possible to be successful starting on the cheap but be aware that there are pitfalls. Opening where a pizza place was before you may be unfairly judged by the previous place. Cheap rent may not be worth a bad location. I’ve heard “there’s no such thing as too high rent, just too low sales” in other words it may be worthwhile to have a better location as you wil probably start with better sales and easily offset the higher rent.

good luck,