Is now a good time to open a store? market opinions wanted

It has been a while since I have posted, however my pizzeria project has all the pieces coming together, money, location, etc. However the current market scares the heck out of me, high gas, flour and cheese prices, recession etc.

How is the current market for everyone, down, flat, up? What is your opinion of opening a new place with our current market.

Details - Small town in the NW (Poulsbo, WA) about 7,800 in city residents with about 30,000 total including the unincorporated county area. We have 5 total pizza places, Domino’s, Papa Murphy’s, Central Market (local grocery store) and two indy’s, Westside and Seabeck. None of these places has a dine-in presence, all del/co. We want to capitalize on the dine-in experience as the “hometown pizzeria” (no delivery to start) offering pizza, fresh made gourmet salads, desserts, appertizers, the best local micro beers on tap, wine etc. The location I have located in on one of the busiest hwy in town and a large parking lot we could use for outside patio seating, about 2000 sf total space.

I would like to hear everyone opinions and thoughts as I have valued the information on this site for some time and the collection of knowledge. Thank you.

Re: Is now a good time to open a store? market opinions want

I’d keep my powder dry for now. I don’t know about your region of the country, but restaurants in general, especially those in the “dinnertime” window are hurting.

You could make it but you’ll struggle quite a while with the competition, even if you’re better than the rest. The problem is the cash squeeze on everyone’s wallet right now. You don’t have the power to change that fact, and I’ve seen the most dramatic drop in my business in the last 3-4 months than I’ve ever experienced.

Established businesses which are efficiently operated will survive by cutting back on labor, creative marketing, and cultivating their loyal customers. To start from scratch right now would be really tough.

Just my opinion.

Re: Is now a good time to open a store? market opinions want

Thanks PC

I appreciate the feedback and really need to rethink this project. It really scares me to death hearing all the struggles with food prices, fuel etc. However the “what if” still lingers in the back of my mind.

Re: Is now a good time to open a store? market opinions want

I am a firm believer that this too shall pass.

With all the increases lately it just takes time for the economy to adjust.

People will always eat, people always find pizza to be an inexpensive choice. Even though it really is about the same as other dining out options.

I think opening a shop now has just as much chance as ever to succeed. If not greater, because you can find a great deal on real estate and equipment with others going under.

So why are they going under? The days of winging it and opening a shop are over. The days of using creative resources to open are over and those, I believe are the ones which go under. Maxing out credit cards and using home equity loans to open a shop cause finanacial ruin. IF you have the capital and the business sense to run, open and operate you have just as much chance as the rest of em.

I think the ones who will “do what it takes” to open are the ones who eventually go under. The ones who “have what it takes” are the ones who succeed.

Just my 2 cents…not borrowed.


Re: Is now a good time to open a store? market opinions want

I’ve never dealt with small markets, but there are always reasons to open and not to open. Restaurants are always among the riskiest businesses to get into in any case.

If its your first locations, I would just advise not to get into any place with a big overhead. Go smaller, rather than bigger. Its a better position to be in if you find your place is too small rather than it being to big. I made that mistake first time in the water.