Hi Tom,
My name is Rick Sallade and I am in the process of purchasing a Fox’s Pizza Den franchise. It is an existing location at a fair price. Business is terrible. Avg $8000.00 Mtly. My question is do you think I should purchase now or wait until after the first of the year? 1. Why pay an accountant for 1 month. 2. How do you feel about even opening a pizza shop with the economy the way it is? Where would you recommend I get marketing ideas.

I have the ability to postpone the purchase and learn more of the marketing to help assure success. The location is loosing approximately $10,000.00 per month currently. Only paying $10K for all equipment. Can it be restored? First owners used to do $36000.00 per month until drugs got involved. Scared that it might have an incruible reputation.

Any thoughts and insights would be greatly appreciated.


Any help I might give you would be based on pure speculation, someting you cannot well afford at this time. There are others, such as Mike Rasmussen who can give you much better guidence than I can. As for lifting the shadowcast on the store by previous owners, that should not be too difficult, and since Foxes Den gives you so much latitude to do your own thing, turning the business around should be easily within your capabilities. Please let us know when/if you opt to purchase and I’m sure many of us here at the Think Tank wil be glad to help you out.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

ou’ve told us some of the thing sbaout the problem with the shop but littl ebaout your own experience. I’m reading between the lines here but is this going to be your first shop??

If it is then you really need to have a good solid grounding in the basics. If you do buy a failing shop AND keep the name you have to have rock solid basics going on in the shop. Good marketing (to get people to try you again), good quality and consistent products and excellent service (to stand a chance of them trying you again). If its a failing store and people do try you agin only to find problems they are very very unlikely to goive you their customer again.

If you don’t have experience I really suggest you go get a job in a good Pizza store for 6-12 months to learn the basics if you do then tell us more.

Hi Rick

As always I caution. As a new operator you will have to bring everything up to the latest building codes and health department regulations.

Don’t let anyone give you the line that because this was a pizza shop something will be grand fathered in.

Not so.

To get an occupancy permit you, as a new owner, will have to bring everything up to the very latest codes.

There have been many changes in the codes during the last few years. You best get the building inspector, the fire marshal and the health department in to check everything out so you know what you will have to up grade to open a new business.

George Mills

This happened to us. We thought it would be a smooth transition…well 3 weeks and $10,000 later we finaly got our Certificate of Occupancy.

As for getting over the previous reputation…it will take time! We bought our place when it had a drug reputation when we bought it and it took all of 2 years for the community to come around. Can you last 2 years on VERY little income and sales.

Hi 15 th street:

Thank you for confirming my statement;

I have been equipping pizza shops for many years and again and again buyers have come to us, after purchasing a going shop, with a long list of improvements required to get an occupancy permit. Many were led to believe that various things would be grand fathered in, many others just thought because they were buying a going business that everything was up to snuff.

George Mills

My pos sales guy told me about another guy that bought an existing place and thought it would be a piece of cake. Since then (8 months later!), he had to repave his parking lot, redo all of his exhaust hoods, and even crazier had to have a special custom drain pipe that came out of his waste receptacle into a nearby sewage so when it rains it doesnt fill up and/or leak nasty stinky water.