Looking to open a pizza place in Ft Collins, CO - Advice Pls

Folks -

I know I will likely come across as a bumbling idiot on this forum, but I have been reading this website from end to end and top to bottom and am AMAZED at the wealth of information found here. Here is my deal…

My wife and I own an electronics refurbishment business in Colorado Springs, CO. We have owned and operated this for years now and mainly do Microsoft xBox 360 systems, Sony PS3 and Apple iPods. We source warranty return products from Best Buy, Target, etc and refurbish it and then sell it to online merchants in wholesale volumes. We generally refurbished 600-1000 systems per month. We are burned out and the supply of warranty returtn product has dwindled. We want to move on and thought that a pizza restaurant would be a great choice. We are both hands on in terms of involvement and currently put in 40-60 hours each per week into our current business.

Here are my questions…

We have explored a Papa Murphys franchise but can not get one in Ft Collins, since one is already there. From what we have read, Nick n Willy’s is a terrible franchise to own.

If we open up an independent, would we be better off in terms of take–n-bake or a traditional baked pizza place? We feel that the Ft Collins area (with Colorado State there) would be a great place for a baked pizza store versus take-n-bake since college kids will not have ovens. There are existing pizza shops there but we really feel that we can differentiate our business based on the quality of the ingredients and taste of the pizza.

Are we barking up the wrong tree here? I did work in an Armands Chicago Pizzaria in Baltimore during college so I have some experience in this type of environment, but I need to know where and how to get started? Any advice to a complete novice would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Looking to open a pizza place in Ft Collins, CO - Advice


Ft. Collins is a wonderful place to raise a family. However, with little pizza experience, it is a tough place to beat out the competition. Dominoes, PH, Blackjack are huge in Ft. Collins. If college competition is what you want, you would need to sell $5.99 medium pizzas all day long and have 80 pies hours at 2:30 in the morning. I worked in Ft. Collins at a top pizza place and saw many independents go out of business. You can’t compete with the chains. You may have a high quality pizza, but won’t last having to sell it at $5. Within 1/2 mile of CSU, there are at least 5 pizza places. If you are wanting to go high end sit down, then your competition is Beau Jos, Old Chicago, and another pizzeria (can’t remember the name). Good luck in your adventures. It’s a tough business.

Re: Looking to open a pizza place in Ft Collins, CO - Advice

This is EXACTLY why I posted this question on this forum. Thanks so much PizzaGal!

Let me ask you a few more questions…what about take n bake? How do you think that would do? I see that Papa Murphy’s has a location in Ft Collins, and they are not allowing any more franchises in the area. The SE side of Ft Collins is booming and would seem like a natural fit. What are your thoughts on the uncooked pizza opportunity?

Again, I can not thank you enough for your comments.


Re: Looking to open a pizza place in Ft Collins, CO - Advice

I currently do both, baked and unbaked.
You can do both. You need the unbaked trays.
PM me and I will give you the phone no. to our direct distributor. Very good prices.

Re: Looking to open a pizza place in Ft Collins, CO - Advice

Sorry I don’t have any great input on take and bake. However. choosing the SE part of town would be a good option. You are away from college campus and more into the hands of families (who would mostly likely utilize the take and bake option more than the campus kids).