More rookie questions...

Hello to you All Again,

First off, I cant tell you all enough how thankful I am for your input, thoughts, and constructive criticism. With that said, I have some more questions for you all…

  1. I live in a town of approximately 30,000. My town, as I call it, is a suburb of a larger and less friendly/ close nit city of approx. 120,000. My town consists of mainly middle class families. There are 4 other pizzerias in town, but I honestly feel I will get a large amount of their business once I open, mainly because their pizza is nothing to speak of (harsh words, but honest criticism from a guy who has lived in his hometown his whole life and never like any of the pizza being served in it).

So, in a town of 30,000 and a possible outreach to an additional 120,000, what kinds of numbers do you think I can pull? Pulling from the 120,000 will be difficult because I am located on the opposite end of town from the city and not in a central location (but I am in the heart of my town of 30k) I will have a dining facility that seats 70-80. I plan on offering delivery as well.

I ran my projected costs today and figured that if I charge an average of $20 per 16" pizza, my break even point for a day of operating is 57 pizzas (roughly). If I honestly have the best pizza and atmosphere in town, and say half of the pizza eaters (from each day) in my town come to me, should I be ok? In other words, do any of you know of a percentage of population that eat pizza each day. Im sure it fluctuates, but Im just asking…

  1. Can anyone provide me with a percentage range breakdown of what my costs and overhead should be (Labor, Rent, Food, etc…)…figure my pizzas sell for an average of $20 for a 16". What should my profit margin be on a pizza?

  2. Lastly, I am looking for a really good canned sauce (no smart arse comments about a “really good” canned sauce please…hahaha) and a good mozzarella cheese…any suggestions?

By the way, today was a good day…I made my first pizzas and they were phenominal…according to the people I had try them anyways…My dough recipe came off this site and it was the best dough I have ever had. Im learning more every day…THANKS!!!

I pull my estimates from a 5 mile radius that includes about 8,000 addresses. We average 250 sales per day. Closed on Mondays, open for lunch Tues-Sat. That looks to me like a little over 3%. I also have 2,000 workers at factories within a 2 mile radius so our lunch sales are high because of that. We have one other pizza shop in our area, I know that they don’t come close to those numbers.

Sorry Rookie but I think you are assuming far too much…You think “the best pizza and atmosphere in town” will be enough?..Many successful pizza places do not sell the best pizzas or have the best atmosphere…But they offer what their clients want and that may not be the same as what operators want…


Thanks for your reallistic outlook…if I have the best pizza and atmoshpere in my town (just for the sake of this forum), what else would you recommend that I try to offer to my patrons…I am confident that my product and atmosphere will be superior and more like than that of my competition, but Id like to know what else you feel I can offer. FYI I plan on having big screen TVs, music, special events like “UFC Night”, and I am also going to have a pretty good size arcade…(The arcade is sperated from the dining room)…Any info and input is greatly appreciated.

I think you need to survey potential clients and meet their needs and wants…What I or other “Think Tankers” think may not work in your market…

And while the things you want to offer will bring some folks in it may also turn some folks off…I know of at least 1 very successful pizza place that nearly lost it all when they started to show pay per view UFC…It brought in good crowds on the night in question but turned off quite a few of their family clients…

And be consistent whatever you do.

Bottom line… hire great people. They can honestly make or break you, regardless of how great your food and atmosphere are.


If we knew the answer to your question of expected sales we’d all be rich. However, I can give you a barometer on what to expect. Of course, everything depends on:

  1. Timing
  2. Location
  3. Marketing
  4. Concept
  5. Preparedness
  6. Quality
  7. Price
  8. Variety
  9. Service
  10. Image

I could go on, but those 10 are pretty important. Anyway, here’s your barometer:

H = Households
S = Total pizza stores in your area
A = Approximate sales

[(H * $17.45) * (1 / S)] / 4.3 = A

[(10,000 * $17.45) * (1/4)] / 4.3 = A

[$174,500 * (1/4)] / 4.3 = A

$43,625 / 4.3 = A

$10,145.35 = A

Now, with these calculations done for you I am running into an obvious problem. My problem is this: How is there still a town in the U.S. with over 30,000 people and only 4 pizza places? This country is saturated with pizzerias so it’s a little hard to believe your town has only 4. If it does though, you’re in a decent situation I’d say. Good luck.


Ah, the world is just a better place with j_r0kk back…thanks for comin’ home.