New Pizza Venture in the perfect market

Hello,
I’m a newbie here and I want to thank any help in advance.

My Story in a nutshell…

I own and operate a multi- restaurant delivery service in a resort Town in Canada. Been doing it for 10 years and I do well with it and I know delivery and the market intimately. I am spoiled and run drivers on a flat rate per delivery ($2.50) with no hourly due to large orders and great tips. 65% of my total sales are from the local pizza places where 80% of those sales are to tourists. I have an opportunity to open a take-out pizza and Chinese operation with a good location with lots of foot traffic. There’s 800 sq feet of space and the idea is to create 2 distinct businesses with each a distinct brand side by side with my call center moved there as well so I can manage the whole ball of wax.

Essentially, I can turn key the venture with 300k per year in delivery sales alone from my present delivery service infrastructure. So, without further marketing this new venture could break even from the get go. Of course I will have an aggressive marketing plan for the new venture that will sling profits real quick. I have a partner who has ran successful local pizza restaurants in the past and this person will get the menus and recipes perfected and I will then manage and operate the whole show. This all sounds win-win to me and I am real close to sighing a deal but I have questions?

Pizza Style – locally there is a Dominos, a Dominos spin-off joint, a thick airy organic crust take-out place and Boston Pizza and they all deliver. There is a Pizza Hut but only for take-out in a local grocery store. Dominos are insanely busy and have the pizza segment here wrapped, in the off-season they do about 100 deliveries per night and up to 250 deliveries a night in the peak season. So, I’m going after a piece of the Dominos Pie, a large piece. I want to sell the most delicious Pizza set at competitive prices to Dominos so I can achieve a local following or local love for my Pizzas.
I’m thinking of square pan pizzas with Gourmet thin crust pizzas as well. Delicious, different and very marketable that will fill a niche I think.

Questions?

What do you think of the of square pan pizzas idea?

Does this type of Pizza do well commercially?

Should I consider a different type of Pizza for my market?

How do square slices sell? (They can be sold cheaper for the broke ski bum crowd.)

What North American pizza trends are doing the best ATM?

My town has a green thumb and the local population is health conscious, low fat pizzas might do well with a wheat dough, any comments on this style pizza in regards to sales numbers and customer feedback?

I need to handle crazy rushes, so volume is of the utmost concern, seems an electric conveyer double stack (upper stack for thin crust) oven is the ticket, how will a pan pizza do in this type of oven after I tweak the oven to its maximum? Electric because I have hood space for my woks only, limited space and the electricity is included in the lease.

General Comments and ideas?

More questions to come if that’s okay?

Many thanks and I’ll be a regular poster here now and help as much as I can. I am a graphic designer and marketing guru so feel free to pick my brain if you like for creative ideas for your Pizza biz.

My first question is you really expect to fit pizza, chinese, and a call center for a delivery service in 800 square feet? That’s gonna be one tight fit there. As far as electric ovens, in general, they are not as volume oriented as gas ovens. They tend to struggle when packed full. Most every electric pizza oven is going to be three phase. Is your building already equiped with it? If you still chose to go with electric conveyors, look at the CTX’s as opposed to the pizza pride ovens from Little Ceasers.

I can’t see the square pie being the direction 2 go…time is of the essence in the pie game & circle pie is the way 2 go…

as far as mixing concepts, go 4 it…we deliver awesome chicken tender paks, smoked ribs & whole chickens…works for me…

as far as electric ovens, I believe I’m the “expert” in the CTX arena…I have 4 decks & can match any output from a PJ’s or Domino’s…plus it is better suited to produce other items than some conveyors & it is QUITE!!!

same thoughts as Patriot Pizza, and to expand on that, when I see square pizza, I know it is not hand tossed, brings up the old Little Caesar pizza/pizza squares they have…
also, square and gourmet strikes me funny…I’d probably choose Dominos, all else being the same,
hope that helps,
Otis

When LC did square pizzas (they may still do it), it wasn’t meant to resemble hand-tossed, as it was a pan pizza. However, you can’t get over the fact that pizza dough starts off as a ball. You can’t make a square out of a circle and expect the best results possible.

We have the floor plan all set up and it will work, only need a row of desks for the call stations with 3 -4 line phones and a dispatch area for the base radio. Presently the restaurant is already set up for Chinese with 4 woks and the whole 9 yards. We are removing the sitting area (2 table for 4 and 2 tables for 2 and using that space for the pizza oven and line. We are only going to have 6 stools for dine-in.

Thanks for the oven advice, and yes the building is set up with 3 phase power. The biggest thing is that the electricty is included in the lease which will result in a nice monthly savings.

I have a sheet pizza that is rectangular. I sell a lot of it too. If you have a crowd looking to get fed, that’s the one. Dominos and the other guys don’t have it so you will have an edge where large parties are concerned. I also think 800 sq. feet is a little tight. I have 1200 and during a rush I wish I had more.

interesting, as my market is all about large orders, my delivery service right now has an average order in the winter of 76$. How about this, Round Pan med crust Pizzas (10", 12" & 14") and Gourmet Thin Crust (12" & 14") with Party Size SQare Pan Pizzas at 18" Rectangular shaped (not quite square) and market those za’s as a catering type option for groups etc… A Pizza Party to your door in less than an hour" i think this party za would give us a good comptitive edge.

So these other pizza shops that you currently deliver for did not have you sign a no compete clause? I would really have to question how ethical it would be to market your pizzas to a database that was built delivering for your soon to be competition. What about this perception to the other restaurants that you deliver for? They will see you now competing with companies that were recently clients and have to wonder if you will soon be competing in the same segment as them.

Just wanted to throw a few thoughts from a different perspective.

thanks for the questions and i have given these serious thought. I will still do the other pizza restaurants and as for the data base… people come to our resort for a good time and not a long time. there is a 10k average population here and in the winter it can triple with the tourists and seasonal workers, so essentially I’m marketing to the toursits as for the locals, well… its all about reputation. Also, so many of the restaurants I deliver for shut me down in the winter in their peak times because there are too busy to handle me. This is very fustrating specially as the Olympics approach. I lose about 25% of my calls due to restaurants who can’t service me in the peak times of the day and season. Our wait times in the winter dinner rush is anywhere from 1 to 3.5 hours as customers have no choice because the restaurants are at capacity and not acepting reservations and there is 2 hour line-up in the cold to get a seat. I need a solution to fill the demand on my service and there is no better way to do it yourself.

If I were one of your delivery clients I would drop you the day I heard of your plan. Don’t count on keeping them.

well, i’ve worked and know these people for over 10 years and i got all the pizza places except dominos. it will just be oanther restaurant in my magazine. Many have asked me why i haven’t started a pizza place yet, and the answer is that i’ve never made the time.

Just prior to opeing Daddio’s I ran a delivery service and Boston Pizza was one of my main clients. When PBI (head office) found out I was opening my own shop I was banned from their stores (even as a customer).

I think you might have trouble with the thoughts that you only need a hood for your woks. It was a requirement for me to have a hood for the ovens no matter what the heat source for the ovens.

My kitchen is 625 sq ft and I have plenty of room but I also have a 365 sq ft area for the tils and customer waiting and another 365 sq ft for storage, ofice space and bathrooms. I think you are going to be crowded at 800 sq ft.

crowded indeed but managable, I’m rethinking and might not move the call center in the space and use that sq footage for more dine-in space

crowded indeed but managable, I’m rethinking and might not move the call center in the space and use that sq footage for more dine-in space. As for BP, yeah they will have issues with the venture for sure. I’m still in the idea stage here and haven’t signed a thing yet.