My husband and I opened up our first pizza place in October of 2006. We had a great grand opening, but since then our sales have slowly declined.
I won’t take up too much time explaining all the drama, but here is a short version of it:
My husband and I bought this pizza place with the BELIEF of everything the original owner said. We BELIEVED he made as much as he said, we were NAIVE, never asked to see tax returns or previous check copies from school accounts. He sold us on his word and our partner told us not to buy it until we saw prrof it was making as much as he said. We said “no, we really believe this guy and want to jump on this opportunity before someone else does”…stupi, I know.
We bought the place with the agreement of continuing to do school lunches. We do lunches for schools. The previous owner sold the pizza for next to nothing and we have to honor the contracts and keep the prices the same. We are busting our butts and not really making much off of the schools.
Our take out and delivery is not doing too well either. Sometimes we barely break $200 a day! Average on the weekends is MAYBE $500 a day.
My husband had to stop being at the pizza place due to circumstances beyond our control and during that time is when our sales really slowed. Our employees aren’t the most reliable so we think that during that time, we lost some of our customer base.
My husband is now back at the pizza place open to close. We are advertising like crazy, focusing solely on take out and delivery while the schools are on summer break.
It seems like we only do really well on the day we send out flyers, but at that, it costs a lot of money to have the flyers sent out.
Our pizza is good, we have the same exact recipe as our partner who owns eight other pizza places, all with a great client base. OUr place however, is struggling. I can’t be there full time because I am working a full time job myself to make ends meet while the pizza place picks up.
We are really overwhelmed. I try to keep up on the accounting part of it all, but with working a full time job and 2 babies at home, I barely have time to think let alone organize our pizza place finances. We don’t have the money to hire an accountant either. Our partner is a silent partner and that was the initial agreement so we can’t count on him to be there either.
The place is for sale. We have to keep the school accounts in order to find a buyer who will purchase it for at least what we bought it for. Until then, we are struggling, trying to make it work. Once we sell, we are going to purchase one of our partner’s places, but until then, we are stuck.
So where do we go from here? Anyone else in a similar predicament? This pizza place is all we have. We have to make it work. Any suggestions, words of advice?