Opening a New Pizza Place

I am new to the pizza world with no experience but I am a business wiz. I have a building in a small town in Mississippi and I am planning to open a pizza business. The building is about 1500 sq. What are some good resources to help get me started with everything (equipment to use, suppliers, everyday items needed, …etc) I am looking open ASAP. Money is limited.

I take my comment back. Sorry, use the search function. Ton of great info here

Being a business whiz, you’ve already written your business plan, right?

What are the details of that?

(BTW - “money is limited”, IMO, means “forget it” for a pizza place in this economic climate)

Yea, my favorite post again! But my birthday was last month…just when i thought the tank was getting a little boring. guess I’ll go have a free blueberry muffin and wait patiently for the post. BRING IT PEOPLE!

Aloha Think Tankers,

Yes, here we go again with this topic, and I am sure that here we go again with the slew of responses about how the uninitiated have no chance to succeed - which is, unfortunately, largely a reality.

I was thinking, though… Since this is the #1 web forum for pizza discussion, shouldn’t there be a sticky thread (or link that does an auto-search) on several topics that can help the n00bs become a little less n00bey? Obviously, there are a multitude of great threads in here, the vast majority of which would be incredibly helpful, but there are a whole lot of “I’m new to the biz” threads, and they share a common theme, and many times share very common responses from the experts on the forum. (Many of which are sarcastic right from the get-go, which doesn’t really give a newbie a true picture of how much info is really on this forum - it just looks rude… hence, many newbies don’t return here.)

Every time I read one of these threads I just count down the days that the OP will actually continue to come back here - and I can’t help but think that a lot of people go away from this site with a bad taste in their mouth from the sarcastic responses that they get from the experts in this forum.

A lot of the questions are the same, and yes, there are always new people coming here with no experience looking for the easiest way to open up a shop in 6 months with $500 in their pocket, expecting to rake in the cash. I think that rather than the experts on this board getting either frustrated and sarcastic (which will ultimately just make them look either bitter or egotistical) - we should have a couple more sticky threads that can help the new people keep their vision and passion, rather than just have their dreams shot down.

Just my $.02

  • Edit - Yes, I do know that the FAQ is essentially a compilation of greatest hits, however, I think maybe it could either be named something else, or another thread could link specifically to the “Opening a New Pizza Place” sections of the FAQ… I’m not trying to downplay the great work that has been done by the webmaster - just offering my opinion of another way to keep this the best place for pizza on the internet!

Rant complete…


Well you have to start somewhere right. Who better to ask about the pizza business than the pizzists! :smiley: I am in the process of writing the business plan now. I need any resources you know of that would be helpful on the process of making pizza, supply info and hints, anything… As far as money post, with all businesses money is limited to some degree. I want to make good pizza fast and at a low cost. I am open when it comes to equipment. I am sure in this economy, a person could find some good equipment at low cost maybe at an auction or something.

Pi you better spend a few weeks reading over all the “good, bad & ugly” this board has to offer…Every question you will ever have has already been answered…Some answers will not be what you want to hear but you need to consider them…
You will see lots before you that wanted to start a pizza business with next to no money and yet you will see none come back to update us as to how “great” their effort turned out…One can only assume most did not fare very well…You have a “tough” road ahead…Good luck…

You found the resource you are looking for, but its not a single book. its all the past issues of PMQ. I would definately set aside a some time to read past issues online.

As far as equipment, that all depends on your menu, which depends on the type of business you want to have, how much time you will personally be working in the restaurant, what your competition offers, etc.

A nice place to start is to layout your competition’s menus, and even some places that aren’t direct pizza competitors, but are close competitors for your customers dining $. Then, see where you fit it in. (Remember, just planning to beat everyone on price is not a solid business plan).

Happy Belated Birthday Napoli…and boring??? Jeez.

As for PI, I would suggest you go get a job for 6 months at any pizza place doing any position. Heck take the extra income and put it aside for this new biz…you are gonna need it.

There is a wealth of info here but no way to bundle it up and tie it with a pretty bow. Ask away but that may be a bit hard to do if you haven’t ever worked in a pizza place. I certainly would NEVER consider opening up a auto repair shop just on a whim and I am a wiz of a business owner :slight_smile:


Get a job with a pizza place, see what it’s like. Get some training, AIB’s pizza course (or other similar training) would be a great start. Find someone who can parnter or work for you that has experience in running a business in the industry and listen to them. Amazon has a few good books about pizza/food industry businesses. After you do all of that evaluate your business plan and demographics research and see if you still have the heart for it and if the business in your area can be profitable.


Mr Kona,
I agree with you about having a sticky on this board named “read here first before you tell everyone you want to open a pizza place”. I also think a lot of us seem cocky, sarcastic, and sometimes rude. One thing you have to realize, Most of the regulars on here. Sleep, Eat, and $hit our business’. Without ever meeting eachother the regulars know who the regulars are. If you spend a couple months checking up on the threads on here you will see this question over and over. Some people more serious then others. Some just excited. Some just downright out of their element.

If most of these people who post that question took a half hour to read through, They would know, Rockstar really has a marketing thing going and hes good. Theyd know bodega has a resort type location and works on but not in his business. He’d know that Nick would put ANYTHING on pizza, he’d also know that Roy is kind to everyone and George Mills could build a place with a blindfold on. What These people don’t know is we love what we do, it’s not entirely about the money. (not entirely).

So on behalf of the whole think tank. We Apologize if we come across rude but seriously, Owning a building is far from owning a pizza place.

PS. If you found this forum by chance. You don’t belong in a pizza place. PMQ is known by employees, distributors, and anyone else associated with this business. If you don’t know what it is you most likely haven’t been in a pizza place long enough.
Rant Complete…


I’m speechless.

And even though I didn’t reply to the endless thread of the newlywed… mostly because I never have enough time…

all I can say is, “word.”



First, I WON’T put anything on a pizza, I just love the idea of putting anything on a pizza because iot represents endless possibilities and potentials to satisfy and amaze an endless number of people . . . .it is the Tao of the food world (how’s that, WA Dave?) :slight_smile:

To the point, your statement of wanting to “make good pizza fast and at low cost” really does cut right to the heart of the connundrum. Good Pizza and Low cost" are often competing elements in the pizza world, and are actually more opposing concepts needing balance. Tll us who you want to be when you are making pizzas and we can help give more meaningful answers. Search the database (top right of the pane) for key words and you’ll see lots of us talk on lots of topics. We are as a group willful, confident (sometimes overly so), opinionated, rude, occasionally insightful, rarely brilliant, passionate about our industry, playful, wise, we are polite, we are @sses, some of us are fat and bald. We are all “pizza people” who have slugged it out in the marketplace. we all bring our good and bad to the game. If you hang around and spend enough effort to match what you are asking us to give, then you will get support, guidance, confrontation, information, opinion, rants and occasional praise.

Once you decide where you want to position yourself in the marketplace and what sort of product you intend to develop, then there are answers we can give and directions we can suggest you look. As you know, Customer impression, branding and price point are all interconnected. Many of us consider “good pizza” to contain expertly developed and managed dough, high quality tomatoes, and flavorful whole milk cheeses made by reputable suppliers. Then we seek out the best toppings and ingredients we can afford. Essentially, you can mitigate and manage the costs in all this . . . find best price and balancing it all . . . . but “low cost” doesn’t enter into it. How much your customers are willing to pony up for a pie will dictate in large part how much you can invest in the goods to make the product.

You planning a delco, delivery only, dine-in, combination of all? What’s the marketplace look like? That business plan really should give you the direction you want to go. Find out the demographics of the market ou plan to serve and lok at who is currently serving them. You will get a feel for where you can enter and make profitable action.

It is my considered belief that today, in this particular economy, it is too difficult to enter the marketplace with economy, production, low-cost pizza products to compete against PJ, PH, LC and Dom. The expense to survive will be far more than positioning in a higher price point and market position than the “price guys”. they are successful, and do not play well with others.

great post Nick.

I assume the bald and fat comment was about me. I’m trying to lose weight, but the D_MN blueberry muffins!

I think the greatest message we keep forgetting to convey is… Our hearts break everytime someone posts that they have to close their restaurant, and we hate to see anyone suffer needless financial losses. Especially if its because they were unprepared for the financial, work and life commitment this industry demands to succeed.

I am sure quite a few of the regular here might fit the “fat and bald” description…lol…

Start a new club - the TT Fat & Bald.
I’m in.


The F&B pizzeria has a nice ring.

I really think Nick aimed that one at me. I at one time had the signature line Old, Fat, Bald, and Grumpy—I should live with Snow White

To the OP

I know one thing for sure, a good business plan is a must. I did my business plan just after finishing a Business Admin diploma at the local community college. I took it to several of my instructors to “grade” and they told me there was not enough detail so do it over. This happened about 4 times before I finally got it right. I then took the plan to my lender and was told it was the best he had seen.

The business plan I wrote contained, every detail I could dig up on the local pizza industry, the population demographic, a map showing population density compared to pizza store locations and much more.

After I opened my store I found the plan was not good enough and required modifications. I have come to realize that a business plan by nature is a dynamic document that requires periodic adjustments.

If you have the fortitude to wade through the harsh reality that the members of Think Tank dish out, you will find this to be the best resource available. There are times you may feel attacked, but believe me for the most part what is dished out is sound advice and not ment to be hurtful.

Daddio you have a really good point I would like to expand on just a little here. The business plan. I have been involved in many business ventures, some good and some bad. The best advice I think a new entry into any industry needs is to be is FLEXIBLE. I think the business world should rename the “business plan” as the “business template.” The starting point and ending points are always going to be the same. Point A and point Z. The problem comes with points B thru Y. If you are not flexible and can not adjust on the fly you will not make it in most business ventures. Personally, the couple of failures I have been involved with can all be traced back to partners or employees that are so set on “their” way of doing something or should I say their “perceived” way that they believe is the correct and only way. That is the killer right there. You have to write the plan with the best information at hand and of course point Z will be a successful business on paper…but make sure you also have the modified business plan always at work in your head. You never know when you hit the middle of the plan and you will need to detour for a while before getting back on track. You also do not know when that detour will pay off better anyway. One last thing…do not be afraid to ask for help if things get tough. There are many people in the business world that are there to help you. The SBA has some great mentoring programs set up just to assist new and struggling businesses. Good luck. 8)