Opening Food Order

If this has been covered I apologize, the “search” button seems to search words not phrases so it brings up almost every current topic.

On the opening checklist it says order inventory - how does one know how much to order? Obviously canned sauce and flour have a fairly lomg shelf life, but what about cheese and other short life foods? Is this something I should derive from my market analysis or household count?

I would hat to run out of my special cheese blend LOL

I apologize if there are other posts of yours, but this question somewhat begs the question of how much experience you have in the food business.

How far along are you on your menu? Have you tested any of it? Is it complete? After you finalize the majority of your menu, you need to prepare standardized recipe cards of each item. This will include the preparation method & portion of each item…4oz cheese, 7 pepperoni, 1 LB french fries & so on & so forth. From this worksheets you will be able to calculate your ideal food cost. Ideal in the sense that portioning is exact, there is no waste etc…etc… Then make a complete list of every ingredient required to make every item on your menu. Do all those things first & then come back to us regarding opening inventory.

Oh well thank you - that is some really good advice and it does make alot of sense. Here goes.

I have 5-10 years as an undersatisfied patron of restaurants who over promise and under deliver on product quality, consistency, and service.
I have as many years experience as an amateur cook, but with limited commercial volume experience hence all the newbie questions. I passed up on CIA when I was 19, but can’t dwell on the past.

Italian foods and pizza in particular have been a passion of mine for sometime. Since leaving NYC in 2001 I have been unable to find a local shop capable of cooking me a proper pie. It took some time, but I have developed a recipe that shames most shops in a 20 mile radius of my home. I don’t eat pizza out anymore, my family rarely eats pizza out anymore. They constantly push me to open open open. Being somewhat smarter than I used to be I knew the only way to even entertain the idea would be to go through all the motions to see if its even feasible. I find out more and more every day that it is hard work but doable. So. Where is my menu?

My menu is still under construction. I have my concept / menu outlined and I am currently in the recipe development stage. I will take your advice and write it all up, cost it out and check in again. Thanks

The reason for my question was due to my wanting a particular type of flour from my rest. supplier. They don’t stock it so they would have to look into ordering it for me and I would have to take all of it. If the minimum is a 3500 lb skid I’ll probably need to look into alternatives.

Whew that was long hope I answered your questions. Ciao

I wish you good luck, but I am going to put into words what most readers of this forum (myself included) “go to” reaction. “GO WORK IN A PIZZA SHOP”.
Get a job, any job, in a pizza delco or sit-down or something first. The planning stage is smart, but believe me untill you have worked in a shop it, your plan, will be about 90% incomplete. Unsatisfied guests who venture into the food biz lose money. They lose it hard & fast. Depending on your overhead & buil-out costs, can you afford to lose 3,4,5K per week? I know someone who had a burn rate of near 5K per week & spent 4x as much to build the shop. This is no joke when your house is on the line. Again, go work in a pizza shop. That’s better than any planning or strategizing you can do right now.

You say you can’t find a NY Pie within 20 miles of you? I’m guessing your not in NE PA then.

As to the flour, I’m guessing again…Caputo 00? What supplier are you talking to & what part of PA are you in?

one point i wanna touch on… I live NY and have my whole life… you must remeber you say noone can make a proper pie and your recipe will shame all in a 20 mile radius… whats good to you is not necassarilygood for them… they might not like NY style… i know i know who doesnt love NY pizza… lol … but seriously you dont set yourself on such a high pedastal … you might get crushed… pizza is a VERY regionl thing… whats good in one area is terrible in another…

Hi Mike

Wow you guys take everything so literally here. I learned to make NYC style because I couldn’t find a decent pie that I or my family enjoyed - I fully understand the ultra subjectivity of pizza and my menu will have something for everyone.
I am new at this - not claiming to be the pizza king. :lol: I’m here to learn from experienced operators and like many people I have far to go, but I know what I like and beleive I have a fairly good grasp of what others do.
Thanks for the insight - good luck with the new shop.

I didnt mean to be a d*ck, i’ve just had some friends go into business with the mentality that they were the best and they never conformed to what the customers wanted and thier businesses got crushed… I just wanted to be real, you def seem to have the right mind set for it judging from your last post and hell you are def in the right spot for help… some of these gys on here are great…

I don’t think your being a d*ck at all. In fact, that best thing that NEO can hear from anyone right now just what your saying.

This business is brutal. We haven’t heard back from you about getting a job in a pizza shop yet. Let us know when you do. I will personally not reply to your posts untill you do. I realize others might, but untill you get a job than your not serious. A few parting tips…

My fast time from dough ball to oven on a 16" NY Pie is 23 seconds. That is, hand slapping the dough, saucing, cheesing & getting it off the shovel & directly into the oven onto the stone. And i did that for 4 straight hours, among many other things…of course. I ran 4 Y600. That was not fast enough to keep up on a good Thursday night. I had another guy spinning, pulling & chopping and boxing pies. Another pizza maker? Took me 6 months & cost me $15 per hour. Oh yeah, make sure you don’t ever look at him the wrong way or it’s going to cost you more & HE KNOWS IT. Keep that in mind when your testing your recipes at home.

Can you afford to do this? Being that you have no experience working in a shop you are easy prey for the HVAC guys, the hood guys, the food purveyors…just about everyone. Most will take advantage of you & smell the fresh blood. So it’s going to be much more expensive with no experience.

Odds are you will lose all your cash, damage your credit & escape from your lease by handing the keys over to someone. You may be sitting on a pile of cash. That’s good. You will need all of it & then borrow some more.

Get ready to work everyday, open to close & don’t count on good employees or managers or drivers. Forget about days off unless your closed & once you start juggling your hours because your tired, overslept, burnt out, that will be the day that everyone calls for an order.

Make sure your nice & friendly to all customers in the middle of working short-handed. Always smile and say thank-you.

I am not trying to antagonize you, I am trying to save yourself from the same scenario a friend of mine just got out from under. GO GET A JOB IN A PIZZA SHOP.

Oh yeah, Don’t Do It.

I like you alot - Guest. You are honest and don’t sugar coat s%*t - you also view things from a worst case scenario. I do the same and am often called “negative” I prefer realist. One can only improve on the worst case.

I am researching the possibility of employment with pizza restaurant. I did say I have little experience not that I’m 19 without responsibilites. I’m currently a full time dad, husband, full-time employee, taking college courses part-time. I am dead serious about business, but also have some obligations to my current employer - I can’t just resign without a fair amount of time.
If the right situation presents itself - I will act.

I too have friends who barely got out of their restaurants - I also have a customer who operated his pizza shop from 5pm-11pm after work everyday till last year when he quit his full-time job to extend hours to keep up with the demand. I look forward to hearing from you in the future. And again thanks

i would get right in a shop…you will proly be able to find a shop looking for night help, learn how to make pizza, and cook and do counter and order and inventory learn anything and everything the owner is willing to teach you… and owner cant do everything at once but he must know EVERYTHING right down to his delivery area… you never know when someone will call out…

Good on you. Go get the job. BTW, that wasn’t a worst case scenario, that actually happen to a friend, who I offerred a job to so he could learn first, but instead he just hung around the shop a few hours per week & talked on his cell phone. He was 27 when he started, smart but not savvy to the bizYour 19, put in a couple of years, save some money, take some accounting & finance classes,marketing, writing, learn excel and access inside & out & then start looking. Meanwhile work at night like Mike suggests, and learn to be the guy who can dpo everything better, faster & more precise. Than start looking.