Opening shop without delivery to start - good or bad?

I have been searching the post for information on ovens, POS etc and can across a couple that got me thinking.

Is is a good idea or bad idea to not have delivery to start?

Current situation, 5 pizzeria shops in town:
Central Market (local grocery store, take-n-bake or take-out only)
Papa Murphy’s
Seabeck (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Westside Pizza (dine-in, take-out, delivery)

Seabeck and Westside have space for about 15 seating each so you can see our town have been programed to take it home or have it delivered. I have been involved with youth sports for 4 years and every year for the end of the season party we take our party money to a neighboring town with a sit down pizza place.

This is my target market and niche to start, but one of the post I read talked about delivery being 40-50% of sales. Should I try to open without a delivery service to start? My business plan shows starting delivery in year 2 (12 months after opening).

My vision for this place is upscale organic/natural pizza, gourmet salads, quality beer tap selection, a few desserts, self serve soda, family casual with quality interior design but not downtown uptight feel. Place your order at the counter, take a seat and we bring your items to your table.

Thanks for all the help, I am sure I will have many more questions as this project progresses. I should have a website up soon with progress, menu preview, etc.

If you are going to offer delivery start with it, otherwise people will not think of you when they want it

that sounds like a good idea…
on the other end of the stick, get people to love your pizza and when you start delivering, you can have a new ad you can brag about…taking it to there home.
that’s what I am doing, in your market, the first option may be the better one, or some combination there of.
good luck,


You might want to look at it this way. There is a lot of risk in opening a new place. If it were me, I would want to maximize from the start. Its harder down the line to try and add things like delivery if things don’t do as well as you had planned or hoped for.

The question I have is why would you want to wait a couple years for delivery? There’s always a lot of interest and excitement when a new store opens up so take advantage of that and delivery. I think most people expect delivery from pizza.

If you are worried about drivers not having enough deliveries try limiting your delivery hours in some way. Make every effort to still make those deliveries outside your normal times. Let your customers know that with advanced notice you can delivery any time.

Even if your customers like your pizza best, there are going to be times when picking it up is just not convenient and they will order from someone else. That means that the company they are having over for pizza will be introduced to your competitors pizza, not yours.

Hmmm! Good food for thought. Some very good points for sure. I may have to reconsider. I wanted to wait so I could buy company cars and use electric no emission cars as our hook. Very envoronmental here in the NW.

I could start with delivery now and then move into the electric cars later. Anyone else have more tips on delivery, dos/don’ts pitfalls, etc.?

Electric cars don’t work so well as delivery vehcles if you plan to do alot of volume of deliveries. The range is typically too little. I’ve considered getting a couple cars set up to run on waste veggie oil. This would especially work well if you plan to do alot of volume of fried foods.

Actually electric cars consume much more resources to produce than gas cars that the economy in gas never makes up for it. Not that that really matters. After all, its just our good thoughts and intentions that really matter, right?

Maybe what you could do until you can buy the electric cars is offset the pollution your are producing delivering the pizzas by purchasing carbon credits from Al Gore. Your could advertise that your pizzas are “Carbon Neutral”.

another way to look at it is that if you start out as a delivery place, that is what you get known for, and you may never get the kind of dine-in business that you want. that is exactly the problem i ran in to. for years i have been known as a delivery place, when i built a dining room and got beer and wine…people still just got delivery and my dining room is usually empty. business is very good but it is frustrating that i can’t get people to change their habits and get some to dine-in. i think that people spend more money when they come in to eat… and as someone said above, when you start delivering later, it is another great marketing opportunity for you…good luck!

Good point, since our focus is the dine-in sector to start (no other place offers this) we should stick with this and get things rolling before tackling another aspect to the business. I suggested to my wife we should consider delivery to start and I got that “look”.

Marketing! Another good tip you can never do enough marketing and this would be a great seg-way, someting like this.

Get that great tasting Pazzo Pizza at home, Delivery now available!

Thanks for all the help, as soon as I get the website up I will post for everyone to check out for comments and suggestions etc. I am getting really excited about this project. I guess after 20 years of talking about it, its really going to happen! :smiley: