Owning multiple pizzarias far apart from each other.

Guys I have a dilemma and I need some feedback and I don’t know who else to ask. As most may know my wife and I want to open a pizza restaurant. We are very close to having all the funds needed to do so. Our plan was to open a pizza place and after 3-5 years move to another state and open a 2nd location. This location would be 3000 miles away from our first location. We are trying to decide if this is a realistic goal or if we should not open one in this state and wait to open in the second state.

No matter what we need & want to move from Hawaii in the next 5-6 years.

Opening our first place here has many advantages.
1)We have a current business that will cover all our living expenses so the pizza place just has to “break even” at worst.
2)We know many people here and have many connections for both build out and customer base.
3)The competition here is very weak because of the difficulty of opening restaurants on the island so using what I know about pizza marketing we should dominate very quickly.
I am confident my idea/restaurant will do very well in a tourist centered environment.

My fears are not being able to sufficiently run the original Hawaii location from another state. I know there are many chain restaurants that operate all over the country and are run by competent managers with great business systems in place. I am hoping to emulate these chain restaurants.

One other con of not opening here and opening in another state is I would probably want to restart my existing business in the other state to guarantee some income flow. Opening a new restaurant with 0 additional revenue flow scares the crap out of me. This would probably put me 2 years behind on my pizza plans.

I am looking for any and all ideas, criticisms, stories and experiences running multiple “successful” restaurants that are distances apart.

Freddy you answered your own question. WAIT! You have a business now and want to leave the state. Are you planning on this business staying open after you move away? If no, then why open a pizza shop in such an expensive area and spend all of your savings to do so? You say it just has to break even…then ask why even open? If not to make money off of it. Breaking even does not matter if you invest a lot of money into it and do not get a return. How much is your exsisting business going to suffer while you open the new pizzeria? Will you make as much off of the current while building the new one? If you are leaving Hawaii…save your money and invest in your new hometown. Managing two locations is always possible and yes distance is much harder but still can be done. That said, managing two brand new high risk restaurants is much much harder. This would all be different if you had a successful operating pizzeria with a long history and profitable track record. If you want a pizzeria then open it where you can manage and build upon it and be there when the 1000 things that will come up…do!

Freddy, do you post these things so you can watch our heads explode? Perhaps you construct these scenarios to see if you can induce carpal tunnel syndrome in your readers.

If you are serious about getting in the pizza business by all means take the plunge. But if you want to own two stores, open the second store in the next town, not the next island or 3000 miles away. Most of the benefits of multiple store ownership for small operators disappear with distance.

That’s all folks.

Operating a business in Hawaii is a very tricky thing. It creates scenarios unlike most will ever encounter. There are some huge advantages to the first restaurant being here, but like I said we have to get out of here in the next 5 years or so and unlike the mainland where you could move an hour away I have to move 3000 miles away. :mrgreen:

Grab your ears and give your head a good yank. No business book, business class, or consultant ever said that, in fact, quite the opposite. I know many who tell you to never open a pizza shop in a town with no pizza shops, because you know they don’t eat pizza. Always open a shop in a town with 10 pizza shops.

Have you fixed your business model yet, or are you just trolling now?

I want to hear what the huge advantage is to opening the first shop on Maui? What are we all missing about this? High rent, high utilities, high food costs, high labor rate, high insurance rates, high build out costs, etc… Other than free sunshine most days of the year… please enlighten us with the huge advantage that you speak of? Seriously…what is it? Also, with all the talk of opening a shop on Maui…why the need to flee the islands and what is at the end of that 3000 mile trip? I mean…where are you moving too? If you say the Cayman Islands I will be bashing my head with Steve and the others! :shock:

Also, note to the distance geeks…I know it is about 6000 miles or so from HNL to GCM! :roll:

The two biggest advantages are…

  1. I own a business that will cover all my overhead (mortgage, insurance, food, gas, etc.) making it easier to be successful with the pizza place. If I don’t do it here and start one in a different state I will have no other income stream.

  2. I know a lot of people here that can help me get things done. I have friends who own sign shops, construction business’, painters etc. all who I could get to work for me for well below the standard rate.

The reason I have to move is because the school system here is so bad. I have two young children and need to get them out of here by the 3rd or 4th grade. We are looking at moving to Colorado.

My store is for sale. It is located in Colorado. The schools here are consistently rated in the top category in the state. Why wait?

It’s turn-key and cashflowing like crazy. Should be less than building a new place in the islands…

True, but would you want to do business with this guy?

We are looking at fort collins.

If I hadn’t already opened two new businesses, bought two pieces of commercial property, a house and a rental house this year…I would be all over this.

Freddy, you’re making poor choices and then not even listening to the advice you are soliciting. If you open a business, you’re only objective should be to make a profit or acquire wealth (i.e. real estate).

What poor choice have I made? So far I’m just a guy with some cash and some pizza knowledge. I haven’t done a thing. I’m just, “weighing my options.”

I am listening to all the advice very closely, I have made no decisions yet so I am unsure what you are talking about with these poor choices? Unless you think not buying his pizza restaurant is a poor choice because we want to live in Fort Collins.

I agree that the objective is to make a profit, that wasn’t my question. I am positive I would be profitable in either location. My question was specifically the difficulty of running multiple business’ that are quite a distance apart from each other.

I wish I had that crystal ball that Freddy has to know ahead of time that he “WILL BE PROFITABLE” at either location. That would have saved me millions over the years!!! :roll:

When things are running smoothly it is no problem at all to have locations far apart. When things are not hunky-dory the difficulty is insurmountable.

The national chains you mention at the top of the thread have not only got store managers they have area managers to jump into the fray when needed. The locations they have may be far flung but that is just the surface picture, they also tend to be clustered so they enjoy the leverage of advertising for many stores at once and the ability to hire/train and transfer crew.

Do not kid yourself, mulitple stores separated by more distance than you can drive in an hour or so is a bad idea for a newby. Despite your protestations of “pizza knowledge” your posts over the last few months have demonstrated how limited that knowledge is.

Despite your protestations of “pizza knowledge” your posts over the last few months have demonstrated how limited that knowledge is.

YIKES! Don’t bash me because I ask a lot of “outside the box” questions. I am quoted as saying I have, “some pizza knowledge.”

If I didn’t think I was going to be successful I wouldn’t be doing it. I already have $20,000 invested in my pizza place, have attended multiple pizza expos, got a job at a pizza place this year (as per PMQ members advice), read over 15 (specific) pizza/restaurant marketing books, have tested over 50 different dough and sauce recipes and have asked at least 100 pizza questions here at PMQ. I’d say that constitutes, "some pizza knowledge." :smiley:

Thanks for all the advice everyone, I will come up with a final decision in the next couple weeks.

Cut the BS. Throw up a business plan or a projected P&L. People aren’t bashing you for asking stupid questions. People are bashing you for asking questions and then ignoring intelligent answers.


I bear you no ill will. I have utmost respect for anyone who pushes the chips to the center of table and takes the risk of launching a business. I know what it takes!

On the other hand, having been a SCORE counselor for a number of years, I have learned that sometimes the best service I can provide is to ask hard questions, point out unrealistic thinking and identify shortcomings in the preparation of business plans and resources.

I call it as I see it. You propose unusual things. Unusual can be good, but it can also be wrong. When issues are pointed out by people with experience your reaction is to argue the point, sometimes beyond reason. I get it that you are putting a lot of thought into this, but people with decades of experience are giving you the benefit of those hard earned lessons gratis and patience wears thin.

Best of luck.

May we ask where the $20k went?

If I seem to be arguing anything in this thread then I am not communicating well. I think everyone in this thread made excellent points and I think it is all very good advice. Most of the time I am not arguing, just playing devils advocate. Again, I may not be communicating that well.

I think most of my offbeat questions stem from living in Hawaii. Living in Hawaii is the closest thing to living in a foreign country and still living in the US. It is so difficult to make a living here so I want to minimize any mistakes. I have worked very hard to be very successful here and want my next venture to be even more successful. Just to give you an example of how rough it is here, only 7 out of 10 people that move to Hawaii last more than one year. Only 4 out of 10 make it five years. We have been here ten years.

The $20,000 has gone for decor and some equipment. I am opening a theme pizza restaurant.