I was hoping I could get some insight from anyone on here who owns a sit-down pizza restaurant near a college campus. I was wondering if to be successful near a college you have to sell CHEAP pizza? I’ve done some traveling around and notice that in a lot of restaurants near college campus’ the food is cheap and not very good tasting. I would love to hear any stories, info., or help regarding pizza near schools.
I know the majority of college students are subsidized by their parents or loans so pizza money should not be an issue but I am wondering if they are still in the child mentality where ketchup and cheese = pizza. :shock:
It does not matter how much money the kids get from mom and dad… they are still chronically short of $$. Yes, price is an issue around campuses. The good news is that college kids eat a lot of pizza!
So your business plan is more volume based? Do you buy cheaper cheese and toppings to offset or do you make a quality pie?
My current business is in a ski resort town not a campus market… but in my past experience I have been both cook and manager in several campus stores. Price is always an issue with college kids. That does not mean you have to go cheap. Quality is still important but there is not as much difference in price for those things as you might imagine. (With the exception of some overpriced cheese options that are out there) You can get great quality in meats like pepperoni and sausage for less than an extra $1 per pound over the cheap stuff and broken down to the portion cost the difference is 15-25 cents on a pizza.
But… yes, the typical business model around a campus is volume based: big lunch business if you do slices. Late night business as well. Fast service, turn the tables, offer a blend of quality and price. College kids do not tend to go for high-end combos. I would expect to see a lot of pepperoni pizzas more than pesto sauce with 6 toppings! The good news is that you can still keep some interesting stuff on the menu and do some higher end business as well.
Bloomington has at least a couple I can think of that aren’t considered cheap: http://www.motherbearspizza.com[/url] and [url=http://bbcbloomington.com/]http://bbcbloomington.com/ are both are across the street from opposite sides of the IU campus. Mother Bear’s runs “the deal” like everyone else in town, but no one perceives them as being cheap.
What a drunk college kid wants at 3:00 a.m. on Friday is different from where they are willing to spend on a date. I’m sure age plays a factor also with the ability to legally consume alcohol - a grad student population can help in that regard. Maybe this town is different with all the East Coast kids attending school here - they all drive nicer cars than I do.
There is room for both types. It also depends on the “type” of campus.
Some of the busiest Mellow Mushrooms I’ve seen are at campuses. They are not cheap.