I am a co-owner of a pizza shop in Durham, NC and we are looking for another business partner to run our store. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the story: we opened our place up a little more than 2 years ago and are currently breaking even on our expenses. We started out as a 3-person ownership group, and developed our own business model and recipe. We specialize in selling authentic buffalo wings and our own style of pizza, and offering dine-in, take-out and delivery. The store is 2100 sq ft which we lease as part of a rural-area shopping plaza anchored by a grocery store and a Blockbuster.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve made our share of mistakes along the way, most notably spending way too much money on startup costs (>300K) and not having our pizza recipe finalized before we opened. However, we feel we have created a unique business model, great-tasting food, and we get a lot of positive feedback from our customers.
The reason we are looking for another business partner is that we started out where 2 of the partners quit their day jobs to run the place, while the 3rd (myself) kept his day job and was the primary financial contributor. Once we opened time went by and our sales never got to the point where we could pay both partners a decent salary, so one of the partners went back to a day job while the other stayed and ran the business. We operated this way for about a year and our sales steadily grew during that time, however the partner that ran the store abruptly left to pursue another opportunity, and to replace him we promoted one of our workers to store manager.
Upon the new manager taking over we immediately lost a significant amount of sales and the operations of the place took a major setback. It was a big mistake on our part to put someone in place that did not have the management experience and self-motivation required to be successful. Since that time it has been a struggle to get the manager up to speed and back on track to growing the business again.
So now we are at a crossroads in our business and must make a decision on how to move forward. The options are: sell or fold the business, hire another manager, or bring in a 3rd business partner to run the place. The least desirable option for me is to simply hire another manager, because I firmly believe that you must have a stake in the business to truly propel yourself to succeed. Also, my partner and I really do not want to dump the place yet because we put so much of our lives into it and believe that we created something that can make money, and we also really like being in the pizza business. This was something I always want to do for many years and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d hate to give it up.
At this point youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re probably thinking Ã¢â‚¬Å“why doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t one of the 2 partners just quit his day job to run the restaurant?Ã¢â‚¬