quantity vs quality


I am a manger of a pizza/pasta/grill type restaurant, that does reasonably well. We started out with a bang, but now things have slowed down. Our night time business has picked up in the last couple of weeks, but our days have been relatively slow. I think that the amount of frozen food that we use may have to do with it. The owner is a first time owner and tries to cut cost in order to keep the budget balanced. My intention, is to try to get him in the mindset of better food brings more customers. For a business that plans to expand to various locations, would high quality food be unreasonable? Or am I naive thinking that its always about the food, and its really about other factors such as location, advertisings, and affordability. Also recipes that people enjoy know at our restaurant could be tweak to be better in my opinion. Should I try and change every dish to be perfect, or don’t fix what ain’t broken?

I have been tossing this same question about here for a couple of weeks now. I am just looking to open my first place so my opinion is not as experienced as some of the old pros here. Having said that I am of the believe that you make your food as good as it possibly can be. There is a balance to find cost vs return. But in my case if my food does not stand out…why should anyone come?..I do not plan on being the cheapest just trying to be the best I can…using premium ingredients when they make sense to do so…using recipes that I believe give it that something different or edge…I do not think that it cost that much more to do it better…If your shop is a price first shop…than maybe your owners doing what he needs to do…However I am not interested in throwing my hat into the ring with Domino’s, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut and that like…I want to distinguish myself from those and try to offer a better product for a few bucks more…I say do it the best you can…

i say quality is what its about, if your not satisfied with something on the menu, why the hell is it on the menu?? if you owner isn’t worried about the quality of food, than that will trickle down, and eventually the employees will stop caring as well. ive found that its even worth paying a little extra for cooks who have a passion about what they do, it means i have to babysit less, and they are usually pretty creative as well and come up with some great specials, and even a few menu items.

plus if your pizza stands out above the rest, the quantity will come eventually, our company started out with a single blodgett deck oven 15 years ago, both owners and there family’s working there. now to keep up with buisness that location has 8 60 inch blodgetts and one 40 inch blodgett to keep up. and are on a wait before they open, till they close. and the second location where i run the kitchen has 4 blodgetts to keep up. although due to being a theatre buisness goes from mellow to balls to the wall for a 45 min, than mellow again.


It all depends on what your customers expectations are…If to provide a quality product you need to charge a higher price than your clients will pay then it really does not matter what you would like to serve…You are forced to adjust your food cost to work with the price expectations of your clients…And right now, I see those price points being driven lower…The chains (pizza and others) have changed the focus of their marketing to capture price conscious consumers…There has to be enough other consumers in your market to support you if you aim higher…

Sir Royster

I have a question for you…How do you determine how many people in your market want a better product?..As an example in my neighborhood not town, just local to me I have 50,000 people that are no more than 7 minutes away…I have 80,000 cars…drving by daily…Do you think this is enough to allow for people who are wanting something better…I am basing much of what I think will work on living in the area, knowing lots people (have an existing business already) and knowing there is no go to pizza shop…I have always found that in each area I have lived always in suburbs of large multi million population big cities that there is usually the choice of national chains and Mom and Pop places that make it based on making it better…I hope this ties into the poster original questions as I do want to get this off track…I think it does…

To get an answer to your question just sit down and pull up nearly any episode of Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” on your computer. Now, before some of you start to blast that idea…I know, I know, it’s a TV SHOW and as such a lot of it is scripted, however the core truth remains the same from episode to episode. Fresh, well-made, locally sourced if practical, and a manageable menu that’s where restaurant success becomes achievable. That message bears some looking at.

Aside from investing your life savings by actually opening up, I do not think there is a sure fire way to test your market…I have heard of some recent openings that turned out very well and others that have seen their dreams go up in flames…Years back you could do a “business plan” and if your market had enough houses and not too many other stores you could do okay…But these days the “math” does not always work…

I still believe there are some opportunities…But I would not open from scratch when you can buy something existing for less than 30 to 40 cents on the dollar…The lower you keep your investment the better the chance you can make a go of it…

My intention is not bring in premiun ingredients, my plan is to replace our frozen products and make them in house. I intend to make fresh, freeze and bag oursleves and supply both stores with product made in house. For example manicotti, ravioli, chicken tenders, etc. Woulndn’t this be more effective food cost wise? And will labor increase so much that it out wieghs the savings? Would the quality of the food be the same for store bought frozen dishes, and homade frozen dishes?Does any one do this?

Ummm. Production and storage of raw foods then freezing is a bit beyond my pay grade in this forum. I can tell you that protecting product from freezer burn and quality degradation is what the big companies spend huge dollars for in R&D. You can certainly make hand made goods in your shop cost effective and great quality. Freezing and selling to other vendors is another horse color.

In GA, it would involve also the State Department of Agriculture, USDA labelling requirements, etc.

You are going to need a blast freezer. Mucho dinero.

If you are just supplying your own stores, why freeze anything?

It doesn’ty make sense at all to go through all the labor and equipment expense to make your own ravioli, etc. and then freeze the things. If you go fresh and in-house, stay fresh.

Unless you have a flash freezer, I’d stick with buying frozen stuff. flash freezers cost big buckos. If you’re talking about just chicken tenders, you could do those up every day. Buy fresh chicken and bread it yourself. Just do enough in the morning to last all day. If you go that route, you gotta worry about waste a little more.