Hello, I need some input and many thanks in advance to everyone who has posted to the Think Tank.
I have been reading the Tank posts in depth for several months and the depth of knowledge and the willingness to invest ones time to share it is amazingly generous, especially in this day and time.
That said, here are the details and plans in as short and sweet as possible version. My biggest concern is trying to understand the market potential for this location and the best method to break it down. I’ve seen dollars per week per HH, weekly dollars per population count, and a few other versions so I’m having some difficulty coming to numbers that I feel I can trust that are not overly optimistic.
Background: Mfg/Distribution hard goods for 20 years (most employees at once was 125)
Degree in Marketing from a medium sized school and also served as Accountant/Bookkeeper for 5 years.
Owned and sold half share of a medium-sized unrelated biz that is still operating 8 years later.
Worked in cafeteria in college various duties, worked in a grill/tavern p/t evenings few years back that had full ABC permits. Fairly knowledgeable about craft beer/ wines etc but stopped consuming myself awhile back. Ready to stop buying and start selling :lol:
Zero pizza experience aside from practicing techniques via YouTube The DoughDoctor (shout out) and Wolfgang Puck. Here I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a ways to go but until I have THE OVEN?? and the setup (environment, purveyors ingredients, etc) putting too much more time into learning the food side is a marginal use of my time. If that sounded disrespectful to the profession it was not intended to be. From other posts I know that there are probably several ways to learn and I feel like I am still open-minded enough to be taught. If that means hiring a good pizza maker as my first employee then that is what I’ll do and learn from him/her. I am seeking out an opportunity to intern/work in a going spot until I can open up. Target date is spring of 2013.
I’ve worked recent years as a real estate broker. I hate real estate because I have no passion for it I finally got stuck with a property that I think is ideal. While using it as an office, I’ve found that driving to eat lunch offers very limited choices without going 5 miles or so. While I have always dreamed of owning a restaurant I’ve never gotten this close to being able to do so. Here is the deal. While I really want this to be a winner my twisted logic is that if I cant make it go, the upfit should help to lease it to someone who can. Not being a defeatist, just always like to have a plan B.
The location I own (with the bank). It is a house converted to an office. Having been unable to sell it for the last 4 years some recent developments may allow me to use it as a restaurant. In doing so, the payment including upgrades will remain the same by re-financing, adding in the equipment and upfitting to code. My monthly building cost for 1200 sq feet, including a half acre of parking will be $1200. Space only, not operating costs, etc. Consider it rent to myself which I, of course, forward to said bank. By entering into the city via annexation I will be able to go to proper zoning that allows restaurants.
One lot off of major intersection. Building sits to rear of property - clearly visible from two main arteries. Flag shaped parking with a circular drive. Adjacent business is a branded gas station. All surrounding property is now being offered by major RE brokerages. Recent road cut through - signalized intersection is complete.
Demograhpics: Town is 4 miles away which is a suburb to semi-major city. 16000 pop.town, County 486000, main city is pop. 50,000 (I said semi-major, it’s the 3rd largest in the state.)
This is county location with many new subdivisions, a college satellite campus, a large hospital-owned doctors office, a large hospice house facility.
Within 1/2 mile: 400 homes
Within 1 mile: 2000 homes
Within 2.5 miles: 4500 homes
All institutions above are within 1.5 miles.
Age and incomes are evenly distributed. Mostly 30s, dual income homes with children
Nearest shopping center is 2.3 miles and has one independent pizza operator with dine-in &delco
Only cars I see serving the area are PJ’s and the indie, most likely Dominos also but need to verify
The PJ serves a radius of 8 miles from their spot which is back in town at 4 miles away.
There are subdivisions being built out that will add hundreds of homes over the next few years.
There is constant talk of an apt complex coming but this cannot be verified.
Another broker is handling adjacent land and gets constant inquiries for a retail strip but nobody has pulled the trigger yet. In a nutshell, I will sit in the center of 4500 homes and 20 businesses while the competition sits back at the edge of town. The growth is happening beyond my spot and is also coming from the other direction about 4 miles away from another bustling road.
Business: Here is the dream so lay it on me.
Delivery / Carry Out, Small dine-In of about 10-15 seats if the HD will approve since I’m on a septic sys.
Delivey/CO only if not.
Hours: willing to go 11-10 weekdays, more if so advised, 11-11 weekends
I want to offer only pizza and salads at first to keep requirements down on Hood/Fire Suppression.
Maybe a few subs. Eventually add wings and possibly a weekend pasta special, etc as Cash Flow allows.
Here is the kicker: I aim to build 4 regulation BOCCE Courts out front beside the parking area.
I intend to add a deck off of the largest room (now a conference room) that steps down onto a concrete or rock patio, that will lead to the bocce courts which will have a few picnic tables and umbrellas. All visible to the intersection. Intent to 1) offer entertainment and add revenue with court rentals on weekends.2) increase lunch by offering free courts until demand allows to charge.
Labor: I will work full-time which I imagine means start getting my mail delivered there until profit is sustainable. Hire wait staff, one delivery person and go from there. Being in the south, outdoor bocce is viable 8-9 months of the year.
Wow, this is longer than I intended.
I have an advertising budget of about $400 a month built in for a year, plus whatever I can do on foot.
The traffic count by my front door is 7500 cars per day. Add in the other street from which I am VERY visible and the count goes to about 16000 cars per day.
The gas station sells about 6-10 pizzas per day Hunts Bros out of a display along with biscuits, hot dogs, etc.
Ultimate goal is to run up dine-in seating to about 30 indoors (two years out), add an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven under a shelter courtside and add beer and wine. Host birthday parties, corp events, etc.
First things 1st. Does this sound like a territory that is ripe for picking or am I way too early?. Based on what I see around this neck of the woods (other local areas that are fully saturated with retail) I have about convinced myself that I should be more worried about the intersection getting loaded up with strip centers and the nationals invading and scarfing up the market. I guess I’m hoping to get in and get established before the inevitable happens : new retail space availability attracts new comp.
Please, school me an thanks again in advance.
Southern Pizza Rookie
p.s When I was a kid, my late father played the banjo(ragtime music) in a now-defunct pizza parlor on Friday nights. They played silent movies, had two banjos and a guy on a piano. I would go and sit and watch the crowd and man, everybody was having alot of good clean fun. I somehow think in my mind that this could be a neighborhood family place that adds something different.