Sales Poll--for curiosity sake.

What are you average weekly sales figures?

Interesting question for sure. For me the answer is complicated. I selected the range that represents our average but first of all we are basically right on the break point between two ranges. More importantly, being in a resort our sales vary during the year from less than 5K per week to as much as 30K per week.

It’s totally apples and oranges I know, so thanks for playing along. Sales doesn’t translate directly to profitability, and profit doesn’t necessarily translate to happiness.

I was just curious.

Crazy swing. I have a similar situation but my shift isn’t quite as dramatic. How do yo handle staffing? Do you lay people off during slow season? Or just eat the payroll and keep everyone? Side note, thanks for being so active on this site, your insight is often helpful.

I had a conversation with a younger family member who has worked in a couple pizza shops about both of these points just yesterday. He worked for a place doing great volume but was always struggling to pay it’s bills. My take is that with sales comes the potential of profit. At sales of $5000 a week, someone might be able to pay their bills and take home a salary but there’s only so much profitability that’s possible at that volume. At $30,000 a week, there’s no guarantee of profit but there’s a much higher likelihood of 6 figure profits.

As far as happiness goes, at this point in my life I would probably be happier running a much smaller, and likely less profitable pizza shop. The idea of managing just a few employees or being open less than the 126 hours a week that we are seems very appealing to me right now. But, without years of profitability, I would not likely be able to explore the idea of downsizing to smaller business in a smaller market.

A friend once told me “it ain’t what you sell, it’s what you KEEP”
You can have an $8K AWUS and make $3K or a $15K AWUS and make $2K.
I’m looking to re-do myself with a simpler operation. That said, the other line we all used to live by is “sales solves all” It does and doesn’t but it’s not… completely untrue.
I’m looking at a new shop (opening) and people always say to me “so what are you looking to do?” or “what’s the plan?” I always say “Well, it won’t involve 10 drivers, 8 insiders and being there until 3am… that I know”

I tend to look at the top line ( sales ) as the most important. I set my food and labor cost where both our customers, and our employees are happy. Both food and labor for are on the high side compared to industry standards.

The swing is crazy but is very predictable. For example, next month will mark 18 years in business and in all that time the biggest 7 day period of the year has started on December 26th in every one of those years.

Within the variables of our current promotional activity etc the pattern of the year is very much the same from year to year so it is not difficult to know when we will need more staff or when things are about to slow down.

The nature of a resort town is that jobs come and go, employees are fairly transient and people have seasonal jobs. We go from needing about 18-22 employees in the winter depending on the number of shifts people want and 12-14 in the Summer while getting by with as few as 8-9 in the mud season (just ending). Most years the number of employees that leave in the Spring either to move away after the ski/snowboard season is over or to summer jobs like landscaping or construction is about right and we do not need to lay people off. This year we actually had to hire a couple in mud season for the first time ever. Occasionally we have had to cut peoples hours in the slow season.

In the end, the key is working hard to forecast revenue so it is possible to match staffing to requirement.