Should I open a Pizza Shop?


I have a small motel on a main drag, close to the on/off ramp of the major highway(surrounded by McDonalds/Wendys/Burger King/etc) with lots of room for expansion. I’d like to add a small restaurant to it. The town population is about 50,000, but during summer plently of tourists are present. About a dozen pizza joints here, but only two(franchises) located here on the main drag, the others are dispersed throughout town. I’d like to do excellent quality pizza (and donairs…a local thing…like a gyro, but sickeningly sweeter) fresh daily.

My question is: would you open a pizza joint or go with a traditional fare(fish and chips/hot turkey sandwich/fried chicken/etc)place? Is pizza more profitable?

Just looking for somebody to point me in the right direction. BTW, I love to cook and would be working it myself.



I wouldnt suggest ne1 opening right now between the economy being down and prices for food going threw the roof its hard to see profits these days :frowning:

2 things: love to cook does not equal business success. Who would be running your motel while you are spending 60 to 80 hours a week running a start-up restaurant?

How successful is your motel, and how much has your marketing grown it in the last two years. I know food service is different . . . but if your marketing plans have not been successful for the first business, then you may not have the creativity and initiative to market the second one. Marketing is possibly the single most important factor in success . . . among dozens of important ones.

Nick is allways on the dot ,but what behind pizza is light moto?
you been enlightened by pizza :lol:

My interpretation of it is that the pizza business is like a light to a moth.

We get blindly drawn to it and then are trapped for the rest of our lives. :stuck_out_tongue:

Nick’s previous one was “Pizza is Love” which he changed when reality hit home. :lol:

I thought that having the self inflicted welts and scars across your back would have made you understand “Pizza is Light”.

Maybe he should change it to … " Pizza is no life, pain and suffering, staff and supplier problems, long hours for minimal return, no money, no time off, equipment breakdowns, drowning in red tape and only sanity is through the Think Tank" :frowning:

No, just leave it as “Pizza is Light”.


Pizza is more than food or business. Pizza is an almost transcedant entity that brings many things to many people. It is the “Light” of magic memories for kids who come to watch us throw dough and cheese, that freindly place in town where they know who you are and what you like to eat, the food that connects all people of all races and economic station, it is the thing that gives so many of us a joyous feeling even in the middle of those chaotic nightmare nights. We are making pizza. I is cool to make pizza for people. It has been done for centuries for many people and has meant so much to working immigrants, families, soldiers returning from atrocities of war, and imerging suburban American neighborhoods growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. It is the stuff of first dates, the first meal in a new house when moving in, and snacks with friends late night or watching a historic sporting event.

Pizza is Light. Pizza is Love. Pizza is Life.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly feel ennobled by this post! :smiley:

But as for your question, aren’t most motels moving away from food service these days? I know a lot of the chains are farming out their restaurant facilities to independent operators … have you researched the reasoning for this trend?

Personally, in my prior life (such as it was), I normally spent 2-3 nights a week in motels - I rarely if ever would eat at their restaurant (too many bad experiences), but I would almost always make a stop at a C-store right away to stock up on soda, munchies, & whatever I may have forgotten to pack. If you have the available land, I’d take a look at selling off a portion (whether for cash or a percentage ownership) to a C-store operator. If you want, take that money and add on a banquet room or two to your motel business. You’d probably make at least as much off of meetings, wedding parties, etc. as you would opening a restaurant of any sort.

If, however, you’re still intent upon yanking your hair out by it’s roots, I strongly suggest reading “The E*Myth” … opening a restaurant because “you love to cook” is one of the simplest ways to lose that love (along with your shirt).

Nick is right… loving to cook won’t make you a success in the restaurant biz… you will make you a success… Loving to cook is just a big benefit.

There is no magic bullet on what kind of restaurant to open, what does your market want to eat? You may open a pizza shop and become a burger joint in 3 years because thats what the market dictates. You won’t know until you try.

My advice. Keep it simple. Pizza is a simple menu… great pizza different toppings… don’t mess it up with wings and salads and pasta… just keep it simple and consistent. Get the basics right and you’ll have a success. Grow up and then add more to your menu when you max out your sales on the pies.

I remember listening to Tom Monaghan talk about Dominos 20 years ago, when he said all we do is pizza and soda… Their pizza wasn’t bad back then… now they sell wings and salads and all kinds of other crap… and they do none of them well. Someone told me that Dominos keeps their taste profile bland intentionally to appeal to the widest possible section of the market… sounds like they need to rethink the approach.

Keep it simple, follow your heart, think with your head, be open to change, and believe you’ll be successful and you can’t lose.

I think the best kind of operation tied to a motel would be breakfast…Open for 4 or 5 hours each morning…If the motel is full you have a captive market…

Royster makes a good point that got me to thinking. I would suggest contacting your state or local hotel/motel association and find any statistics thy have available about on-property eateries and dining habits of hotel/motel guests. They may have useful info about trends and desires of travelers that could give you a hint what to aim at for a food operation. Heck, it could be that Thai BBQ is the best in your area.

Whatever the business concept, have a written business plan that includes among everything else a marketing plan, financing plan, growth plan and different segments of potential marketplace that you can hook into as a means of driving sales . . . special events, tourism, colleges, softball leagues, whatever. Make educated projections where new customers are going to come from . . . for both your motel and your restaurant. Leveraged together, there could be potential for creative and aggressive marketing, which will make or break you in a tourism town.

Ask the county Convention and Visitors Bureau if they have information about what is needed in the town. They may have a tap into tourism info that could be useful.

Dominos is the #2 Pizza Franchise in the US in terms of sales. I don’t really think they need to rethink their approach. That approach seems to work for them very well.

Dominos used to have just as many or more units than PH, they have slowed the growth substantially. The guy at the top is a banker not a pizza guy. Just my .02. Dominos has many, many dedicated and hard working franchisees who love their operations. I just am not a fan of the product.

Nick, you said it the best. It is exactly the reasons you state that I got in the biz about a year ago. I certainly wasn’t fooled into thinking I was going to get rich. It’s putting smiles on people’s faces and making memories that makes it all worth while for me.

i want to get rich :slight_smile:

there is a lot of money in pizza. But like anything else you have to be better then the other guys. If you stay on the cutting edge u will prosper. If not you will be here today gone tomorrow. Everyone needs to check on flour. price is going to go thru the roof and we might have supply issues come june/july. I just brought in 500 bags I will store in case there is a shortage.

there is a lot of money in pizza. But like anything else you have to be better then the other guys. If you stay on the cutting edge u will prosper. If not you will be here today gone tomorrow. Everyone needs to check on flour. price is going to go thru the roof and we might have supply issues come june/july. I just brought in 500 bags I will store in case there is a shortage.

I just brought in 500 bags I will store in case there is a shortage.

I would be very careful not to overbuy flour as I am under the impression that most flour has bug eggs in it that will hatch at some point in time. There was a discussion of this on the old think tank where either Big Dave or Tom Lehman said this was very common.[

Yep, weevils I believe… I’m probably spelling it wrong.

yes that is only about 6 weeks supply

I’m jealous that you have space to store that much! I have trouble finding room for my twice per week order. Time for me to find a larger space!