Slowng down?

We opened our pizza place three weeks ago from today…the place makes about 8,000 a week average so far and there was only one day before this week that we didnt break 1,000…We have a great location,good food, and alot of return customers…starting monday we have had three nights in a row where it seems like people have disapeared. Should i not be in panic mode yet, what could the reason for such a quick change is pace?..I NEED HELP!

What you’ve experienced is the honeymoon period and is fairly typical. I opened in June and was ecstatic about my sales, then July came and things slowed down. Now in October, I have a pretty regular customer base. Sales still aren’t as strong as June, but they’re not as bad as July either. You need to keep your name out there and keep reminding people that you are there. It takes awhile for people to change their habits. Don’t panic, it’s the nature of the business.

SCoot is right. Honeymoon is over. Time to start marketing. Doorhangers, Flyers, Get out and meet people.

We opened August 2006 at $10k. It’s been a steady decline ever since. We’ve tried a lot of different things but the sales continue to plummet. It’s very disheartening and at times makes me sick to my stomach. We have great pizza and good people working for us.

It’s hard. :cry:

If your sales are dropping you have a problem. A problem doesn’t mean the end of the world just something you have to address. Since I am not familiar with your business like you are I can only give you a few ideas about the most likely reasons. First if you did a hard opening your service probably wasn’t 100% at first this will lead to a temporary drop in sales but if everything is smooth now it will rebound. It will rebound slower in an area with a stagnant economy like mine and quicker in a more expanding economic area. The three areas to check are service, food and marketing. You must be consistent with all three of these areas if you want to succeed. The last thing to remember is you are in control of your own success or failure. Don’t blame it on the economy, the president or anything else that you have no control over focus on what you can do. Good luck and make lots of cash !!!

Woww…what a difference…4 days later…our thursday was great.
To be totally honest we did not do a hard oepning at all. We never even put a grand opening sign up nor are we finished doing everything we planned. Our full menu boards arent up and certain things have not been done…Some may think its crazy but since the morning i opened my register has rung…the first couple of weeks were crazy, we were unorganized and really had to work hard to do it right. Now our routine is getting pretty normal and i have some time to eat and even go to the bathroom(2 things i couldnt do for the first two weeks).

Are abnormally slow days uncommon or sometimes everyone doesnt want your food on the same nights?

very normal your customer base is small because you just opened if alot of them order one day then you might have a day or two which are a little slower

Abnormally slow days always happen, regardless of how long you’ve been open. Abnormally busy days happen just as often.

It’s an emotional roller coaster if you focus on daily sales. You’ll be ecstatic one day, deeply depressed the next! Pay more attention to what you’re doing every month or even quarter. That’s a better indicator of how your business is doing.

Hi Pakulas Pizza:

Our clients have generally found that a new pizza place gets a lot of attention for the first few weeks then settles back into what may well become their share of the market.

We had a shop open recently the owner opened with a triple stack of our large ovens XLT. 3270. He could barely handle the orders with a triple stack during the first few weeks.Sales eventually tapered down to where He could handle orders with two ovens. We removed his third oven and used it in his next shop.

This does not indicate that after opening sales will always fall off by one-third but does demonstrate that there can be a dramatic shift in sales within a few weeks of opening.

I would think it important that a new shop should have the bugs worked out and staff fully trained before advertising an opening. Generally it appears that all pizza consumers in the vicinity will give a new shop a try. That may be the only chance you have to impress a lot of people.

If you are not prepared to do an outstanding job in you first few weeks you may be blowing the only chance you will have with many buyers

George Mills

If a honeymoon lasts three weeks, IMO, there is a problem. It is rather short term. I’m not trying to worry you but take a good look at your product.

I know this is voodoo but the economy now entering Winter will impact sales. Fast, Fun and THE BEST product ever will help to maintain the word of mouth you really need right now based on your lack of advertising.

Lack of advertising in a new shop is not a bad thing as it gives you time to work out the quirks. BUT, it sounds like it might be time to get something running.

With respect to your comment on any free time, it sounds like you didn’t expect what came your way relative to this business. Are you new to it?


I have found that the more customers I have, the more stable my sales become. That doesn’t mean everyone orders like gangbusters . . . just that I tend to have enough people out there that consider my place to eat so that there are far fewer sales “valleys” where we wander around like zombies looking for something to prep or clean.

Your direction for marketing might be well served to key on developing more new customers for your base.

After nearly two years in the shop (it has been here for 9 years now) we still get “highs” that are unexplanable and some quiet times.

As an example last night (Tuesday) we started off with a couple of good orders - he first $108 - then it got real slow with the 3 of us on duty doing those one off cleaning jobs you do when it’s quiet, then it started to flow again. The end of the night after opening at 5pm and closing at 9.30pm we did $1280 which is almost double to what we do on an average Tuesday night. No special deals or offers, no advertising, just a normal trading night.

Last Saturday we had a quiet one only doing a tad over $2k with hardly a phone call before 6.45pm. Domino’s down the road from us had a CA day with $3.95 12" pizzas (any toppings). We thought they were impacting on us until a customer told us he had been trying to get through on the phone for 45 minutes and it kept ringing off. I checked the phone and the power to it was off - the power pack had been knocked out of the socket. Put it back in and the phones rang hot !!! :oops: Cost us about $400 - $500 in sales for the night :cry:

The moral of this is that sometimes you have good and bad nights which some are unexplanable, BUT, sometimes you can be so absorbed with running the place STUPID IDIOTIC situations such as our phone being out can cost you sales.

OK people go ahead and fire all the comments at me - I know you will give me the just desserts I deserve. :stuck_out_tongue:


I have been in this business for a while, but when you get into your own from scratch you have to develop your way…We had to move things around to make them work, take care of everyone that walked through the door, make sure all food is up to par, fight with suppliers to get the best prices and at the end of the day it all comes down to the fact that if it’s yours you relize that no one cares as mucha s you do and you have to work extra hard to compensate for that. where do you have time to go to the bathroom?


They have phones in Australia?

When did that happen?

Do you have Electricity too?


Pull the other one!! Next you’ll be trying to convince me they wear shoes and have indoor flush toilets.

[size=2](gonna pay for that one, I suspect)[/size]

[b]Our phones are those empty cans with a length of string. Sure beats the carrier pigeons.

Our electricty comes from the youg guy we hire to pedal his bike out the back. The faster he pedals the brighter the lights get.

Pull the other one!! Next you’ll be trying to convince me they wear shoes and have indoor flush toilets.

Nah, we don’t bother about shoes. The toes grip the slippery tiles better and if you have an accident like dropping a brick on your foot it’s quicker to get to it than having to take shoes off. Anyway we don’t know how to tie laces up.

Indoor toilets?? What’s wrong with squatting behind a tree?

[size=2](gonna pay for that one, I suspect)[/size]
Hope you guys had some fun :stuck_out_tongue: