Staffing ideas............

Need staffing ideas. Opening soon. I have myself, the promise of a 14 year veteran from the competition to come work for me, and a delivery driver. Need an idea of a typical staffing template…shifts?

Write yourself a daily sales forcast by day for the first 60 days. That will help clarify your thinking a lot.

Then write a schedule to cover that plan putting your known staff in place and using cook 1, cook 2, driver 1 driver 2 etc to fill in the blanks. That will help you figure out how many shifts you need to cover.

It is pretty hard to write a staff plan without a sales forcast.

If you tried to steal a 14 year employee of mine, you’d be in for a fight… a money fight. Be prepared for his current employer to match what you’re offering, or even beat it.

Are you a delco or full service or what ?

I’m guessing delco, please tell me if I’m wrong. If you are 1 driver per $1,000 in sales forecasted. Depending on whether or not your managers cook will factor in to number of cooks needed.

I can tell you that when I worked at a store that averaged $12,000 we had myself, 1 assistant, 2 shift mgrs, 13 drivers and 4 cooks(that also served as our dhers) and it worked out well.

That a good bit. I am going to be full service (dine-in, carry-out, and delivery). Keeping the menu simple to start out with. I have about 1800 square feet. Half of that will be for tables and video games. The other dedicated to the bathrooms, the cooler, and the kitchen/counter areas. I don’t know what to expect as far as sales go. There is currently only 1 other pizza shop in town. This place is family owned and operated. They shut it down for weeks at a time when they go on vacation. In this area, it is typical when a new place opens, for everyone to go there. I have a feeling that upon opening, I may get crushed if I don’t staff well. But, I don’t want to hire a large staff in anticipation of that and then not be able to sustain their employment.

You still need to write a proforma cash flow as a basic part of new business planning.

Find out how much that 1 place is doing.

If you feel like you’re going to get crushed when you open you HAVE to staff accordingly. Worry about taking care of that initial business. Like the saying goes, “You only get once chance to make a first impression.” If you can’t handle the opening week business you will lose customers FOREVER.

Staff yo-self befo yo wreck yo-self.

Wiseguy what is the population of the area you intend to service, get an idea of your boundaries, 2 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles, etc. you can use for easy free lookups, determine the capacity of your marketplace, the average consumer last year ate about $20. per person of pizza per month. So if you live in a town of 5000 then the marketplace has $100,000 potential/month. You will divide this with your competitor, The Costco’s, The Take N’ Bakes, and the frozen pizza at the local market.
Make sure you differentiate, between what you offer and what your competition offers.
Your right about initial openings, guaranteed the first 4 to 6 weeks you will get everyone in town in once to try you out. Make sure you give everyone of them a Thank You Postcard that offers them a free order of breadsticks, or a 2-liter to entice them back in after there initial purchase. Customer retention is key to maintaining the growth of your business.

In the beginning you will probably experience a higher ratio of Dine-in & Carry-out, than Deliveries, Customers want to come in and “sniff around”, and make sure the place is a clean, comfortable environment, before they have you delivery dinner to them at home. The first 6 weeks you will probably deliver only 10 to 20% of the time, the following 6 weeks that will grow, and probably after 6 months you will be at least 50 - 50 or 60 - 40.

I would staff a little low in the start, make your staff work there butts off, cause if you over staff, it will set a bad example, and kill morale. I would rather be busy with 4 hard working employees, than slow with 8 lazy employees. If you have a fourteen year veteran coming on let him make out a schedule, he himself should be able to handle a 25 pie hour by himself, if he can’t then he’s not worth it the trouble. A good insider should be able to take about 15 orders and make them to completion in an hour, with some training that number can be as much as 20 to 25 orders per hour. Granted you have a full-service establishment which increase your labor slightly but a solid manager should be able to get you through a $1000 day all by himself, and a $1500 to $2000 day with the aid of one or two P/T Rush workers.

Consider your delivery area, and drive it. Determine the drive times from your store during peak hours to the outer reaches of your delivery area.

I deliver 10 miles out of town, but during peak hours, the speed is 60 mph on the main roads, and 35 on the arterials. So I can delivery pizza 10 miles out in about 12 to 15 minutes. However, I have another store in a much denser community and its delivery area is 4 miles radius cause it takes 15 minutes just to travel to the outer edge of the 4 mile ring.

15 minutes out 15 minutes back. thats 2 deliveries per hour, chances are that most of your deliveries will be closer to the store, but the average delivery drive will probably delivery 4 orders per hour.

If you give your customers reasonable and accurate wait times, they won’t complain to much.
Remember the average delivery time in America is 45 minutes, and my guess is the average table service in America is 30 minutes. So as long as you can meet or exceed times like these you will win over your competitions market-share and more.

Remember the average delivery time in America is 45 minutes

Gee I wish you could convibce my customers of that.

On busy nights Frid, Sat & Sunday we have 45 - 60 mins for our closer in areas and 60 - 75 mins for the far reaching areas. The far reaching areas mainly because we wait to get tag on deliveries to make it more worthwhile for the drivers and more efficient for us. It is not profitable or efficient use of scare resources to send a driver out during peak times to far reaching areas with one delivery.

Never the less some customers expect us to deliver within 30 minutes. Others even phone asking where their delivery is after 45 minutes when they are told AT LEAST 45 - 60 minutes. Funny they always say “I ordered over an hour and a half ago” and when we check the order time it is more like 40 - 45 mins.


Dave when I worked for Domino’s Pizza, my delivery areas was about 4 miles wid, and about 5 miles north and 5 miles south, along a major arterial. My bonus depended on several factors one was multiple audits that were done by secret customers. If my delivery average to these customers was ever more than 25 minutes, I would loose my Monthly bonus which average about $6,000 a four week period. My average out the door time was usually about 14 minute. Of course at Domino’s Pizza we only had one sauce, and 14 toppings, and the most loaded pizza only had nine toppings. But, in the u.s. the average is 45 minutes. Cause there are guys like me who still have average delivery times of 15 to 25 minutes, and there are guys like you who have 60 to 75 minutes.

We learned at Domino’s Pizza that it was best to limit our drivers to Doubles, and the best way to build market-share, and reduce your advertising expense was to make quick deliveries, which often means taking allot of singles.

Your perception is that by holding an order back, and keeping it on the hot rack until another order will route with it will be more efficient, and save you money is actually contrary to popular belief.
If you send every pizza out in the order it is received, yes you might need to have an extra driver or two on for 2 hours of the night, because your forcing your drivers to take singles, and doubles only, but the the net outcome will be happier customers, bigger tips, greater in-store productivity from less distractions due in part from calls made by angry customers, and far greater customer retention, which will reduce your cost of advertising, and/or increase you store sales.

The first store I managed 20 years ago, I took-over the store at around $8,000 a week, we door-hung heavily for about 8 weeks, and I got the store up to $17,000 a week the 9th week. However, I like you had a big area, and on a Friday Nights I was doing 300 orders between 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm with about 20 drivers. I was allowing drivers to take out 4 and 5 deliveries at a time, which led to angry customers, and unfortunately I found I had continue door-hanging heavily to get new customers, cause I was losing them just as quickly as I got them do to poor service times. I eventually learned to limit my drivers to doubles, and well I left that store six months later (for a new assignment)and it was doing $24,000 a week.

I agree with Tommie,

We try to limit all orders to singles and doubles unless manager approved. Since we deliver to lots of hotels and condos, we will allow triples when the orders are going to the same complex.

Another way to look at delivery area is to figure out the drive time rather than the distance. We will not go anywhere that takes more than 10 minutes to get to in average traffic which for us means about 5 miles. We have chosen some natural boundaries to the area so it is easy for order takers to know what the boundaries are.

Having drivers gone longer than 20 minutes round trip is costing you more money than you are making on the business both in high delivery cost and in decreased service levels to your core delivery area.

Adding a part time driver for the busiest part of the night will make a huge difference in service and quality (hot product) and will result in more sales and better tips. Yes, you will get some griping. Work through it.

Tommie and Bode Iknow where you are coming from US wise but in Australia it’s a lot different, especially with our suburbs more spread out and very few if any apartments around where we are.

At the moment due to lease renewal holdups due to our centre being up for sale I am unable to put in another oven to get cook times faster, hence the wait time on deliveries. Plus we have a MAJOR SHORTAGE of drivers (much written about previously) to do deliveries any quicker.

Luckily for us we have minor competition in our area outside of Domino’s and PH and their customers probably wouldn’t come to us and ours wouldn’t go to them so waiting the times I quoted are accepted, as is a 45 minute wait over the counter on peak times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

When I get my new oven we can possibly cut our wait times in the shop to 25 - 30 minutes and deliveries down a bit depending on driver availablity.

Holding back deliveries doesn’t mean we cook them and put them in a heat rack (don’t have one anyway). We hold the order and put it in with anotherdelivery going the same way. If we don’t have one then it goes by itself.

With our limited amount of drivers we have to manage the best we can as do ALL the other outlets in Western Australia.

Personally and I guess speaking for most others we would all like deliveries to disappear as we can’t get enough drivers, costs have gone out the window and from my perspective, I don’t like people waiting the time they have to but we have to live with what we can achieve.

High wages + low unemployment = hell for small business owners.


I understand where you are Dave. Back in 1999 in Washington state we were booming, unemployment had dropped below 1% and the average state wage was about $45,000 a year, or about $22.50/hr. (Thanks Microsoft!)
I was having a hard time finding Drivers, But not having a hard time finding Managers, and Insiders.

In most cases I don’t like the Captain leaving his own ship per se. But I found several well qualified 16, 17, and 18 years olds to work inside, and run my shop, and I took to the roads myself. Which allowed me to meet my customers first hand and thanks them, but also, nobody knows the delivery area better than the manager, or thought I thought. I learned allot about my delivery area, and I learned what areas to deliver too, and what area were just too far to deliver too, etc. etc.
Hire more insides, and make your managers deliver.

I understand long deliveries, I currently have three stores in Northern Idaho, we don’t have paved roads over here, and we deliver along cliffs with 1000 foot drop offs, and we contend with Moose, Elk, Deer, Porcupine, Skunks, Raccoons, Wolf, Coyote, Cougar, Grizzly Bears, Brown & Black Bear. Most of my drivers carry a sidearm a 9mm or a 45’, and/or a shotgun, or rifle, It is real backwoods if you know what I mean. I took a delivery last night that was 8 miles up the side of a mountain 4000 feet elevation gain from my city. I thought NUTS!!! Who the hell want to live up here! Its was all worth it though the guy tipped me 50%. (I wonder if he said keep the change cause I was caring a gun?)
Anyhow, I limit my area based on time like the previous guy said. the extent of my area is about 10 to 15 minutes which in the summer is 4000 ft up the side of a hill, but in the winter time is maybe a mile out of town, as we often get 8 to 10 feet of snow around here.

good thread, especially for me, I am opening soon in Quartzsite, AZ,
will be a soft opening, probably with
green" employees, snall town, RV winter resort like
I have a GEM, an electric car, that I will start deliveries with,
lots to learn here,
you experienced people, please do not hesitate to post here.

You guys in the “minor leagues” have it rough :slight_smile: I have experienced both city/metropolitan and more rural marketplaces as a customer and now business owner. Denser populations make it a little simpler to route multiple orders for expedience and efficiency. The more disparate your population base, the more time it takes to drop 4 different orders off.

Delivery is far and away the most expensive and challenging element of my business (apart for having enough umbrellas for customers when it rains in the shop).

I thought putting a roof on your shop would be more expensive. I beleive this would eliminate the raining on the customers in your shop. :lol: :stuck_out_tongue: