Startup Pizzeria

We are located in Alabama and are in the process of obtaining a pizzeria location from 1,000 - 1,500 sq ft. in a formerly owned restaurant location to help offset some cost with electrical, plumbing, etc., assuming there will be no refridgeration or specified pizza-making equipment.

We have $150,000 all in startup budget. Our lease will run $1,500 to $2,500 per month. This is after research and running the comps in our area.

We are looking for advice and are wanting to know what is the minimum equipment we would need to start up the pizzeria other than the oven?

We intend to go with a Mugnaini wood fired oven and to also hand toss our pizzas. We will be using the best available and freshest ingredients in our pizzas and will be striving to produce a high quality product.

If you will send me your E mail address I will send you a 9 page listing of equipment usually used in a pizza shop.
George Mills

What kind of market research have you done?..Is there enough folks in your area willing to pay a “premium price” for a “premium product”?..I have worked with startups in the past that could not develop enough sales to remain viable…Some ran out of money and were forced to close their doors…While others went to a more middle of the road product and survived…Good luck!

One thing to remember as a new operator, make sure you are in a solid location for dine-in given the wood-fired oven. Wood-fired ovens do not deliver well and even carryout will not be great once the customer gets home thus you are relegated to dine-in only for the most part with some carryout but no delivery. Delivery, while it’s a hassle, can be your saving grace. For dine-in business, you rely on the weather. If the weather is nice, people will be out and they’ll come in. If it’s not, then they stay at home and order delivery. Again, it’s all about location for dine-in only concepts like you’re doing and they can of course be successful no doubt, but just keep that in mind.

To answer your question, walk-in fridges, POS system, pizza prep table, and mixer are your biggest $ items after the oven/hood installation. Make sure the current electrical and plumbing is up to code and if not, make sure the current setup is grandfathered in to avoid bringing it up to code and save you startup coin since it sounds like you’re buying a place so this could be the case.

Best of luck and we’re all here for you should you need any help/advice!

make sure the current setup is grandfathered in

Our experience is that nothing is grand fathered for a new operator. You must bring everything up to the current code to get an ocpliency permit.

George Mills

When buying an existing shop it will be required that everything will have to be brought up to building, health and fire department current code. Many existing operations have code violations that are grand fathered in.

Those grand fathered situations cannot be passed on to a new operator.Some such as restrooms not meeting the latest handicapped code can be costly to upgrade.

Have your prospective facility inspected by all three jurisdictions so you can asses the potential costs to meet the codes.

George Mills

Nothing will be grandfathered in, as soon as the license changes hands you must update. The biggest one that got me was installing a fire escape. The old business didn’t have one but as soon as I got the space… 20,000 dollars later we have a fire escape. Thankfully I had saved up 3 times what I budgeted for build out. Trust me, however much you think it will cost, double it, then set aside some extra money just in case.

Trust me, however much you think it will cost, double it, then set aside some extra money just in case.

Words to live by. “Twice as long, twice as much”
I’m in a build right now- and it’s more like “3 times as long and 3 times as much”
Fire inspector walks in yesterday and says “Well, now that you built those walls- you need 4 more heads. And the 35 heads you have are dated 1968 and they are 50-year heads so they expire in 45 days. And… you’ll need a
head in that fancy new walk-in cooler. Might want to change those heads over the oven to hi-temp heads, while you are at it”
Guy was in here for 10 minutes and cost me $12,000