Sorry I haven’t been as active in the forum as usual. We’re in the homestretch of opening store #2 and store #1 has been demanding lately with the additional sales and events so my time is very limited. I still check in every other day or so but haven’t posted often because the advice in here has been outstanding.
To catch you up on the “Sundown Salute” 4th of July festival put on by the city, sales were better than expected. I projected a modest $400/day in sales from our vendor’s tent and would’ve been happy with $300/day. As it turned out we brought in over $4,000 over the 6 days and it spurred a record week on week ending 7/1/07. This week has been just as good, though we’ll fall short of a new record by a few hundred dollars.
Next week we’ll be installing the remaining flooring at the new store and running the plumbing for the 3 compartment sink and handwashing sinks. The following week we’re having the signage delivered. Our projected opening date was slated for this week, but due to increased demand at the first store I was forced to push it back another month. I just don’t want to leave store #1 hanging while I open another, so eating the rent for a month jabs me a little in the short term, but should pay dividends in the long term.
I sat down with my former manager and had a discussion on where the store was and where it’s going. We both agreed it would be in the store’s best interest if he were to step down. It was almost like he was relieved I was doing this. He’s a good man and means well. It was an experience I hope he learned from so he can apply it to his next job.
Meanwhile, I took over the store for the next couple weeks, freaking out the entire time because I had no manager for store number one while I’m building and about to open store number two. Of course, we started pushing the local store advertising again and sales started to shoot way up to levels before I left my post… causing me to freak out even more because now I’ve got a high volume store with no manager for store number one while I’m building and about to open store number two.
I put feelers out everywhere and picked up a manager from Little Ceasars. This manager hated the product and the direction of the company, but had been there for quite a few years and felt obligated to stay… until she had a disagreement with a supervisor. About that same time I got into contact with her. She now works for me. She’s good and she loves to clean and stay organized. Right now her biggest challenge is to hand toss pizzas and to learn our menu because it’s a little more advanced than what she’s used to.
I’ll be sticking around store number one for a few more weeks to make sure she’s good to go. After that, I’ve GOT to get store number two going.
you have my sympathy and understanding, there brother. There is no pain in our business like the stress of working night and day to get a store open after blowing past the second or third projected date . . . .and not having a lot of control over how soon it gets open.
Cool videos. I’ll put one together in a week or two after we get our dining room finished. It will look much more like a pizzeria at that point. If I scare up time, I may do a little footage now and then the full tour when done.
While we were trying to open our second location seemed like everything under the sun happened and kept pushing the opening date. Store #1 which felt like it could run itself seemed to collapse the more I needed it to stand.
LOL, thanks for the bit of encouragement Nick. I just found out last week from a very high ranking Papa John’s official (and an old bud) that the town in which store number 2 is located produced a national opening week sales record for Papa John’s: over $50k the first week. Of course they also set another record the following week for the largest decline from opening week sales when they dropped over $30k and finished with around $20k. They’re now putting along at $13k-$14k, which is pretty decent in my book.
So yes, I’m eager to get it open. I’ve got 80 ten second “teasers” set up on the radio stations to start the week prior to opening. I’ve also got a direct mail ready to drop, announcing “Now open”. We’re going to try to set a record ourselves in this town. Just got to get it going. -J_r0kk
I’m new and came accross this thread. I saw your youtube videos, I like how you set up your store; it is cool. I got some questions though.
Did you hire out all the work on the store or did you do it yourself? Are you going to run the store or have a manager? What do you plan to do for staffing the store for opening especially if you do $50,000? What offers do you have for the opening?
I noticed from the videos that you said you wanted to be open in June. What happened and do you have an opening date in mind? Also what else set back your date?
If the ball ever gets rolling on our next location, I’m going to schedule the signage as one of the 1st things to get done. Then we’ll have a “countdown” going in the window for the grand opening or some such. In the past, it was always a race to get the sign up before we opened. I’m starting to think that we missed out on a good opportunity to build awareness.
Has anyone tried “branding their build out” before?
That was actually part of our build up to 1st night for us. Brief background on my place: we closed Oct31 due to lost lease . . . built out an old place completely and re-opened 7 months later.
We did anything and everything to let people know we were still in the fight and still making progress. We saw a couple of news articles done since we were rehabilitating a building vacant 18 years, we had a flashing sign as part of the property, so used that a bit. We put paper over all the windows while we were building to create a sense of mystery kinda like “Willy Wonka”. We bought signage for the last couple months with our logo and slogans on it to cover the windows with “What’s Your Craving” and our logo. We even put a few flyer/posters out prior to reopening.
I recommend it if you are getting close and have a good hard date (yeah, right). We had to bump our opening a couple times due to construction delays and my back/knees being just too tired to work 10 hour days building at the end of it.
J_rOkk, Seriously, how would you handle a 50k opening week? How do you plan to recruit a staff for that? What offers are on your direct mail piece?
Actually, I think I confused you. I said we were going to try to set record ourselves in this town, meaning we were going to try to break the “Wheat State Pizza” opening week sales record… not the Papa John’s opening week sales record. My goal is to open between $16k - $20k… and yes, I’ve got staff that I’m pulling in from other stores to help.
brad randall writes:
In the past, it was always a race to get the sign up before we opened.
I’ve got the same race going on here. The good news is the banner announcing us coming to town has been up for a month. My signs were actually supposed to be up about 3 weeks ago but I had to stop everything because store #1 was in a bad way and I had no idea how long I’d be there.