Thinking of opening a dine in/take out fresh shop

Ok all, this is my first post here so please be patient with me :wink: I’m sure I will be spending hours researching here however just wanted to get some insight on our idea first.

So our plan would be to rent a smaller space with some seating for sit down or take out that was previously a by the slice joint, however it was not a good product and the owners were a bit strange. I don’t know about you but I judge a place all around,staff friendly,did they take my money then not wash up before making food,was the product good and so on. We think of all these things and would practice what we preach. Our menu would be very simple, you order your 10" pie by the number and the only other option would be to add extra toppings for an extra buck ea. Now I have been to enough of those by the slice places where they heat up the slice and I think we could produce and cook a pie in 5-8 min with the correct oven. We have business experience however never in the food industry.

Any suggestions are appreciated and thank you all in advance.

Am I posting in the correct area? 42 views and not a single response…

lol give the minds some time, that’s a baud question ya asked and all the masters around here are busy makin money…lol. first thing you’r gonna learn about the restaurant biz is that when the rest of the world is off enjoying life we are working to make sure the world is happy…so your weekends and nights are pretty much over.
maybe ask some more specific question.

Thanks, tguag I was just checking to be sure. I revised my earlier post as it was a book lol. Since my post I did find out the location is avail however we would need equipment. Our goal is to provide a quality product without all the preservatives etc. We want our customers to live to eat our pizza for many years to come :slight_smile: We have some savings and do not want loans so I don’t even know if it’s feasible as we would not want to get rolling and not have some back up capital to get through the first months while getting going. Our pizza we make is very good and we are currently doing tastings with family and friends but not at it’s full potential with store bought garbage and everyone has loved it even some ultra picky neighbor kids lol. We would buy used equipment and our dough process is very simple. Hmmm can we live at work all the time again now that is a very good point!

Before you sign a lease make sure you figure out what everything is gonna cost…and i mean everything…build out, equipment, rent, utilities, payroll, food costs, maintenance, advertising… everything; then times everything by 12 if you have that much money then you may have just enough…I opened my place 2 years ago and i’m now just breaking even. you should expect to carry your place and need to add in money for the first 12 months. at least that’s what the text book says. Food cost is one of the most important thinks your gonna need to know…if you don’t know what you make on each of your menu items you wont know how much money your making and that is the worst way to run a business. since you have no experience with the service industry maybe get in contact to a reputable restaurant consultant make sure they have a good reputation cuz their are lots of people out their happy to take money.

What kind of oven are you planning to go with? Not many ovens can allow you to make and bake a pizza in 5 minutes. Did the place you are looking to rent already have a restaurant in it? It can get awfully expensive doing a buildout somewhere that has never had food.

Well I can do them in 8 minutes with a regular home oven so assumed a commercial oven could cut down a couple minutes? It was a by the slice joint so is set up how it needs to be pretty much. I just found out the rent is $2150 mo which seems a bit high for the area. I despise high overhead due to my former business so think we need to shop for a cheaper location but that’s hard to find off the interstate like this place. Hmm maybe I can get a joint in a convenience store that gets a lot of traffic like those hot stuff places but then couldn’t go with my healthier ingredients as people coming in there probably won’t pay what I would need to get…Ahh entrepreneurship is never easy! Thanks for the input guys

Rent is 95% of the time negotiable. If you are looking for a good location your going to pay the price. Don’t choose a location based on how much rent is going to cost you. Choose a location because you’ve done your homework (demographic, rooftops, business’ close by, hospitals, schools, playing fields, competition etc). It took me 3 years to find a location that I loved. Remember everyone says the number 1 is location but too many times I see people choose a “B” or “C” location just because it was cheaper than the “A” location.

tguag and paul said it all about expenses. I’m going into an empty space and I’m going to need well over $100,000 to get open and that’s with used equipment. You’re going to run into things that you forgot about and snags everywhere and everything is going to cost you more than you thought. I would really caution when you say you have money saved up that you have enough and some back up in case you fail (should always have 3 months back up salary). You also don’t want to get started on the project and not have enough to finish it. This is going to be my first store so I’m just giving you an example of what I’m going through right now.

Your business won’t exist with out customers and that’s where you should start from. Work out what your ideal customer is and work backwards from there. Obviously you need to study the demographics and learn the area like the back of your hand to do this but it will be well worth it.

Once you know what customer you want to be selling to then you work out the rest ie… Will this location suit, we need x oven to make this pizza, we need x amount of staff to do this.

After all of this is mapped out and it works on a spread sheet then you are ready to press go.

I disagree that the slice customer is willing to wait for you to make them a pizza. I owned a high volume slice business for 10 years and it was all about being fast.

The single serving pie concept you describe is an attractive lunch concept for people who can wait though. I would suggest you consider both a custom made to order pizza for the customer that can wait and slices ready to go for those in a hurry. I never liked the slice business model where you add toppings and put it back in the oven though. We used Hatco warmers and had an assortment of slices hot and ready to go.

Also: Traffic X Conversion Rate X Average Ticket = Sales For sales to change one or more of those factors must increase. Each sales growth tactic should be focused on one or another of these factors.

In a restaurant, conversion rate is pretty easy. Most people who come in buy… but in a slice business, speed is the variable that can cost you conversion. If the customer in a hurry comes in and sees 2-3-4 orders ahead of his and people in line, even if that customer would wait 5 minutes for a pie, they will turn around and leave knowing that it will be several minutes before the 5 minute clock even starts.

Sales growth tactics should attack one or another of the of three factors:

Traffic: Where does your customer come from and how do you get more of them?

Conversion: How do you ensure that the customer you reached orders from you?

Average ticket: What are the factors that increase the ticket? Overall price? Upgraded choices? Add-on sales?

One problem with 10" pizza is that it is cheap! It takes as long to take the order and pretty much same time to prepare and cook but the revenue is half what a larger pizza might get.

  1. posting on a Thursday will get very little response until Monday for the majority of the time. That is mainly due to the fact that Friday and Saturday are nightmares for most of us and NO ONE wants to give you rushed, unsound advise.
  2. Your business model “FOR MY CUSTOMERS” would fail, we have 15 or more gourmet pizza’s and I promise you half of the people would want to change your pizzas, also 10 inch pizzas are my lowest selling item. you cut out all family’s what so ever
    This looks like a business model for subway, pre-made pizza in a turbo chef type oven. would your focus be strictly on the lunch crowd?
    In today’s market rent is very negotiable. For a first timer I would highly suggest using a space previously built out for a restaurant because its going to KILL YOU in hidden items that just fall out of the wood work.
    Also its almost impossible to make a restaurant quality at home. Personally I have not seen any type of grocery store cheese come CLOSE to what you get from distributors. If there is a sysco in your area hit them up, tell them of your plans and maybe they will bring you into there test kitchen!

If you are looking to go into a slice operation, I developed a new concept for a slice operation that allows the customer to have any toppings they want with an average turn around time of 5-minutes. The pizza that is delivered to the customer is fresh, hot and crispy, something that cannot be said about most of the other slice operations, plus you can get your slice with ANY toppings you want, not just those that are on the pizza that is pre-prepared and cut into slices. The concept has an excellent track record and is presently in use.
If you’re interested in learning more about this concept, please get back to me at
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor