Time to vent (guilt free)

OK you might have seen me posts over the last while asking about becomming a independent pizza shop owner. I have looked at hundreds of post here about running, owning and driving for a pizza shop. My question to all of you is this if you have a shop would you keep it if you could have a good job 8-5 with benies and vacation? Those of you that want a shop, same question. What is the driving force for all owners and wanna be owners to be a PIZZA SHOP OWNER.

granted im only a manager at the moment, but my goal of owning my own restaurant pizza or otherwise is this: puting out great food that makes ppl happy, i love to cook, and really love to cook for other ppl. yeah i want to make money but not worried about being rich, if i wanted that i would have continued with my graphic design career.


I was 14 when I first started working in the pizza biz. That was 16 years ago. I had tried other lines of work and always got pulled back to pizza. Vendors and even customers of one place I worked kept asking me when I was going to open my own place. I had always dreamed having my own business so when I thought I was truly ready I went for it and haven’t regretted it. For me it was never about making loads of money,it was about doing something I loved.

I do it for the money and i like being the owner. I make a lot of money and making more as time goes on and would never own my own business if i did not make good money. I think everyone should own there own place for their own reasons tho. If you like or love it an make enough money thats great!!!

TD, I’m working through the process of leaving a “career” where I’ve been protected with an average salary, always had health insurance, had a SEP retirement plan for several years, have served it as a manager and as an owner for 33 years.

I’m soon going to be 50 years old and yeah…I’m crazy and making the jump into my first pizza place. Why? Heart. Dreams. Desire. Passion. Love. Thrill. I’ve got 33 years in a JOB. Now I want something I can love!

If that isn’t burning in you. Keep looking. (IMHO)

My driving force?

I love having no time off, getting paid less than my staff, being abused by customers, not having a social life, fighting to pay bills, doing heaps of paperwork, putting up with staff not turning up for shifts, always smelling like onions and cooked pizzas, missing out on family get togethers (not always a bad miss though), lack of sleep as your mind tries to work out how to pay bills and grow business 24/7 … oops got to go now, had my 2 minute break


Thats the kind of stuff i like to here. Even yours wa Dave…

Dasve hit it big. Owning a pizzeria can be a lifestyle. Having to be an owner=operator is very DEFINITELY a lifestyle. It eases up as you can step back to let the trianed staff run the place, but it is almost always a part of your thoughts and plans. Make sure you are certain whether you will be involved in daily operation . . . that makes a huge difference on the realities of ownership.

I always said I wanted to make a living with food as long as I didn’t own a restaurant. Well, now I own one, and it isn’t so bad. I am building the memories and reams of hundreds of little children who will tell their children one day about the little pizza place in the town where they grew up . . . and the big hairy guy who ran it. We are also helping busy parents feed families on the go . . . giving them a well deserved break from cooking/cleaning after long day at work.

It has its benefits in addition to the clothes that smell of oregano and chicken grease.

Thanks Nick i checked out your site and it looks like you got a good operation there. Keep up the good work.

Soooo many benefits!!

Never have to diet in the summer…
No need for a perm, hair curls by itself
Make pizza, wash dishes, then seal all boxes with the glue you just made on your apron.
Seeing the look one everybody’s face when your kitchen towels catch on fire in the dryer at the laundromat
Flour handprint lets cutomers know your husband still likes you(it’s not that funny anymore)
Have the honor of plunging other peoples “stuff”
Get stopped by a cop on the way home and he asks what that white stuff is on your nose
ALL the dogs in the neighborhood love you, and your shoes, and your car…
Kids never ask to borrow your car!!!
Answering questions like: “how small is your small?” And “will I like it?”
And so much more!!

Dude, this should me more about YOU. Are you willing to put in 60,70,80,100 hours a week at your own independent store to start out? If you are just starting out at your own store, forget about vacations and benefits. With an independent shop with no brand recogniton, you will have to do everything until you get a good customer base. You have to ask yourself are you willing to do that for the POTENTIAL benefit of owning your own shop? If you run your shop well you WILL enjoy the benefits from it. Time off when you want it, decent pay, etc. But, there will be a lot of stress and anxiety getting there. Things to consider: Laying off workers who depend on you for their employment, equipment breakdowns, financing your retirement/savings for “unexpected expenses”, dealing with all employee issues. Basically, there is alot to be invested this business. I think you have to have the right personallity and mind frame for it. The benefits can be nice but the risks are high especially if you have a nice job with benefits, BUT if you have the drive to do it, I think there is no better feeling.

That’s a tough question, because people’s attitudes will change depending on where their business is at.

I’ve been open 4 1/2 years now. I didn’t start making serious money until about my 4th year anniversary, so that’s only been six months now. My first two years I lost money. The second two years we made some money but had to dig out of the debt hole created by the first two years. I had a modest income during that time.

For me, the answer to your question varied through those years. During the first two years, when we were losing money every month, I was just fine with the business and wouldn’t have traded it for a steady job. I knew I would lose money for at least two years so I knew I was working for the payday coming.

Years 3 and 4 I regretted the business. I would have easily traded it for a steady job with a decent income. We were running well above break-even, but every month the money disappeared to pay off debt. I felt like I had succeeded but wasn’t seeing any fruits of my labor.

Based on what I heard from a lot of people, it would take two years to start making a profit and I that was my motivation for those first two years. That’s exactly what happened, but I didn’t have any cash coming in. I had to pay off credit lines, credit cards and vendors I was behind with. I constantly felt like I was robbing Peter to pay Paul even though the business was turning a good profit.

Despite seeing a nice net income on the P&L I had to liquidate some investments to keep the cash flowing. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore and days were starting to feel like a grind. My GM was making more than I was. I felt like I was wasting my life because I was losing time I could have been building a “career”. I was always restless.

My attitude changed again around that 4 year anniversary. I still had a few debts to pay off, but my sales finally went “over the top”. There’s enough coming in now to cover my debt service and make pretty good money. If my growth rate stays steady I’ll take home far more money in 2009 than I could make at a job. At the same time, I’ve built an asset that will be worth much more money than I put into it. That’s something that a job can’t offer.

Sitting from where I’m at now, I feel like it was all worth it. But you would have never convinced me that it would have all been worth it during years 3 and 4. I wanted out.

Read up carefully, do your homework, and get as much as you can out of this board. I would do anything to go back 5 years and know what I know now.

We like pizza. Thought it would be fun! We had no idea what we were getting into…
We bought our place in 2002. My husband and I [b]both[/b] still work our full time jobs. He works for a steel mfg. and I am a sleep tech. We have a small farm, 5 kids and my 75 year old Mother with us. All have, or do work at the restaurant. You need a good support system, family and friends. For those days when you just can’t do it anymore.
We planned that one of us would eventually run the pizza place and the other would carry the medical. Hasn’t happened yet… but we are NEVER bored. It is a huge commitment. Most of the time it is worth it. Are you ready for that? I don’t think anyone really is. It’s just what you do. Until you don’t… :? (keep the “benies”)

Beginning to get discouraged…

Not really Charles. Tired maybe. But isn’t everyone. Thanks to you guys I have gotten my food costs down. Just had a freezer go out and insurance went up though. The good news is that we have almost replaced all the used
equipment that came with the place. :lol: Not suggesting he not go for it, just maybe hang onto full time job for awhile.
You meet some really good people in this business. Have learned a lot. The kids are fun. Yeah, there are some good points. We never get a bad pizza! You??

Yeah, without the kids around the shop I would be a mean old 57 year old fat, bald grouch instead of just a 57 year old (now not so fat thanks to 10 months in the gym) bald grouch. The kids keep you young and keeping you laughing even when times are tough.

We are just turning over a number of staff who have been with us for the last 18 months as they now go off to university. That feels good when you see what they have achieved while they have been with you. It’s not all about the business but those who make up the business.


for me this is what I love, its what I know and I dont wake up and think god I hate my job…now there is the missing of family functions but I have for the time being over come that as I invite the family here for things like fathers day, heck we even had christmas at the restaurant this year the family loved it…
with anything in life you will have peaks and valleys…do it over again…i would like to think so…

No, I meant I am getting discouraged. :slight_smile:

No, I meant I am getting discouraged. :slight_smile:

Is it your turn? Hang in there …it will get different!! :wink:

I want to open a place but it is always one thing or another. Then my partner pulled out. So I am on my own. But even if I land this location I want, the stories in this thread give me pause.