first off, would like to say hello to everyone. just registered with PMQ, but have been an avid website reader for some time.
i have been around the pizza business for over 10 years, starting with after school delivery leading to my first shop which opened last fall. i welcome any feedback / ideas / input on my situation.
i am a full time engineer, as well as the proud new owner of a small pizza shop. the owner of my engineering company purchased a building a few blocks from our plant and we completely renovated the interior for the business. everything is either brand new or a few years old right down to the oven, coolers, and even the kitchen sink. i also have a full liquor license which we currently use for mostly carry out 6 packs. we seat 30 people (minimum for the liquor license), and operate 7 days a week (65 hours total). our facility is immaculate and we recently scored a 99 on our health inspection (damn missing cooler thermometer!)
my current staff includes me (after work and weekends), a manager (30 hrs), a few delivery drivers, and 2 part time sandwich makers. my area has a high italian poplulation, and is saturated with pizzerias, many of which close / change hands from year to year. prices in my are are low (most places do 1 x 16" for $8.50 and 2 x 16" for $14.00 the average large hoagie is about $6.00). i currently work about 35 hours a week at the shop.
we rarely have a customer satifaction issue. our food is good. people actually call to tell us how satified they are. because this is a side venture for me, and i have a steady income from my career, i can offer people more for their money and the best ingredients. for example, we use only grande cheeses. everything is homemade (meatballs, soups, chicken salad, etc).
i have been open for about 8 months. i have no loans or outstanding debts other than my 14 day accounts with my 2 food suppliers and last quarter’s sales tax. my labor cost hovers around 40% (keep in mind i am only there about half the time). food cost is 35% (i know this needs to be reduced, but i don’t want to cut quality). my utilities are running about 10%. i don’t include beer sales in these calculations and want that to be considered a seperate entity. long story short, at the end of the week, i just about break even (pay utilities, rent, labor, supplies, advertising, etc).
since opening, sales have dropped considerably. i know various other owners of staples in our area and they are all in the same situation. my city is not a high income area and many consider ordering out for food a luxury. fuel costs have created a double edged sword, increasing my operating costs and limiting people’s disposible income. many restaurants and bars in my area are closed days they normally would be open. it’s discouraging at best.
i need opinions on what my labor cost should be considering my unique situation, how long should i expect to be working without a paycheck, and is this a losing proposition? i am not looking to quit my job and rely on the shop exclusively, just a fair profit at the end of the year.
thank you in advance