"What am I Doing Wrong"

We have been in the pizza business for over 5 years at the same location. We make the best brick oven pizza in the City and only use the finest ingredients in our pizza, subs, etc. We have been constantly told by numerous customers that we make the best pizza in town.
If all of this is true, then why can’t we make money? Regardless of what ever we do to promote business we can’t seem to increase our sales. It seems that we can only break even, year after year.
What are we doing wrong? Is anyone else in the same position?

PS: This years sales have been the lowest I have ever seen. Everyone in Town is complaining including Dominoes. Whats going on?

What are the demographics of your town/city marketing region? How many other pizzerias/chains are within your marketing area?
The first question may hold the answer.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I think the main answers are in the questions above.

In addition, you may need to raise your prices. If you are indeed the best, your prices should reflect that. And if you are using the best ingredients, your costs are more than those who you cheaper ingerdients.

I rarely go to the cheaper price places, am always looking to pay more for something better, especially when it comes to food.
I do not mind paying more for better prepared food, even if the operators cost of goods are the same.
You may be able to raise prices and not lose volume.

One thing I like about this pizza business, is that the best ingredients are not a lot more, and most of the quality is in the technique.


I have to really agree with Otis. I wouldn’t be too concerned with what Domino’s is or isn’t doing. If your pizza is of high quality, there shouldn’t be a whole lot of correlation with those guys.

I’m also like him in that when I go out to eat, I don’t go cheap. I don’t even think about what it’s going to cost. I want what I want and I’ll gladly pay for it. Those are the kind of customers that my shop has as well. He could very well be right that you’re not charging enough or positioning your place as a “gourmet” shop.

You know for 7 years since I bought my pizza place I always worried about my price. This last year was my best year but I didnt make a lot more profit. Why? Cause i was to worried about raising prices! So Last week I did it. I figured everything here (Alberta) is costing me more the economy is great everybody has money and I want more of it. Well instead of trying to be just below my competitions prices I finally charged what I should really be charging for my pizza. Since tuesday I have made about 800.00 more then last week on about the same number of tickets so thats about 200 per day average if this continues I will make about 72000.00 dollars more!
Raise your prices! if you have a good product and great service you can only gain.

Dear Tom:

We are located in a City of approximately 100,000 people in Westchester County(New Rochelle) N. Y. There are two major chains in our city, Pizza Hut and Dominoes. Both of these chain stores are within our “delivery area”. There are also 6 other independents, however, only two are within our immediate vicinity…Thanks AJ

Good point. I can relate to that. A year and a half ago I bought a new pick-up truck and I put my “old” car up for sale. It was a 19887 Dodge Diplomat, V-8, fully loaded, perfect body, everything worked just fine, new tires and brakes, no oil burning and the best part, 28 m.p.g. on the road. I used it primarily for driving back and forth to the Kansas City Airport. Not a thing wrong with it, I just wanted a change. I put the car up for sale with an asking price of $650.00. I figured I had gotten my use out of the car, and the $650.00 would cover the cost of registuring the new truck fo rthe first year. After a month on the market no takers. My assistant’s son needed a new car so Jim came to me and asked about my car. Said it was still for sale. One of his first questions was whats wrong with it? I said nothing was wrong with it, its prefect. He said, then why are you selling it so cheap? (see where this is going?) His son drove the car and loved it, bought it and it is still serving him well. Since than a number of people have approached me and said that they would have bought the car if they had known it was so clean. (All of my advertising stated how clean it was and that everything worked). Just like we advertise our pizzas as being the absolute greatest, but if the price doesn’t relfect that aspect, they just think of it as another cheap pizza without ever even trying it. Sometimes you just have to charge more for your pizza to convince people that it REALLY is a better quality pizza. Go figure!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor