I’m contemplating on taking over a small pizza shop in our city. I’ve had long talks with the seller and he said he’ll show me everything he knows and that I’ll be up and running on my own in no time.
I’m afraid that even if I replicate his products exactly, I wouldn’t know if we’re selling a good product until I hear it from the customer themselves. I’ve talked to people around town and their comments on the seller’s pizza is that they’re just OK, not great. So I would need to look into improving his pizza if I were to take it over.
My problem is I don’t know whats considered a good pizza as I eat them about twice a year due to my health consciousness.
I know its in the dough, cheese, sauce, toppings etc. And I know it depends on the individual consumer and their preference, but is there a common denominator on what is considered a GOOD pizza that someone could describe in words and methods to achieving Perfect pizza??
By the way, I have been eating around town trying out different pizza joints and have eaten more pizza in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 5 years. At the end, my feelings are that they’re ok and nothing really wow’d me since I’m not a pizza lover. And so I want to hear from you experts out there to get some insights whats considered a GREAT pizza by the general public???
My only useful tidbit at the moment is to search the archives to make sure you don’t buy someone else’s problem. A lot of people over-pay for businesses that are not keeping accurate books and are losing their shirts.
Snowman, that brings me to another fact I’ve forgotten to mention. The seller has another pizza shop just 3 miles away.
His reason for selling is that they got the new location because the landlord for their old location told them they might have to vacate due to new developements in the area. And now that they’re told they don’t have to move, they don’t want the head ache of managing two shops.
And so my other concern was that will he truly disclose his secrets to me on making a good pizza given that he’s just 3 miles away???
The general public consider any edible pizza that feeds their entire family for a very small cost to be ‘great’.
There’s a ever shrinking number of people that will come to your place simply because it tastes better. Those were the ‘good ole days’. Now it’s about price, convinence, then quality and then service in that order IMO.
I agree with td. However, if you want to improve the taste of your pizzas quickly, it’s all about the sauce. Dough generally has the same taste, with a few exceptions in texture. Toppings will pretty much taste the same though you can purchase higher quality toppings with a little more flavor. Sauce, though, is what makes your pizza different from any other.
All three have very distinct flavors when it comes to their pizza sauce. Find a sauce recipe that the majority of your pizza public will appreciate and you’ll be known as “great”.
Marketing took the industry there and marketing (your shop) to the contrary can sway that public perception.
I had a new customer walk in and asked if our mushrooms were canned or fresh sliced. I proudly replied, “We sell quality products, of course they’re fresh sliced.” He said, “Great I’ll take two slices with mushrooms!”
You CAN use quality and charge inexpensive prices.
I’ve been telling my nephew for years that there’s a difference between cheap and inexpensive.
Educate (market to) your customers.
There’s this guy that took on two pizza giants that had a 20 year reign as kings of pizza.
Here’s how he looked at it …As a high school student working at a local pizza pub in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter realized that there was something missing from national pizza chains: a superior-quality traditional pizza delivered to the customer’s door. His dream was to one day open a pizza restaurant that would fill that void.
In 1984, “Papa” John Schnatter knocked out a broom closet located in the back of his father’s tavern (Mick’s Lounge), sold his prized 1972 Z28 Camaro, purchased $1,600 worth of used restaurant equipment, and began selling his pizzas to the tavern’s customers. The customers loved the pizza so much that John was able to expand by moving into adjoining space, eventually leading to the opening of the first Papa John’s restaurant in 1985.
Today, there are approximately 3,000 Papa John’s restaurants operating in 49 states and 29 international markets. More importantly, Papa John’s remains committed to its heritage of making a superior-quality, traditional pizza.
<<saving my disagreement in customer philosophy until another thread . . . >>
I would say the very 1st thing to consider before going too far down the planning stage of this newest pizza empire, is to decide what you bring to the business in terms of success. I do believe that maybe 75% of success lies in the ownership/management of the business. What are your interests, skills and passions in:
 food in general
 pizza/italian foods
 restaurant management
 general business operations
 customer service
 personnel hiring, training, managing, developing
 food ordering, receiving, handling and safety
These are not all absolutely necessary at 100% efficacy to succeed. The more you know, understand and love about the above, the better chance you have of not being a statistic (75%+ of new restaurants fail in 6 months).
I love to see new people interested in the industry. I love even more when those people go in with their eyes wide open and with a concept and vision of how to navigagte the really treacherous waters of starting out. This is the best job I have ever had; I believe that in my soul. It is the worst paying job I have had as I have not drawn a “paycheck” or end of year dividend in three years since opening. I will soon, and with some big success. My market is tiny, and has needed lots of development to create the financial success we know will come.
So, there you have it. I think you can succeed without knowing good pizza, but there will be a steep learning curve you have to be committed to . . . lots of things to learn for everyone . . . learning pizza, making it part of who you are, is part of that.
Remembering that “superior” and “quality” are both relative terms. While they may use “superior quality” products to the other econo-pie operations . . . I suspect that it is the equivelent of “having the fasest Yugo on the block”. It’s still a Yugo, and what about the golf carts going faster??
His genius was marketing and convincing the public that he had nearly gourmet food for sale at fast food prices. He was good at it, and his product is, in my opinion, better than the other quick $5 pizza places. Mine is head and shoulders above either, and not out of range for families on a budget.
Patriot said it best! Run away fast!! If this isn’t your passion then get out quick.For gods sake you don’t even like pizza and you want to operate and own one?Wow your in for a rude awakening.Sorry for the bad news.