What to do about lunch...


I’m a newbie to this forum but not to pizza - just need some wisdom! We have a location that has been operating for three years - lunch and dinner Mon - Sat (closed Sunday). Last year we did 453K (town pop. 2000). Most restaurants in town are closed Monday and a couple are closed for lunch too. We are looking at closing Monday and for lunch (new hours Tue - Sat 4p to 9p). Estimating (based on historical data) we’ll lose 90k in sales (if dinner sales stay the same as last year). Any thoughts? My wife and I have 6 children and I feel the need to be a better father and husband - pizza has always been secondary.

Thanks for the help!

Ok small town with limited lunch options and not only do you close down a full day or two a week but now you want to write off 20% of your gross sales by cutting out all lunches? NUTS! Why not expand to full 7 day operations… hire a mgr to cover lunches and a few nights. Lighten your work load. Expand menu a little. Labor cannot be that high in a town that small to have a mgr or lead person and one or two others to cover the time. Why not instead of a 20% cut lets shoot for a 20% increase and with more time off for you in it all? Owning a business sucks at times because the public…also known as your income… expects service when they need or want it. Those are usually the same times you want personal or family tims also. This is also where you make the choice…do you own a business or a job? One is just work and the other is your career and future. One hopefully grows into a lifestyle while the other runs you into the ground. Just your brief description tells me you could go either way here. First ask where you will be in 5-10 years if you take route one and then route 2. You can impact this one way or another.

I would not close for lunch if you averaged 250 a day for lunch, thats enough sales to pay for morning labor and i really dont look at lunch time labor anyways. We use that for prep time and marketing. If i come in at 5pm and labor is 40% who cares. By 7pm its back down to 20%.

Closing for lunch sends the wrong message i think. If you were doing 50-100 dollar lunches all the time then maybe close but not at 250 a day average

I think your post is very refreshing, you always hear operators want more more, but you want to give up 90k a year. Refreshing but not reasonable you do realize that about 10% of the town is in your restaurant for lunch. I agree with Mike.


I have one thought…I’ll buy the business from you right now, for $1.

You apparently don’t think it’s worth much more than that, to even think about cutting down as you wrote. It’s time to give a longtime employee more responsibility (and, of course, a little more salary), and even expand your lunch. I wouldn’t go expanding the menu too much–are you a pizza place, or a burger place?–but come up with some way of adjusting your offerings

This may not be totally upfront, but here’s a test I’ve often wanted to try. Some Monday, put a sign on your door “Closed due to emergency”, and sit inside doing some paperwork or something, in such a way that anyone at the door can’t see you. See how many people come to the door. Or, leave altogether, and see how many people ask if everything is ok. That will be an answer to closing Mondays.

Given the situation as you explained it here, use Mondays as a day to supplement business by cleaning, organizing, ordering/receiving, training, trying out new product…maybe you can attract some business when people realize you offer new stuff every Monday! Get a sample of something the week before, save it for Monday and have something to offer special for Monday lunch.


Since I may have a little “inside info” I will tell you my thoughts - Close for Lunch Monday to Thursday. Stay business as usually on Friday and Saturday.

Losing the 4 days of lunch when you probably were not doing anything those days wont hurt at all. Build Friday into something special at Lunch. Saturday lunch in your market seems like a no brainer to me - I could be wrong?

Doing 453k you have to be able to afford someone to run those lunches on Friday and Saturday and Monday nights, if you want to be available to your family more.

You have built something special and I would not want to see you lose all you have built there over a “time” issue. Your right, family does come first and it is easy to think about dropping all those hours as a way to help you with that. But I think finding a balance is the better solution.