When does it become easier?

Hi everyone
It’s been a while since my last post, but heres my ?
I have been in buisness for 5 years, I started out just as a take & bake but 9 months into it I added a small conveyor then added 2 more then finally got a double stack 3240 XLT I’m doing about 45,000 in sales a month. But it’s still hard to make a profit. Costs, rent 1750, food 28%, labor 12.5% gas-electric 1200, the rest is about25%. I market at about $1500 a month menu mailers, million dollar letters, dine for less deals on the radio. Just raised my topping prices a .25, hope that helps. I’m the only one in a town (15000 people in a 5 mile area)that delivers and my only other comp. in my area is Papa Murphy and the food stores. I take home to pay the bills about $5000 a month. How can I increase my profit


Looks to me like your doing just fine.
Time is key here… As time goes on , you will increase…
Check your numbers for the prior 5 years… If you increasing every year, your on the right track.

I went back for the past 12 years and sales increased 15% year after year… (i believe i only had 4 price increases in the time)

Have you done more aggressive marking at times?..Right now you are only spending 3.4% of your sales…I have some clients that go up to 12%…While in the long run 12% is probably not sustainable, in the short term an increase in should boost your sales and most importantly get names in your POS…Do you have a POS?

As far as where to spend your $s, do you have fully wrapped delivery vehicles?..Does your store have great curb appeal?..How fresh is the interior of your store?..Do you get your menus to every house in town at least every 4 or 5 weeks?..Do you phone up names in the phone book that have not ordered from you and delivered them a free pizza?..Do you hand out marketing material at local events?..Are your staff in fresh logo tees or aprons both in the store and while marketing at events?..

Good luck!

Yes we just bought a 2 station Food tec pos in June, been thinking about the car wrap, curb apeal is good new paint in July, painted dinnig room and new carpet in May and my employees have pressed chef coats with cloth Italian chef hats(great look). Box top every pizza box with pizza slice magnets get 8 magnets, return them for free pizza, repeat return loyolty program with Kamaron Karrington, punch card that Grande cheese gives me. Menu on every box with up sell coupons. Just looking for a little boost in sales and profit.

Celebrating our 17 year anniversary this month. When we opened worked open to close. I would say it was right around the 7 year mark relief starting coming in and continued for the last 10 getting better with each year despite our mistakes.

A few years back when we would have continued to reap the rewards we thought it was a brilliant idea to borrow our way into a 2nd store. Drowning in debt despite great sales and Forgot how much it took physically the first five years…we said what the heck are we thinking…after realizing the error of our ways we sold our second location and became debt free during that time.


So the answer to your question? Be patient. Be deliberate in your actions. Get debt free (business and personal) as fast as you can, continue to do what you are doing building and keeping sales. It takes time! Set some goals and make it happen. The greatest way to fail at our dreams is to never make plans to achieve them!

Going to mexico to celebrate our 20th anniversary, selling location 2 and becoming debt free! :mrgreen:


Tony, you crack me up… “I’m only making $60,000 a year”… remember how you were doing when we first met?

Anyway buddy… I like that you want more… take a look at this: http://repeatreturns.com/files/plans/co … f#zoom=100

Might be exactly what you’re looking for to drive more traffic, more often.

Very hot with Repeat Returns merchants… You can call Shelley at the office too for more info…

My best as always,

Kamron Karington

Good Move with FoodTec
That was the best decision i ever made

Im more of a concept guy than a money guy…but that 1500 a month ad money seems alot to me. Especially in a small town. I’ve always beleived in word of mouth.

Plus, I LOATHE those coupons. Who cares how much you gross through those if you lose a penny every single time someone uses them…and coupon users almost NEVER come in WITHOUT a coupon.

Lastly, if you serve just pizza, 28% is a bit high, no??

The problem with “word of mouth” is that you are limiting your reach to the few folks that you do business with and you have to rely on them to get your message out…This leaves the majority of your market untapped…

If you read in the archives of this forum you will find a few posts from folks who took over family run and/or long time operations that did not do much marketing and when they did, they increased their marketing and were successful in increasing their bottom line…At the end of the day it is not so much how much you spend but how much you can take to the “bottom line”…

If your place is really popular with families, with lots of repeats, you might consider a soft goods line. T-shirts, hats and even some other logoed items could draw more income. Another option to consider is outside sales . . . events, festivals and catering. It’s a new liability line, but also rather lucrative in the pasta, pizza world. Schools, clubs, churches . . . they all have gatherings that could be targets for your services. “Pizza Making” parties have surges every now and again in popularity.

I believe a key will be expanding your vision and concept of service area. Finding ways to put your food in front of people, and make it accessible further away and more often.

15,000 people, what does that equate to as address count?

I have a store that has roughly 9,000 addresses. I do about $50,000 a month in sales. Food runs 28% Labor 20% (plus taxes 28%). I have very high rent (IMO) for my 2800sqft location - $3800+CAM. Seating for approximately 50 people. Mon-Fri lunch time all you can eat Pizza Buffet.

I own multiple shops in a regional franchise - advertising $ are about $2700 a month for this shop. I too use Repeat Returns and have all the bells and whistles in my POS.

My opinion is that my sales cap is about $60,000 a month - which means I can make about 6k-7k profit/salary from this unit if I get the sales there.

Your probably looking at near maximum as you just dont have the demographics to get you much higher.

Any growth in the town? Of course with growth comes Big 3 presence.

Hey Tony! What is the 25% - other going to? You seem to have listed the biggest typical expenses and I know there are some that are not listed, but I would be shocked if they added up to $11,000 per month. Is there a note payment in there? Are you buying a piece of commercial property? Are you buying things to improve the store? Something tells me that you are increasing your net worth (or the value of the business) by more than you are crediting yourself for? Either that or perhaps you could trim some of that 11K per month to let you take home more.

Paying off POS, Xlt oven, gasoline for diliveries, ins,cpa., garbage, back taxes $17,000 (self employment tax s**ks) Became s-corp first of the year so no more of that. I like the idea of selling soft lines that Nick said.

There is far more to be gained by selling soft goods at or below cost to get your brand out there than there is to be made by selling them at a profit…Promotions like buy so many pizzas and get a free shirt or hat work very well…And they are better than buy so many pizzas and get a free pizza because you are in business to sell pizza not give it away free…

OK, that makes a little more sense. It sounds like the business is in pretty good shape - other than the back taxes, and it sounds like you are cleaning that up. While ongoing improvements are part of the game, ovens and POS are two of the more expensive investments you can make. You have a decent income, good cost control, ability to improve your business, and eventually as things get paid off, and hopefully some small incremental increases, you will have an even more solid income.

Many of the owners here would consider this situation very successful. What are you looking for that you do not have?

You have a nice shovel (sales) but again it is worthless if you are having to send all that to debt.

I suggest you look over your entire financial. There will be a few places you can save some dough. Check your cc fees, phone bill, insurance etc. Pick up some quarters there.

I would then look at the 3 most controllable forces to build some dough.

Food, Labor and Sales

Food…have you done a recent analysis of your food cost for menu items are? Over the years we have become shocked when we do it because every now and again an item increases bit by bit without much notice until we finally realize our food cost has gone out of whack.

How are your prices with your current vendor? Do you have good control on portion control?

Are you tracking your labor daily? Each shift. Do you have labor goals? Can you schedule a few people in late or out early?

Sales are you suggestive selling every order. Are you bundling coupons? Door hanging is very low cost marketing. Do you have a birthday club for kids? Business lunch winners? Are you on facebook? Do you regularly have meetings with staff to set goals and expectations? Are you box topping?

Basically all the above items can be done without breaking the bank. Make a plan. Make a budget and use it.
With that kind of money you can get out of debt pretty quick. Debt especially to the IRS can do crazy things to you. Lots of energy spent on that stress when you could be using it to build your business. Hang tight and be deliberate.

Word of mouth in 2011 means something different than word of mouth in 2000.

With the internet, word of mouth spreads like crazy…and at no cost.

But, the downside is that BAD word of mouth spreads also…though I think that there will be legislation in the next few years that may change this a little bit.


Would you mind explaining what you do for the kids birthday club?

Here is how we do our birthday club…by far one of the most effective marketing tools we utilize.

We give the kids a coloring sheet which includes an area for name, address, birthday.

They are encouraged to fill it out and turn it in to “win” the coloring contest.

Every kid wins the coloring contest once. All they get is a 9" cheese pizza for dine in only. If there are 2 kids in a family I pick one (the next time the other one will win)

We send them back their coloring sheet with a “winning certificate” and magnet to hang it on their fridge.

We logged the birthday in a 3 ring binder by month (now we have a database)

Twice a month we send out birthday postcards for a 9" cheese pizza.

That is the gist of it. I think it works cuz kids love mail, kids love to win, kids love pizza. Kids help decide where the family is having dinner. We get them while they are young because in a few years they will be future employees and then when they have families they are future paying customers and our place leaves a pleasant taste in their mouth because they are “winners”.

When holidays come up we use the database to send postcards for something for the kids.

All the offers are for dine in only. That is the quick version. :mrgreen:

Kris you are 100% correct with the KIDS LOVE MAIL!!! Then that mail is on the fridge and looked at dozens of times…over and over. Hopefully until the parents take it and cash it in for a pizza.