# Who wants to give it up??

Im struggling, struggling. I have been working on my menu, I have been making spreadsheets, I have been calculating calculating calculating, researching and researching. And my food cost is to high, after many variations of pricing, I have come to a conclusion. My pizza’s have to many toppings. I dont know how to cut them down, they are pizzas im used to. So tell me, what are your big sellers. What I mean is, what are the pizzas that you think sell well because they seem to be loaded, but in reality, the food costs are very low?? Anyone willing to share? How about tricks of the trade you have learned along the way to keep food costs down??

hold tight till one of the toppings experts gets on here.
They’ll probably tell you about reduction of portions as you increase the items.

I can’t tell you the math as we do it mostly by eye :lol:

Im pretty sure that is where my problem lies When im pricing my items, i mean i have a measurement for say a pepperoni pizza. But when it comes to having a pizza with 13 toppings, im not going to put that much pepperoni on, so i think you are right I have to figure out the amount of toppings weights as toppings increase.

If it helps, take a look at my menu at www.jpspizza.ca My best selling pizzas are the ones I have in the favorites section, the next best sellers are the supreme then the specialty pizzas. You have to remember the more toppings you put on the less of each one goes on.

I charge \$2.00 for the 1st topping. The 2nd one is \$1.50. The 3rd is \$1.25. Anything additional over the 3 is 50 cents each.

I decrease the portion as the toppings increase. The pie weighs a ton if you put on normal portion.

I really don’t sell anything more then a 3 topping pie… my market people like plain and 1 or 2 topping… once in a while they want the everything pie.

Hope this helps!

PS … i miss the old black and white jerseys!

I think you have created a conundrum . . . lots of toppings AND low food costs. It is inevitable that when you created a “loaded” pizza, you have to charge more for it, or live with a higher food cost ratio.

Our shop has several multi-topping ‘signature’ pizzas, and charge a reasonable price for them. We build in a discount of at least 1 topping price when you order a pre-built one. Our food cost averages 28% with 3-ounce portions on 16" pizza . . . . range is 26% to one with 33% cost. Rather than make mega-topping combinations, I just set my portions such that the coverage looks really good, and full. Priced from there, and went on.

The only one we take a ratio ‘hit’ on is a 20 topping “Train Wreck” that is steeply discounted for the pure novelty of it. We charge 26 dollars for the 16" pizza . . . 36.5% f0od cost . . . 16.54 profit per each. They get slightly less of each topping on the pie, but rest assured it is LOADED. We have to use a speed bake on it to cook evenly and heat through.

Well guys, I have seen the light, my biggest problem has been not being in the kitchen in awhile, so busy with finding numbers, and estimates, and locations, I had forgot what it was all about. I must say JP, you have helped me a great deal with your menu. Its about getting down to the basics, and doing some really awesome pizza. Im cooking up a storm here today, and crunching the numbers while I sit, it is going well…thanx all.

Consistancy is a key to making food cost, just one of many though.

We sell toppings at the same price for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. We alos put a full portion on for each topping. It is a business decision we made to separate ourselves from the economy stores. Most of the eco-pizza places decend the tioppings wieghts . . . we make a full pizza. Sometimes it gets heavier, but the customer is willing to pay our higher prices for the value, and they know to order only two or three rather than 5 or 6 toppings.

Besdies, I would hate the math of figuring costs and weights of diminished protions.

Nick do you have a website? Do you weigh your toppings? Willing to share? It may help me to get my head around toppings and such. We are also trying to make sure we seperate ourselves from the econo pizza, we are working in the high end market.
Thanx!

Are you sure that your pricing is in line with your distributor?

Sometimes you also make the most money from your high foodcost items because they have such a good contribution margin. Its better to sell an item with a high foodcost that has a better contribution margin then to sell an item with a low foodcost that has a lower contribution margin. Its about the money you put in your pocket

What do you mean is my pricing in liine with my distributor? I dont know what that means?? Sorry. But it does seems like something i need to know. So please say again, Thanx Rob

Sorry, our website is down for remodeling . . . . like our store

We weight some toppings, and will have a scale at the beginning of March to begin weighing as we build the pizza. I suspect our food costs will get much better. We put these weights on our pizzas

16" 3 ounces cheese 10 oz 23oz dough
12" 2 ounces 7 oz 13oz dough
10" 1 ounce 4 oz 9oz dough

Some very intense topping like garlic, feta and bacon get less, and I don’t have that off top of my head. Mostly it is a sight thing on those (I know).

Sorry about that… I was basiclly asking if your getting decent pricing from your distributor. I’m not sure what your background is, so I don’t know if you have anything to compare your prices to.

But it doesn’t hurt to just ask your distributor what percentage he/she is marking up all your products and to print you out a spreadsheet. If they are giving you a fair price, they should have nothing to hide and provide the information to you.

Also meet with other distributors in your area and compare the pricing. Of course go with whom suits you best and who your going to have the best relationship with.

basically all we have around here is sysco and Neptune (GFS) sysco is a bomb, forget it, their prices were ridiculous, all they kept telling me was I was a new store and they would eventually get their prices down as I ordered more. forget it! Neptune gave me WAY better prices, and has helped me a ton, and didnt penalize me for being new. Money is money, old or new, lol!! They did say if I ordered more product I could negotiate lower prices still, but I mean they gave me good prices to begin with. It just means more money in my pocket later

How would you know if your distributor’s pricing is fair? I haven’t the slightest idea what kind of mark-up is fair in the food distribution business. That’s one of the things that I’ve been wondering about my distributor…what kind of profit/markup they have on the items they sell me, though I would have no other basis to compare it to even if I knew it…

Yes your right I have no idea if its fair or not. I have no idea the mark up they charge me, but I do know what the competition is charging and the distributor ive chosen gives better pricing, and i must say, even including this forum is a better distributor then sysco. We will see with time what happens, I hope to not have to change distributors later.

For a single store account, I would imagine that a distrubutor should be happy with a 13%-16% margain. As sales grow, their margain should go down. A lot will also have to do how easy is it to work your account. Are you insisting on twice a week delivery? are you asking them to bring products in just for you? Are you constantly asking for free samples? All of these affect their margain, and will be put right back on your invoices.

At our store we divide the pizza into % .100 for the whole pizza.
Thus 4 toppings =25% for each topping
13 toppings 7% for each topping.
Also make sure every thing is cut very fine . e.g mushrooms 1mm.

Hope this is some help