Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25k

Hi All,

 Im trying to get some benchmarks for this industry, as I'm full steam a head at this point. First off I want to run a true traditional pizzeria, with a hand tossed high quality product. I want to locate it in a small, convenient pick up only location- no delivery type business.....will the lack of delivery kill me? (scared of the liability, for a small one horse show)  My goal is to run to run it 6 days a week 4-11.

We have 25k in population, and about 7 Pizza Places already, 4 of which are the chains and all deliver. I want to create a specialty authentic pie, something this community does not have have. Most of the places, just use a prefab sysco system, and par baked crust.  ok......will it work, or too much competion?    Weegie

PS We are a bedroom community, to a much larger metro market in the south, and even with the current economy, we continue to grow in population and home owners every month.

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

that’s a pizzeria for every about 3500 people…normally it is closer to 5-6000…may want to rethink on that number…there are many other factor, that is a major one though,


Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25


I thank you for your honesty, other then population…what other factors are important in determining a community to locate within?

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25


I think the idea is good but the concept may be wrong. There are two formulas that prove successful in this business: 1) a delivery/carryout operation, and 2) a dine in/carryout operation. The carryout only operations are tough because most people either want to go out, or order in for pizza. Yes, there are some exceptions to the rule. Little Caesars has maintained marketshare, but at a price. Now they’re known as the $5 pizza place and will never be able to get away from that any time in the foreseeable future.

With that being said, I know several pizza operations who do very well selling NY style pizza slices, or just pizza by the slice in general. Have you possibly thought about that angle? There are also several pizza operations who do very well with a buffet style pizzeria. Have you thought of that angle?

One thing I do know about this crazy business is that the more you scale down your operation to target a specific part of the business, an equal scaling down of customer base occurs as you also decrease the number of potential customers who would entertain the thought of frequenting your establishment because it only offers one type of service. Just be careful while you plan this. You don’t want to create a $2,000/week pizza place that needs to generate $4000/week to survive.


Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

J Rokk,

Again thank you, this is the feed back I need. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in a town of about 4,000 people in central WI, with a much larger city 20 minutes away. I used to often hang out at this take out only place, located in a dowtown alley. To be honest it was an old bakery, the store front had been closed off, and you entered in the back door of the bakery. As soon as you walked in, there was a counter, and reach-in cooler for soda and a grumpy old Italian man behind the counter sceaming…“Wata u want!!”. At the time there was a Pizza Hut and another sit down pizza place in this small town…but this guy sold his “authentic thin crust pie” like crazy…often lines would form at bar time. He told my father once, that he netted more money out of that place, then the full service resturant he ran for 30 years, with 20 plus employees and more head aches…and again no delivery, in fact he would laugh at people asking for delivery and say "what do I looka a like…a taxi?? give a me a breaka!!!
That has been rolling around in my head for years…I guess that is the same kind of place I would like to create. ( I am a somewhat cranky Itailian) I have been trying to duplicate his strong oregano based themed pizzas for years and I think I have them down to a tee, including the crisp Caputo 00 crust…at least on a small scale anyway. Weegie

P.S. Maybe this concept is a couple decades late?

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

Add dine in and dont sell cheap like the big boys and you might have a shot.

That is one of the angles I am looking. NY style dine ine/carry out. Pretty much the only thing you find in the Cinci area is the big chains and smaller chains trying to make the same stuff the big boys are. Would offer Ny style pizza and sicilian pizza. along with some sandwiches , calzones and salads. Sell pizzas by the slice or whole.
Break even seems to be around 4kish so far which is a good chunk of slices and ppl buying your pizzas at a higher cost. Mostly have to educate people that you use better stuff then the big boys. Thats why you charge more. There is a local small chain in this area that does NY stlye and does well. They have a cpl of stores near Campuses and rock those places. Also the others are close to high traffic areas and local business to get foot traffic. Good part is you dont have to have as many employees. 2 at lunch maybe 3 or 4 at night. Make then order and pick up at counter makes it so you dont have to hire Waitresses. Would have to stay open from 11am-9pm in what I am looking at.

The other model is to cave and do what Papa Johns use to do. Just pizza. Go Del/co make a slightly cheaper product then above charge a cheaper price. Just Pizza, bread sticks and chesse sticks. But with haveing drivers and more phone/counter and make ppl your labor will be almost dbl. But you will do alot more volume at first since this is what most of america is programed to. The key is to get them with an ok product as long as the price is comparable to the big guys. Looks like 6k is break even for me in my area for this. Rent will be cheaper but labor will be hirer. Plus with this model I would go with conver. ovens instead of a deck in nY style. Plus I would get a POS system rightaway doign Del/co isntead of just a cash register in Ny stlye. looking ot only be open 4-10 at first.

I am way more comfortable in a del/co setting since i managed in all the big 3. But love the product and style of the NY Style places.
AS J rokk said. You dont want to be doing 2k in a place you need 4k to break even. It seems like that might be the case till a dine in/CO place gets enough word of mouth and you mailing menus to get ppl in.
I worry in a NY style that the break even point will take longer to get to. Once you get there tho you will set yourself apart from the big boys quite well.
Its the big dilema i face in thinking what i want to do. MY wife loves me so much for spending alot of nights talking in circles on pros and cons of each lol. Thank God she was in the pizza bus to and just doesnt look at me with a blank look.

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25


Thank you for your input; you really have done some planning and research. I wonder if there is any school I could attend, like a 1 week or 10 day school that would give me the inside knowledge of the pizza business and help me make better decisions. I know to all you pros this may sound silly, but I’m very concerned about food safety and handling the product. When you have been in the business for years, it’s all second nature…but to me it’s all very new and a huge liability handled improperly. I think my largest concern is costing, knowing what my true costs are and how to prepare with the same quality and consistency every time, and watching my food costs at the same time. I take my hat off to all you business owners on this board, this business is tough!! I have owned a couple other types of businesses, but the profit margins were much higher, and the volume much lower…completely different animal. Weegie

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

Alot of states have courses you can take . I know Ohio has a course, servsafe.

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

7 shops for 25k people and 4 are chains so only 3 indy’s? If I was a gold miner I would say that I had hit the mother load if I found a place with that light of competition. The chains are easy to beat it is the indy’s that give me competition. I have three shops all are delco’s and I wonder with delivery being so expensive is it really all its cracked up to be ? (most of my business is delivery) The key for you is marketing and a good location. With delivery you can get away with a location that is not primo but with pick up only location and marketing will be the key. If you are looking for how to in respect to pizza attend one of the shows.

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25


What is the best show in the industry....I mean most complete representation of the industry, suppliers, new ideas, etc.?

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

When I opened last April, I only offered dine-in and take-out. Of course, I always intended to offer delivery; just not out the chute. I wanted to work out the kinks first. Now 10 months later, my delivery makes up a little more than half of my total sales. And if there’s adverse weather conditions, the percentage goes even higher. I couldn’t even imagine not having it.

I too, live in a bedroom community that is growing like crazy. But the honest truth is that many people, after a long day’s work, simply don’t want to leave home. They’ll pay the extra couple of bucks to have it brought to their home. It’s amazing how many deliveries we get from within a mile from our shop.

I would definately recommend looking into delivery insurance. For me, it only added about a hundred dollars a month to my overall liability insurance. I easily pay for it with the additional revenue that delivery brings in.

Good luck.

Re: Will a take out only Pizza Business work in a ctiy of 25

Hello friend
I had Pm you on to ask for youR advise on delivery … please check your pm folder …
Thank You for your help in advance