Would you hate me? I consider it due diligence

I am looking to get into a new biz and i have the time and resources to not jump into anything right away.

As I wrote here before I thought about a pizza/sub shop. A nice shop came on a listing and I got myself a job there. I have never worked in restaurant before so I’m startiing off as a delivery driver. Doing all the duties associated with that job. Washing dishes, rubbish, box folding etc. Basically all the crap stuff. I don’t mind…I’m learning. But going from making six figures (burnt out from last biz…it wasn’t about the money) to making 6 bucks an hour has my wife and friends peeing their pants laughing.

The owner is a great guy and doesn’t know, that I know, his place is for sale. That’s where I feel bad. I am an ethical person but kinda “spying” like this has me torn. I in no way have done anything like looking at papers or anything like that. I’ve just observed the workings, the sales volume, and % of deliveries vs take out/eat in. He has already talked to me about working the front and learning prep/order making. This will start soon and I’m looking forward to it.

All the people who work there are very nice and have great attitudes. Every one seems to like me except for one driver…I called him lazy…he told me to F off. The boss laughed and said " I knew there was a reason I like you"

About 75% is delivery. Average sales(from the listing sheet) is 9-10K week. I think this is about right from what I have observed. Listing stated owner clears 100k. Only my accountant and lawyer will dig deeper to find out the truth when I decide to go deeper into this transaction

So…if you were me…would you do the same thing?

It looks like a valid strategy to me… for a limited amount of time. I think that if you have been for a couple of weeks it is time to tell the guy. (I found myself wondering if it was me)

keep going…even if you don’t buy the place, you’ll see/experience many great/interesting things…

you’ll not gain so much experience in a short period of time 2 “tame” the beast, but its a great start, even if you don’t buy that place…

very smart nothing wrong w/ the way you r doing it. I guess we know who wont be there if u buy the place :smiley:

I see nothing wrong with it , in fact I think it is very smart of you.

Have you considered telling the owner that you would like to own a pizza store? He may tell you his is for sale and come to a good result for both of you.


If you looked through the think tank for advice to people who want to open a pizzeria the most common advice is get a job in an existing place to learn the ropes. I think you are doing exactly what is needed. I started as a driver with a service that delivered for 4 different pizza shops. That gave me the chance to see the best and worst of each style and take the best to my own store.

If I had to do it again I would do the same as you.
Good luck with your quest.

very smart, talk to your new made friends and co workers about what they like and dis like about the store and find out just by talking to long term employee most about bussiness. When you apply for job didnt the owner asaked you why you want to work here for only $6 per hr, compare the six figure income that you were making…
Rggard less good luck and keep us inform to this.

Which town is this store located? Iam in mass also that way i can give you input if i know this place

It kinda reminds me of the old Robert Redford movie, “Brubaker”, where the warden goes in as an inmate and then later announces he’s the head guy in charge. Good stuff there.


What you are doing is a good idea because working in the biz is the only way to learn the biz. However instead of starting out as a regular employee, since you sound like you have the means why not try to partner up with someone in the biz and open a store or buy into and exsisting store as a partner? This approach assumes a lot about your area that I don’t know but is certaiinly worth investigating and the payoff’s are potentially greater. You could then learn all aspects of the business, be in the decision making process and bring to the compnay your experience from other industries, oh and as a partner proably make a better wage :slight_smile:
If the current owner is selling then this sounds like a great opportunity. Maybe he be willing to stay on as a consultant for a fee or a fee and percentage of the profits. However, this last bit assumes you like the restaurant business enought to jump in.

When Starbucks was starting to make it big the guy they brought in to run the corp did exactly that, part of his work week was to work in the store and learn how they made their products, what their ingrediants was all about and most importantly was able to observe their customer base.



Hello Charlie,Why not be straight w/ the guy and tell him your interested and then he’ll probably show and teach you even more things at a higher degree.Just let him know that you want to keep it from everyone else and I’m sure that it will make him more comfortable also.Be sure to hire an attorney and have him or her LOOK at all his numbers before buying because I see a lot of people get screwed at this point.Forget about what he tells you the place makes.Don’t pay a ‘fools tax’ before you even open it.

Thnaks guys.

The reason I’m not saying anything at this time is because I really don’t know if this is the business for me. So far I’m having fun, yes…as a driver, and enjoying my lack of responsibilities.

I do see some room for improvement…marketing wise…and some other issues would need to be addressed. Like cross training every one in the store. This way if someone should bang out at least their duties can be shared by others on staff. But I keep to myself and do my job. I offer to take additional shifts and help out any way I can.

Also…items are prepped slowly. All cooked items go thru the conveyor ovens and it takes about 8 minutes. That to me seems a long time to make a hot sub…that 8 min is just the time thru the oven…not prep onto a roll or plating…all total as an example a steak/cheese sub takes about 9 1/2 minutes to prepare.

On the plus side, the food is great, and the place is super clean.

wow that is a lot of time for a sandwich IMO. Even if they weren’t made ahead of time that’s a lot of time. Do the subs go all the way through the oven? Just curious since the conveyors in the stores I worked for would have burned them up, at least uncovered.

There is absolutely, positively, nothing wrong at all with what you are doing. It is simply good due diligence. If you told him your real interests, you would not get the whole truth on things. You are getting to monitor the business without him knowing you are monitoring it. That is the best kind of monitoring. I don’t have the time to do this before I buy restaurants now, but I would strongly encourage people to take just this approach.

Awesome approach.

I should clarify.

The meat and veggies, if any, go on a sizzle platter, seasoned, a little oil, and placed on conveyor. About 8 minutes later it comes out. Meat and veggies mixed together…placed on a roll with cheese, and tossed towards the end of the cycle on the belt…about 30 seconds. Then wrapped or plated.

I think you’re doing the right thing. As unethical in a professional stance as it might be, this business is not like any other and requires such strategy in consideration of a purchase.

I’m curious - is there a grill line there? It seems as if they put their steak through a conveyor and cook it?


Yes. That’s what they do.

OK. That’s a lower scale store. IMO

How are things progressing?