Warm, crispy crust, tart sauce, and gooey cheese topped with a variety of protein, veggie, and even fruit options make the seemingly universally adored comfort food- pizza. In fact, in a recent poll, 41% of respondents said they eat pizza products at least once a week. That is big business! So it’s no wonder so many new restaurant owners opt for the almost guaranteed hit of a pizza shop. Here are some important considerations if you’re contemplating opening one.
The first thing that you need to decide on is if you want to be an indie restaurant or part of a larger chain (a franchise). Both have their pros and cons. A franchise has instant brand recognition and the power of national advertising to help you get started. But while it often feels like chains are everywhere, independent pizza shops still make up the majority of the market. This is because buying into a successful chain is a big expense on top of your normal restaurant startup costs. Franchising also provides less freedom to business owners for the fun stuff like menu choices and custom branded supplies.
Next, you need to decide if you’re going to do carry-out, dine-in, delivery, or a combination (though if you’re a franchise, this is often dictated to you). If you’re only doing carry-out, you don’t need space for seating and tables or to employ a waitstaff. This is the leanest option in terms of employees. However, your advertising, branded packaging, and pizza products carry the entire weight of maintaining your business (as opposed to a charming atmosphere or favorite server who keeps people coming back to a dine-in option). Adding delivery will help increase your potential customer base, but it also requires additional staff and resources (like insurance and thermal delivery bags).
Of course, you’re going to serve pizza, but there is more to it than just pizza. Today consumers are often looking for a wider variety of options: gluten-free crust, totally vegan options, and even cauliflower crust are popular choices. However, if you do branch out into these options, you should still have a stellar traditional style pizza to draw people in.
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