Over 264 million pizzas are eaten every year in Australia. That’s why opening a pizzeria can be a sound business investment. We suggest that your menu selection is one of your top priorities. Choosing successful, demographic appropriate recipes should be your first step. Keep reading below for some more useful tips.
Opening a Pizza Shop
Whether you’re still on the fence or about to open your doors, it’s always a great idea to ensure that you fully understand what is entailed in starting a successful pizza business.
- Create Your Pizza Recipes and Form Your Menu
Set your pizza apart from the rest by having a unique and quality menu selection that uses high-quality, fresh ingredients. Never scrimp on flavour, and don’t be scared to be creative with innovative pizza topping ingredients and combinations. Make sure to write down each step when trying out different recipes, so you can recreate your pizza inventions.
Your menu will set the tone for the service and brand image that you will be cultivating.This will then dictate the store fit out you will require, service style and more. Take all of this into account when you are writing your business plan.
- Choose Your Pizza Shop Service Style and Brand
Choosing a Pizza Shop Service Style
There are so many different service-styles that you can use for your business. You need to choose the right one for your business based on how much funding you have, your chosen demographic, and above all, it needs to be suited o your brand’s vision and identity.
- Sit-down.This style allows you to really home in on your brand’s intended ambience, giving your customers a complete and immersive experience. However, it requires a larger upfront investment in floor space, tables and chairs. You will also need more employees to wait tables and wash dishes
- This style works out very conveniently for your customers. However you will need to reconsider your public liability insurance. Additionally, delivery costs will be passed on to your customers. That’s why it is a great idea to check out an online insurance service like BizCover.
- Take-Out.This option requires the least upfront investment. However you may undercut yourself, because you will not be able to use your store’s ambience and service experience to communicate value to your customers.
Choosing a Pizza Shop Brand
A memorable brand image will set you aside from other pizza store and will ensure that you are always top-of-mind for your customers. You could cultivate a modern, casual vibe to appeal to working millennials, or a brand image consistent with an old-fashioned diner, complete with glass bottles of coca cola, retro signage and distressed décor.
- Write a Business Plan for Your Pizza Place
You can nail all of the above points, but without a rock-solid business plan it is unlikely that your business will succeed. So what does a business plan entail?
- Executive Summary
- Company Overview and Description
- Market Analysis
- Business Offerings
- Marketing and Public Relations Strategies
- Financial Projection
- Find a Great Location for Your Pizzeria
Try these techniques to scout out the ideal location for your pizzeria.
- Don’t set up near direct competition.Set yourself up in a restaurant strip or district but try not to set up shop next to the most popular pizza store in town.
- Make sure that your spot is visible and accessible. Your spot needs to be visible and accessible to both pedestrians and motorists. A main street, shopping district, and lots of nearby parking spaces are all great ideas. These features will help you attract walk in customers and will make it easier for your repeat customers to return.
- What isyour area’s demographics?Make sure that your service style and brand image are a perfect fit for your area’s demographic set.
- Secure Loans and Funding for Your Pizza Place
Before you go searching for funding for your new business, assess how much money you already have on hand, and the total amount that you will need.
Calculate and then forecast and budget for your costs a year in advance. From there you can consider start-up loans, crowd-funding, seeking out investors, or other methods to finance your pizzeria.
- Stock Up on Pizza Business Equipment
Each pizzeria will need a slightly different combination of equipment, but by and large every pizzeria will need: a commercial refrigerator, dough sheeters and presses, a proofing cabinet, a pizza oven, pizza cutters, cutting boards, serving utensils, crockery, and delivery items like delivery bags.
- Hire Qualified Employees
Be very careful when hiring staff for your pizzeria. They will be the face of your business, and you simply cannot afford to hire sub-par personnel. Make sure that your new staff are warm and personable and will create positive and memorable experiences for your customers. Employees that seem to genuinely care about the success of your business will be dedicated and hard working. In turn, be sure that opportunities for career advancement, such as management positions, are on the table.
- Advertise Your New Pizza Shop
Especially if you are new to the food business, you will need to advertise your new business and create a buzz. You can do this by:
- Utilizing social media. Use high-quality and even professional pictures across Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts. Drum up excitement by posting behind-the-scenes photos, information about your pizzas, gorgeous product images and more.
- Having an appealing and easy to use website. Make sure that your website is simple and easy to navigate. It should clearly include key information such as your address, contact details, hours of operation, and of course, your menu.
- Joining Yelp and other review platforms. Your customers will be able to discover your business, leave rave reviews, and be enticed by the other great, genuine reviews that they read. Its also a great idea to claim your Google business profile.
- Advertising in local papers or on local websites. This can help you get the word out about your business and drum up excitement.
- Creating a loyalty program. Forget punch cards, there are now some great digital loyalty card options available that can also help you track customer metrics. Some programs that you can try including Candy Bar, Social Spiral and Loopy Loyalty.
- Creating a mailing list. It’s not enough to simply send emails every in a while. They need to have relevant and tailored content for specific sets of customers. Track your customers’ purchase behaviour and then send them appropriate offers such as coupons, deals and exclusive offers. This is a great opportunity to build brand loyalty and to reinforce your brand’s identity.
- Offering first-time promotions. A free drink, slice of pizza or size upgrade will go a long way when it comes to converting first-time customers into loyal customers. It generates a feeling of goodwill, generosity and communicates a customer-first attitude.
- Hosting a grand opening. You can host a grand opening in addition to, or in place of, a soft opening. Also considering offering entertainment options such as live music, which can be a great way to engage the local community.
- Host a Soft Opening
A soft opening a few days or even weeks (budget depending) before your grand opening is a great way to test your service strategy and to iron out any kinks. Considering offering a limited version of your menu for a discounted price, or even for free if you can. You can invite other local businesses, food writers, influencers, and of course family and friends. Just be aware that family and friends may be hesitant to give you any critical feedback. A soft opening is also a great way to create a word-of-mouth buzz for your products and brand.