How to open a pizza restaurant in the US?
If you’re planning or currently opening a pizza restaurant in the States, there are a few things you really need to be aware of before giving a shot to your new adventure.
As Italians, we are very proud of our food, especially when food means pizza. But we must be honest: at least part of the reason why today pizza is the worldwide famous dish everyone knows, is due to the unconditional love that Americans have for the product.
According to the data, 93% of Americans eat at least one pizza per month, making it probably the most loved food in the US. This astonishing number speaks for itself. All over the country, 17% of all the active restaurants are pizza shops, that means more than 1 out of 6.
Nevertheless, this incredible data hides a threat for whoever is willing to open his own place.
Indeed, how can you win your customer’s attention and love within such fierce competition?
Here’s a few things you’ll definitely need to ask yourself and think about before starting your pizza business. Read carefully!
What kind of pizza restaurant do you have in mind?
The first choice you’ll need to make is: what kind of pizzeria are you willing to open?
There basically are three main options you can pick, each one has its own pros and cons. Let’s check them up.
If you want a dine-in pizza restaurant, you’ll need to afford the highest investments in order to get the higher return.
To become successful with a dine-in restaurant, the product alone isn’t enough. You will need to put great care into designing the place, making it cozy and choosing a unique style that fits your pizza, your target audience and your brand.
On the other hand, if you’re able to create a good match between all these elements, a dine-in restaurant can provide you with high returns. Margins and average revenue are higher. You can also cross-sell drinks, desserts and side dishes while your customers spend their leisure time enjoying your place.
Take-out is a lighter formula, because it requires smaller investments and costs. You will need less space, equipment and personnel, despite the higher amount of pizzas you can sell in a day.
Nevertheless, you basically just have your product to distinguish yourself, and the margins are thinner.
The pizza delivery format is somewhat similar to the take-out, but with a few differences. First of all, you will have to organize and hire delivery drivers, with all the linked risks and costs.
The drivers’ labour raises the price of your pizza, and you need more drivers if you want to scale the number of pizzas sold. Anyway, it’s definitely less costly compared to a dine-in pizzeria.
Of course you can mix these formulas to find your perfect offer. Just keep in mind all the pros and cons and don’t underestimate the costs and labour you will need.
What kind of recipes will you use to bake your pizza?
Key topic for us italians!
What kind of pizza do you have in mind? This is not an obvious question: if you want to get your things done properly, there is no such a thing as “just a pizza”.
It’s plenty of different pizzas. This could mean two different things: different flavors and different baking recipes.
Choosing your baking style and your flavors is a key decision in order to distinguish yourself from any other competitor. Moreover, you will attract customers who are willing to pay the right price to taste your – and only yours – pizza.
Except for pineapple pizza that shouldn’t even be legal, you are free to set and create your menu according to your style and your audience’s preferences. Same thing for the baking recipe: the pizza dough can be made in many different ways. Will you choose a crunchier one? A thick one, Napoli style? Or a thinner dough one?
Mull over your decision, because its outcomes will help you determine your success rather than failure.
Planning, planning, planning
Once you’ve made your mind and you’re ready to start building things up, slow down a moment and don’t move a finger before you have a clear plan.
What does it mean to have a plan? Having a plan means having a business plan, first of all. And how could you open a pizza restaurant without a proper one?
A business plan, which must include a marketing plan, is the map and compass of your journey. Ignore the map and you’ll lose yourself in the high sea.
A good and thoughtful business plan includes a detailed business model set in a location with a precise target audience of customers, and a unique selling proposition specifically tailored to attract them. Consequently, you’ll need a marketing and communication strategy to launch your pizza restaurant and collect your first satisfied customers.
Moreover, you’ll need to carefully track the numbers of your business. Always keep a prospect of the costs and investments required to build your business and to sustain it along the way.
Are the numbers clear and sustainable?
If you need help to understand the amount of costs and investments you will have to face, stay tuned. We’re soon going to publish a specific blog post about that!
Design and pick the right equipment: make your pizza shop unique and profitable!
You’ve done your homework. Now you have decided what kind of pizza restaurant you are going to open, what recipe you’re going to use and which flavors you’re going to offer. You now have a detailed business plan ready, with a solid marketing strategy.
Awesome! Now things are getting serious, and you’re ready to go designing the place and buying the equipment necessary to fulfill your goals.
During this last step, always keep in mind that you’re building the restaurant where your customers will come to try your products. Be careful not to make costly mistakes here, because your competitors won’t. Many of them are already there with their loyal customers: therefore you should do things better than them.
Here’s why, especially if you’re running a dine-in restaurant, you must put great care into designing your place. You must make it cozy, comfortable, pleasant and consistent with your brand and product.
Same thing applies to the choice of key equipment such as the pizza oven. The product’s quality and the speed of production strongly depends on the oven and equipment you are going to choose. Compromise with quality here and you’ll hardly see any success. Choose wisely instead, and you’ll run a successful business you will be proud of.
So what to do now to open your successful pizza restaurant?
If you have done things well until this point, you might end up in the future opening up new restaurants, or maybe franchising; but if you make the mistake of being one of those who do things poorly or superficially, you risk failing with the only one you have.
Don’t be one of them.
Here at MODALiTA, we care about your goals and profits, and we have a long history of successful partnerships with the best in class entrepreneurs in the food industry.
We select for you only the top level pizza ovens and equipment, that will grant you a flawless product and an outstanding production speed to serve your customers faster.
Last but not least, we always provide you with the best customer care and technical advice around. We know how to and what you need to open a pizza restaurant in the US, anche we’re here to help.
You’re not alone in your journey.
Contact us now to get a quote and to see how we can help your pizza restaurant flourish.