Domino’s just bumped Pizza Hut in the number one spot in terms of global sales for 2018. Completing the top five pizza restaurants are Little Caesars, Papa John’s, and California Pizza Kitchen. But America’s love affair with pizza started with Gennaro Lombardi in 1905 when he opened the first pizza joint called Lombardi’s Pizza. Lombardi shut down in 1984, but Gennaro’s grandson re-opened the place in a different location ten years later.
The food business is perhaps one of the most commonly explored possibilities by entrepreneurs. Whether you are starting a salad bar from scratch, acquiring a QSR franchise for a cookie business, or setting up your pizza place, the restaurant industry offers great potential.
If you’re venturing into the pizzeria business, you can consider the following discussion as a guide:
A Brief History
Italians making their way through Ellis Islands, Lombardi’s family being one of them, brought America their culinary culture as many immigrants have done. Lombardi started a grocery store in 1897 and sold tomato pies, a thin crust bread with toppings very similar to the pizza we know today to nearby factory workers. Five years later, a similar restaurant would open in New Jersey. By 1939, this Italian food concept would make its way to Los Angeles and conquer the entire west coast.
Today, the estimate is that there are now more than 96,600 pizza businesses across America. As of March 2019, the pizza industry already recorded $47 billion in revenue, and it is employing more than one million people. The growth rate is at 1.6% for the past five years.
These figures and America’s love for this classic Italian dish might make investing in a pizza restaurant a good idea.
Starting the Business
The pizza industry is expected to grow. A recent survey reports that overall sales are increasing, and around 83% of restaurants and takeaway patrons are eating pizza once every month. Here are a few more things to consider when starting your pizza business:
- Operating options. The franchise option allows you to work on a proven and tested concept. It’s like a turn-key solution with branding, marketing strategy, and equipment ready for you to run. There is a fee you need to pay; you also share your profits. Because of the brand and reputation, 2018 sales for this option was reportedly 70% higher than independently owned pizza businesses, which is your second option. With this second option, you start from scratch—from developing your menu to planning your marketing strategy to building your brand. It takes plenty of effort, but all the profits are yours.
- Knowledge is power. Learn how to make pizza by going to a culinary school, or you can learn by experience through apprenticeship. You can translate the knowledge you will gain from either of these methods by offering a diverse menu. Studying at a culinary school allows you to learn other dishes which you can introduce to your restaurant. While some customers will love your pizza, others will be seeking some variety in your menu offerings.
- Your menu. Once you’ve already gained knowledge, make delicious pizza and make them the centerpiece of your menu. Strive to offer something unique since the competition will be fierce. Tell a story to drive what makes you unique, like how your toppings are supplied fresh by local farmers.
A business plan will, of course, outline your financial requirements and your marketing plans. You also need to consider your selling channels, like ordering online and by phone for deliveries. Make eCommerce technology work for you. These essential suggestions will help you start your pizza business.