It is no secret that pizza is one of the most consumed fast foods in the world. And it is not for less, since its beginnings go back to the time of ancient Rome when soldiers ate a kind of flat wheat bread with additions similar to those of modern pizza. It is this varied gastronomic proposal that combines different doughs and different ingredients that makes pizza one of the most versatile dishes in the world. Napolitana, four cheeses, chicken, vegetarian or New York style, there are pizzas for all tastes. Such is the public’s preference for this food that an average of 5 billion pizzas are consumed per year. So if you are thinking of opening a pizzeria you are aiming for a business with a high probability of success.
For this reason, today we will share with you a guide on how to set up a successful pizzeria either in a local, at home or by acquiring a franchise. Let’s get started.
Is a pizza business profitable?
It is often said that the pizza market is saturated and that starting a business of this type is to navigate a sea full of competitors. While it is true that pizzerias abound, a new one will always attract the attention of the public. More if it has a diverse menu, competitive prices and offers a value proposition. It is also true that starting a pizzeria is not an easy task and requires strategic planning so as not to fail in the attempt. However, with all these articulated elements you will be able to satisfy the constant demand and make a place for yourself in the market.
Another factor that makes having a pizza business profitable is the large amount consumed in America and Europe. Nothing else in the United States an annual average of 650 million pizzas are consumed. For this reason, the country is considered the first producer and consumer of pizzas in the world. On the other hand is Argentina, which due to its Italian roots has a varied offer recognized worldwide. Getting to concentrate the largest number of pizza fans and adding more than 14 million pizzas sold per year.
Additionally, in countries such as Mexico, Spain and Colombia, pizza has managed to position itself among the dishes most consumed by people of all ages. This information helps us to clear your doubts if opening a pizzeria can become a profitable business. Well, it makes us more than clear that this is a market with a wide field of action where demand does not stop.
How to open a pizzeria
Before we get down to business and talk about what is needed for a fast-paced pizza business, you should know that there are 3 ways you can open a pizzeria. The first is with a pizza place, the second with a home-based pizza business, and the third with a pizza franchise. Whichever option you choose, it is important that you have some knowledge related to the art of pizzeria. And also that you hire specialized personnel with experience in the sector. We recommend you get advice on business issues and take entrepreneurship and finance training. So you can have a clearer vision on how to open a pizzeria and better plan your business.
Each type of pizzeria has its own characteristics, which we will see in detail below:
Put a pizzeria in a local
The traditional way to open a pizzeria is in a place with enough space to store kitchen equipment, ovens and refrigerators. When setting up your business in a local you can choose between having a space to serve and serve customers or dispatch only take-out orders and addresses. Regardless of which of the two models you choose, you must take into account a series of basic steps to put a pizzeria in a place.
1. Make a business plan for a pizzeria
The success of a business is not only determined by product quality and innovation, but also by prior planning. That is why it is important that in the process of opening a pizzeria you draw up a business plan. Which you can use as a basis to correctly direct and execute your business idea. A business plan will help you identify the type of pizzeria you want to set up and recognize your competition and the target audience. As well as to raise the advertising strategy and to set the investment budget. A business plan includes the following stages:
- Description of the business idea: To specify the characteristics of your product.
- Market research: To research and analyze the competition, market trends and consumer preferences
- Strategic approach: To define the mission, vision, objectives and, in turn, carry out a SWOT analysis.
- Marketing plan: To propose promotion and marketing strategies. As well as broadcast channels.
- Structure and human talent: To design the internal structure of the pizzeria and profile the workforce.
- Financial analysis: Initially to determine the initial investment and project the profit and loss. Then, to analyze the profitability offered by the business.
2. Create the menu
An important step in the process of how to open a pizzeria is defining what you are going to offer on the menu. Here, experience in gastronomic issues is vital even if it is not a strict requirement for your pizza business. However, it can help you expand the offer of your menu and give it a special and distinctive touch. To create the menu of your pizzeria you must take into account the results of the market study carried out in the business plan. In order to base yourself on the preferences, tastes and needs of consumers and thus meet the demand of your market.
In addition to offering a variety of types of pizza, you can expand the menu with other dishes and drinks. Here are some ideas on what to include on the menu of your pizza business:
- Pizzas by flavors: Peperoni, chicken, Mexican, Neapolitan, cheese, mushrooms, vegetarian, fugazzeta, Italian, barbecue, carbonara, calzone, among others.
- Pizzas by sizes: Extra Large, Family, Large, Medium, Personal and Individual Portion.
- Drinks: Soft drinks or soft drinks, water, natural juices, wines, beers, lemonades, etc.
- Desserts: Tiramisu, cheesecake, fruit flan, cookies and muffins.
3. Choose the location
Choosing the correct location depends on the results of the market study. Well, this will allow you to be clear about which are the most commercial, crowded, visible and easily accessible areas. Also, take into account the budget to open a pizzeria and make sure that the value of the rent and the utilities of the premises does not exceed it. Don’t worry if your chosen location is a restaurant area with many competitors around it. This is an advantage since there will be more potential customers circulating around your pizzeria.
4. Equipment for pizzeria
At this point you are surely asking yourself “what do I need to open a pizzeria?”. Before answering your question, you should know that pizza equipment is one of the most important investments. Because here all the machines, tables and materials to carry out your business will be included. So we have put together a list with the necessary equipment for your pizzeria.
Here we refer to the machinery necessary for the entire production and cooking process of the product. So take note of these teams and their approximate investment cost:
- Oven: It can be of two types: electric and wood. Electricity has an average cost of USD 1,500 and firewood costs USD 2,000.
- Cold table: These pizza tables are used to keep the ingredients fresh and to carry out the preparation. Its approximate cost is 1,300 USD.
- Mixer: Approximate value 1 000 USD.
- Pizza Base Maker: Approximate value $1,000.
- Refrigerator with freezer: Prices from 300 USD.
- Display case: Prices from 250 USD.
Material for pizzeria
Apart from the equipment, you will need some utensils and materials to open a pizzeria, which include:
- Baking tray: You can find them by sizes and in sets of 5 trays for an approximate cost of 800 USD.
- Roller: Price per unit 40 USD approximately.
- Spatula: Price per unit approximately 70 USD.
- Oven brush: Price per unit approximately 30 USD.
- Pizza cutter: Price per unit 10 USD approximately.
- Sauce Ladles: Price per unit approximately 7 USD.
- Measuring jug: Price per unit approximately 15 USD.
- Steel bowl: Price per unit approximately 5 USD.
- Chopping board: Price per unit 10 USD approximately.
- Cheese grater: Price per unit approximately 10 USD.
- Dressing brush: Price per unit approximately 5 USD.
- Pizza boxes: Approximate price for 50 units 25 USD.
- Sauce dispensers: Price per unit approximately 2 USD.
- Cutlery: Set of 24 steel cutlery 35 USD approximately.
- Napkins: Package for 500 units approximately 2 USD.
In addition to the equipment and materials for the preparation and presentation of the product, you must consider the purchase of months and chairs. This in case your store is going to receive and serve customers. The value of an 8-piece table set ranges from $ 600 to $ 1,200. On the other hand you find sets of chairs from 700 USD.
5. Selection of Suppliers
As in most food businesses, it is necessary to hire suppliers to supply ingredients and supplies. You must be very careful in the selection because the quality of your products will depend on it. For the purchase of equipment and materials you can research on the internet, directories or catalogs of specialized stores about the most reliable brands and manufacturers.
For perishable and non-perishable ingredients and products you can make a list of local markets and wholesalers. So you can study their costs, variety of products and the brands they handle to make a comparative balance.
6. Manage legal procedures and permits
This is an aspect that many omit when thinking about how to open a pizzeria. But, to tell the truth, it is crucial to ensure the proper functioning of the business and avoid future eventualities. Regarding the requirements to open a pizzeria , it is necessary to define the legal structure, either as a natural person or as a legal person. And make the corresponding records in the entities in charge of regulating the procedures related to the creation of new companies in your country. Government entities that generally work under the city council of the city where your business is located.
In addition to this, you must manage the permits and licenses related to the production and marketing of food and beverages. Which are mandatory for restaurants, hotels, bars and other establishments dedicated to the sale of food and alcohol for consumption.
7. Hire the work team
The work team is a key link for the successful operation of your business. Therefore, you must hire trained personnel with experience in the gastronomic sector. In order to guarantee excellence in customer service and product preparation. Remember that a worker who is happy and comfortable with his job will give his best. So it is important that you give them incentives and benefits to motivate them and recognize their work.
8. Advertising and promotion
To achieve success and profitability, it is not enough just to open a pizzeria, buy equipment and supplies, comply with legal procedures and start the business. Also, it is essential to work on marketing and advertising strategies even before opening. With this you will create expectation in the target audience and brand awareness. Here you can implement traditional marketing strategies such as merchandising, flyer, radio spots or BTL activations. As well as digital marketing strategies for search engine optimization, social media, email marketing or video marketing.
Remember that the advertising and promotion of your pizzeria must be included in the business plan. So you can apply it gradually as the business develops.
Monthly expenses in a pizza business
In addition to the initial investment budget, you should also plan and think about the monthly expenses after opening your pizzeria. Here are some of them:
- Rental of the premises: The rental cost varies depending on its location and measurements. You can find premises of 30 m2 with a rental cost from 550 USD.
- Employee salary payments: The payment of the workers’ payroll is determined according to the labor legislation of your country. Which in turn takes into account variables such as working time, type of contract and social security payments.
- Utilities: This includes electricity, water and gas. Its value depends on the monthly consumption.
Starting a home-based pizza business
Surely you have also wondered how to start a pizza business at home to incur lower expenses. Well, this is another way that you can start a pizzeria with a lower percentage of risk and investment . So let’s see the steps to follow:
Choosing to open a pizzeria at home is linked to the issue of budget and expenses. So here the possibility of hiring staff is reduced. That is why you should be the one who takes care of many of the details of the business. Among them the preparation of pizza. Therein lies the importance of having training to learn how to make a good pizza that can compete in the market and that consumers like. Training will not only allow you to learn gastronomic tricks and perfect seasoning and cooking methods. Also, you can add new dishes and expand the offer of your menu.
2. Business plan
Any business needs strategic planning regardless of whether it is carried out from home. The only thing that changes here is that your place is going to be the same place where you live. Therefore, you also have to carry out a market study, define your business idea, propose advertising strategies and carry out a budget analysis.
3. Define the menu
In the previous section we already mentioned the different types of pizzas and extras that you can include in your menu. And since we are not referring to opening a pizzeria at home, we will give you some ideas so that you can complement the menu based on the business model. You can create combos that include free delivery. Also, launch 2 × 1 promotions for orders placed on a specific day of the week. Or after a certain number of orders give an additional gift (dessert or drink). These variations in your menu, with benefits for placing orders, will motivate consumers to buy from your business.
3. Adapt the location
Having a pizzeria at home implies that you have to adapt the space to assemble all the equipment and supplies. Define a space inside the house that is specific and only for your pizza business. And make sure it’s wide enough to distinguish between the kitchen, the supply store, and the ingredient racks. This way you can keep everything in order and avoid mixing things from home with those of your business.
4. Equipment, materials and supplies
We define this when we talk about how to open a pizzeria in a local. The equipment, materials and supplies are exactly the same. However, you may already have some of them because you are at home. Which is of great help because you will not have to allocate a part of the budget to buy them.
The addresses will be the way in which you will distribute your products to consumers. So you must have one or more vehicles destined to provide the delivery service. Be it bicycles, motorcycles or cars, the important thing is that they work perfectly and are suitable for transporting food and drinks. Remember that you must also have one or more addresses to avoid delays in deliveries.
6. Licenses and permits
As in the process to open a pizzeria in a local, here the legal requirements regarding the constitution of a business must be met. In turn, the corresponding permits and licenses for the commercialization of food and beverages must be processed. Do not forget that when doing the procedures you must specify that the business will be carried out at your home.
7. Advertising and marketing
Since you will not have a visible and open place to the public, advertising and marketing will be your strategic allies to attract and reach potential customers. Start by handing out flyers and putting up posters in the areas around your home. Also, create profiles on social networks and Google My Business to publicize your business. Also, constantly share content of interest related to your pizzeria to get the attention of the target audience.
Acquire a pizza franchise
Franchises have become very popular in recent years as more and more entrepreneurs decide to start their business under this model. Because with a franchise a lower investment risk is assumed and the commercial rights of an already positioned brand are acquired. That is why hundreds of brands from all sectors have expanded their market through franchises. And pizzerias have not been the exception. This, without a doubt, is very advantageous since you should not take care of everything that involves setting up a pizzeria from scratch. Rather, the franchisor will provide you with all the necessary supplies and equipment. As well as training, constant support and access to marketing and promotion strategies for your business.
It is important to note that when you buy a pizza franchise you will not be the owner of the brand. So you will not have a vote in the decisions made regarding this and you must adhere to what is established by the franchisor. However, this does not detract from the benefits and profitability of the business model. On the contrary, the chances of success are very high regardless of whether you invest in a “top” or a “low cost” franchise.
Here are some of the most recognized pizza franchises on the market:
- Pizza hut
- Dominos Pizza
- Papa john’s
- Marco ‘Pizza
With this guide on how to open a pizzeria, we make it clear that this business requires meticulous planning, hard research and an entrepreneurial vision. However, with constant work, the right resources, and an innovative value proposition you can become very profitable and successful. Since it is part of a market that is always on the move and in which consumption is massive. So if you are thinking of setting up your own pizzeria, make sure you choose the model that best suits your priorities and budget. Whether you do it in a local, at home or through a franchise, this is a versatile type of venture that you can get a lot of benefit from.
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