Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option

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ocalaFL
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2009/07/21 18:37:19 (permalink)

Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option

I am looking into purchasing a failing restaurant. It is a great location but the current owner is only doing the ethnic/Caribbean food thing... which has been tried a few times in the past in this area and failed miserably. I want to do a very varied simple menu (sandwiches, pizza, wings, etc) with VALUE being the operative word here. A majority (probably over 90%) of the people here order Domino's, 5 Star, Papa Johns, Hungry Howie's, etc and are all just about the same tasting cardboard IMHO. Not one place here sells pizza by the slice. Even their personal size pie is way too expensive.

I have seen some of the websites that offer frozen slices in packages of 80, 96, etc so here is my question: is there a good supplier out there that has a somewhat decent tasting slice? I grew up in Northern New Jersey, so I know what good pizza is, but everybody in this area seems to love the above mentioned places. I think that if I can sell slices at about 85 cents or so it would get many people into the store so I can upsell all the add-ons.

Do you think it can be done? Who are some of the suppliers out there?

Steve

PS - Making my own is not an option right now due to cash constraints.. and these people are not exactly connoisseurs of fine pizza. Oh yeah, the place comes with a license to serve beer/wine.
#1

22 Replies Related Threads

    David_NYC
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/21 19:17:12 (permalink)
    You might want to do a 'cut and paste' and ask the question on the Restaurant Professionals Forum. Some of the pros there can probably advise you:
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tt.aspx?forumid=26
    #2
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/21 20:10:38 (permalink)
    If there is such a product available I would sure like to know about it!

    Right now the only frozen pizza I find edible is DiGiorno's and they sell only whole pizza pies.
    #3
    tiki
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 07:33:18 (permalink)
    Frozen pizza slices SUCK!--i now that if got served one i would never be back for a second slice.---and trust me---i can tell. Real pizza dough and the resulting crust,is an art--and in my experiance,t doesnt freeze well--if you cant make your own pizzas---find another item--please!
    #4
    collinf
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 09:53:41 (permalink)
    ocalaFL,
     
    I highly recommend checking out the following website forums for information on opening a pizza parlor or adding pizza to an existing restaurant:
     
    http://www.pmq.com/tt/
     
    http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php
     
    #5
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 14:41:10 (permalink)
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    DavidNYC:
    I looked at that link first but judging by the posts I thought it was for hotdog cart, and concession type businesses. I now know different and do as you suggested.

    NYPizzaNut:
    If I find something suitable, I'll let you know... but I doubt it would work in NYC. They would run you out with torches and pitchforks.

    Tiki:
    I agree! Sucks is putting it nicely. Then again either the people here actually love it or they just do not know different. We do have a NY style pizzeria here and I don't know why it is not the most popular out of all of them, they are REALLY good. Go figure.


    collinf:
    Thanks for the links! The second one is just a wealth of knowledge, however the first one seems to be dead.

    I would still like any more input that anyone would like to offer, I'm all ears.

    Steve
    #6
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 15:08:09 (permalink)
    ocalaFL

    Thanks for the quick replies.

    DavidNYC:
    I looked at that link first but judging by the posts I thought it was for hotdog cart, and concession type businesses. I now know different and do as you suggested.

    NYPizzaNut:
    If I find something suitable, I'll let you know... but I doubt it would work in NYC. They would run you out with torches and pitchforks.

    Tiki:
    I agree! Sucks is putting it nicely. Then again either the people here actually love it or they just do not know different. We do have a NY style pizzeria here and I don't know why it is not the most popular out of all of them, they are REALLY good. Go figure.


    collinf:
    Thanks for the links! The second one is just a wealth of knowledge, however the first one seems to be dead.

    I would still like any more input that anyone would like to offer, I'm all ears.

    Steve

    It is the same here in Ohio and most everywhere - bad chain pizza joints are the order of the day - some think Domino's is better than really  good pizza similar to NY pizza.

    #7
    pjoe
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 15:23:49 (permalink)
    All of the chain pizza joints you mentioned are pretty sorry- but I would take them over a frozen slice of pie any day. I would try to find a cost efficient way to make the pizza yourself. Taking the easy way out is just setting yourself up for failure. If you are serving sandwiches, you could use a lot of the ingredients as pizza toppings as well. If you have a good oven it can work triple duty, turning out baked subs, pizza and wings. If you do those three things WELL and add beer to the equation, you will probably have a winner. Also, if you are set up to make your own dough, you can add bread sticks, cheese sticks, calzones etc. to your menu.
    #8
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 16:18:23 (permalink)
    NYPizzaNut:
    I see you completely understand where I am coming from. Here is a fine example - there is a genuine NY style pizzeria in the county here, the owner/pizza maker worked in Brooklyn for over 30 years and opened a place here with all the real ingredients, including trucked in water from Northern NJ. I brought two pies home for me and my 4 roommates thinking they would just fall in love with it. The general sentiment among the group was "eh, it's OK". That's when I knew something was strangely different here.

    pjoe:
    There is just no possible way to make my own and be cost efficient about it, BELIEVE me I have been looking under rocks for ideas. The kitchen as it stands right now is a 4 burner gas stove, household refrigerator, sandwich table, two freezer chests, and a very sorry looking small beverage cooler.

    Even though they have a beer and tobacco license, there was no beer in the cooler or any within sight, and the only tobacco in the store were the cigarettes in my shirt pocket. They are in NO WAY taking full advantage of their location or their licenses.

    Maybe if I find an investor... that would work, and comes with a whole set of new problems too. Hmmmmm, the gears are turning.

    Steve
    #9
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 16:22:42 (permalink)
    I can just imagine what parts of the country your roommates hail from.


    #10
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 17:19:41 (permalink)
    Most of my present and former roommates were born and raised in the South East and if they really like the chain pizza here, then IMO it should not be much of a jump to go with a previously frozen slice. Of course I will possibly have to put on a fine layer of Polly-O Mozzarella before heating it up. Extra toppings, as pjoe pointed out, can be used and will be only 20 cents more.

    The unemployment rate in this county is now hovering at 12.6%, this part of the county is probably at 14 or so. I have to provide a low cost product or I will immediately price myself out of business before I even get started. I don't think people will care too much about the quality (unless it's just plain nasty) if it is purchased at a reasonable price. There is no other place to get slices at all that is cost effective, where else are you going to go for two slices and a beer for about $3.50?

    When times get better I can go up in quality. My competition in the strip mall is a Hungry Howies pizza joint (blech, and no slices) and a Subway (again, blech).

    But here is where I'll have the edge:
    Me - food and a beverage = $3.50
    The others - food and a beverage = $6.00 at the cheapest.

    Steve
    #11
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 17:24:41 (permalink)
    I would put some basil and oregano and garlic (fresh or ground powder) and olive oil on it also - to make it taste like something.

    You don't have gas stations there offering slices of pizza?

    We have some of them in SW Ohio.  I have not tried their product.
    post edited by NYPIzzaNut - 2009/07/22 17:33:49
    #12
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/22 18:04:38 (permalink)
    NYPizzaNut:
    You could not be more right about the herbs and spices, I even gave thought to giving each slice a spritz of E.V.O.O. from a spray bottle before going into the oven.

    And to answer your other question, there are no gas stations offering slices. There is however a Kangaroo station across the street that sells Hotdogs... which I will also be selling but at a much lower price. They have sandwiches for $2.69 that consist of two paper thin pieces of meat and another paper thin cheese substitute (really, truly nasty).

    For $2.69 I will have a grilled ham and cheese available. The area business will hate me if I get this up and going ;)

    On a side note, my daughter and I were joking about how restaurants have their own lingo, so if someone wants two slices with everything she will just yell to the kitchen "TWO SHINGLES AND MAKE IT HURT". I think I'll keep her.
    LOL

    Steve
    #13
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 00:09:26 (permalink)
    I had somebody suggest using a soft taco shell instead of dough!!??

    Is this possible? I have extremely limited knowledge/experience with these. Has anyone tried that yet? Does it even qualify as pizza at that point? Are they any good?
    #14
    Scorereader
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 13:19:14 (permalink)
    ocalaFL, I know this isn't ideal, but could you buy one of those conveyor pizza cookers - thus having the ability to make fresh pizza? Look, we NYers are not going to love the idea, but with good dough and good ingredients, it would still taste better than chain pizza and the ingredients for pizza aren't incredibly expensive on your end.
    #15
    collinf
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 13:57:02 (permalink)
    ocalaFL,
     
    Try this link and posting some of your questions there: [link=http://www.pmq.com/tt/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=70d17f95424e64c97d84cfae03b47638]http://www.pmq.com/tt/vie...4e64c97d84cfae03b47638[/link]
     
    For a recent discussion on a similar topic, look at this link from the PizzaMaking.com forum:
    [link=http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8586.0.html]http://www.pizzamaking.co....php/topic,8586.0.html[/link]
     
    I feel your pain.  The masses have been hypnotized by pizza that is in most cases not even mediocre.  Your question about using soft taco shell is interesting.  It would be worth doing a search at both PMQ and PM.com to see if anyone has brought that up before, and if so, what their results were.  Is it pizza?  Cultures of people have been throwing toppings onto cooked bread for thousands of years.  Just because it doesn't look like something that was inspired by 19th century Italians doesn't mean it's not pizza (at least in my book).  How good it will be is another matter.
    A couple things to consider for your crust: 1) premade Boboli crusts or some equivalent, 2) finding a local baker who can supply you with dough or crusts (much better).
     
    Pizza used to be such a popular enterprise because the ingredients were mostly dirt cheap.  That has changed in the last couple of years, but it still can be profitable venture. 
    Good luck!

    #16
    NascarDad
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 22:00:31 (permalink)
    There is a place in NY that sells sliced frozen pizzas, of course they arent cheap in the supermarket, but you might could get a discounted rate for bulk purchases.

    I think the  number was 800-969-NYPIES Cost: One pie, $19.95; four pies, $64.92; eight pies, $124.96; 12 pies, $179.40 (this was last year or so, and cannot find their website at the moment, used to be flyingpizza.com or flyingpizzas.com )  

    It was actually pretty good NY stuff for frozen, but then again in your area maybe no one would notice and probably out of the  price point you are looking for.

    There is also a new place nyflyingpizza.com http://www.nyflyingpizza....detail&p=112  but again you would have to deal with them in bulk and  maybe get a big price cut
    #17
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 22:12:59 (permalink)
    Wow, lots of great feedback here! Please keep it coming, I am finding a direction I had not thought of.

    Scorereader:
    The conveyor cooker is a good idea, and is the most cost efficient way to get started IMO.

    collinf:
    Again, thanks for the link to www.pizzamaking.com
    I found an interesting link to an article specifically addressing the subject of adding pizza slices to your existing menu. A MUST-READ for those thinking about expanding their menu. Here it is:

    http://digital.pmq.com/pi...azine/200809/?folio=24

    Steve
    #18
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 23:05:40 (permalink)
    NascarDad:
    Thanks for the input, and you are right about the price point being unachievable. That just won't work.

    And then I thought about the other pizzeria that makes the *BEST* pizza in the county, the one that imports their water from N.J.!

    If I can strike a profitable deal with them, then problem solved. And they will have a virtual 2nd location to compete with the other NY style pizzeria 1000ft up the road from me.

    Well, I guess we'll see how that goes. I just hope the owner does not get $$ signs in their eyes when I approach them with the idea.

    Steve
    #19
    ocalaFL
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/23 23:31:03 (permalink)
    sorry, duplicate post due to a burp with my internet connection
    post edited by ocalaFL - 2009/07/23 23:33:08
    #20
    BillyB
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/24 10:09:43 (permalink)
    Hey Ocala, I am from Ct and you from Nj. We both know what a good Pizza is. There are no short cuts to a good pizza. I have been trying to put Pizza in my Cafe for years. I like the idea of Pizza by the slice, but I just can't find a good premade crust. If I can't do it right I won't do it at all. Something that may work well for you is Calzones. You could use a 1lb frozen french bread loaf/dough. Thaw and cut into 1/3 or 1/4 portions. Roll this into a circle and offer the topping you like. I make these with Ricotta Spinach Mazz Calzone, Italian Sausage and pepper Calzone, Pepperoni you name it........ Just put the topping on one side and fold over the other and crimp and bake. The dough is like a pizza crust and the toppings are all melted on the inside with the cheese and sauce and  whatever toppings you could make. You could make signiture Calzones or whtever workes in your area .............I would also look into Chicken lips using chicken tenders and toss like a Hot wing............If you need anymore info, let me know...take care....Bill 
    #21
    collinf
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/07/24 11:27:23 (permalink)
    Steve:

    Tom Lehmann is a good person to tap into in terms of information about making pizzas.  He is also known as the Dough Doctor and is quite approachable via e-mail in answering questions.  You're right, that is a good article, and I encourage you to personally send some of your questions his way.  If nothing else, he will probably be able to direct you as to where to go for answers.

    Again, good luck and keep us informed.
    #22
    UncleVic
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    Re:Contemplating adding pizza slices as an option 2009/08/13 02:42:09 (permalink)
    Forget the frozen crap. Make your own. Ask your vendor for "Big Lip Crusts". These are premade, precooked crusts. You just add the toppings. If I remember correctly, they come 24 to a case... I'd go with the 16" ones if your just doing slices. Get a #10 can of Contadina Pizza sauce, and a couple of 5lb bags of Mozz/Provolone mixed cheese. Conveyor ovens are nice, but if cost is a factor, just take your regular oven and tile a rack.  Cook your own! Another option would be french bread pizza, you can sell it at 6" or 12" (selling one side only, and open face type of setup). I like using Italian bread, the cost is the same, but it looks alot larger! Also, the make your own is far cheaper then buying something frozen (Thus more $$ in your pocket at the end of the day).

    I'm going to move this over to the Restraunt Pro's area where you'll probably get a better response.

    Oh ya, not sure where Ocala is, but if you ever get over to West Palm Beach, drop me an email... I can show ya how easy it is to do up pizza!
    post edited by UncleVic - 2009/08/13 02:44:01
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