For simple "food cost" pizza is a hell of a lot better. Cheese being your biggest cost, is a commodity and changes weekly, so does beef. A large pizza with 3 veggie toppings will cost you AROUND 2.00. I say around because quality and price of canned toms and cheese vary greatly. A three topping pie, in connecticut, will fetch a price of around $18.00. That is a niiiiiiice ratio. Of course you have to factor in many other things before you can figure out actual profit. However I believe a well run pizzeria, selling mostly PIZZA (not a ton of italian food, grinders etc) should gross 15-18%, and I am sure that old timers with no debt service probably break 20%.
Pizza has many advantages, besides profit margins, over burgers and restaurants in general. In the industry, 4:00- 6:00 is a dead period that led to the nauseating "early bird specials" where stores try to bring in customers.
In pizza this is one of the busiest times, as people returning home from work pick up dinner.
Pizza is considered a healthy alternative, and it can be with the right toppings.
Pizza is something EVERBODY orders for a variety of occasions. Birthday parties, office parties, ball games, tv sports (super bowl) late work at the office, etc, etc, etc.
Good pizza is very difficult, if not near impossible to make at home. People are afraid to try it.
Burgers can be beautifully done at home.
The only draw back to the pizza industry as I see it is:
Labor costs are generally higher than most restaurants
Good pizzaiolos are difficult to find.
I've been in the restaurant business for 30 years, and in the pizza bizz for 6 years. We sell brick oven pizza and grind our own 1/2 lb burgers, which we cook on a black iron griddle. Pizza and burgers account for 90% of our business. We sell about 600 lbs of ground chuck every week, and about 1200 pizzas a week, so I see both ends of the business. Any way I can help just ask. There are a lot of misconceptions about this business, and I have experienced just about everthing in 30 years.