Wed, 09/21/05 11:48 PM
Your welcome Hassata.I would have to say I enjoyed the Chicken and Rib Place more than the pizza place.The pizza place was in an urban area,and the chicken and rib place was in a suburban area,and since we delivered we got to know many people in the town,and became friends with many of them.As far as profitability,they both have many differences and with the dinner time deliveries,the chicken and rib place had higher ticket prices with orders over $50.00 very commmon,not so common with a pizza place,atleast mine.If you do fried chicken from scratch you have to use fresh chicken,which is roughly good for three days before you have to toss it out if you don't use it,pizza ingredients last a lot longer.I had my chicken place about 7 years ago and if I remember right the chicken that we used was around $1.00 lb,and we used 3 pound birds,which many places use a 2 1/2 lb. bird,but the half pound made a big difference in the size of our pieces,especially the breast pieces,and people always commented on it.Another thing is that we used an 8 piece cut which is standard in the industry,but many places in urban areas use a 9 piece cut,they cut the breast in 3 pieces, instead of in half,and squeeze an extra piece out of a chicken,pretty cheesy if you ask me.We called the 9 piece cut the "ghetto cut" because that is the only place I seen that done,but the prices in those places are cheaper.If you are in a low income,urban area you have to keep the prices low,or the customers will complain,since many of them have nothing better to do lol! When I bought my pizza place,the previous owner had a $2.75 lunch special,2 slices and a 16oz. fountain soda,which is ridiculously low.I changed it to $3.25(still low!),and I had to listen to people complain for over a month"Yo Man!! Three and a quarter,What you Crazy!!!"People in the suburbs are not so vocal about small price increases .I found out that all chicken is not the same.One busy friday,I ran out of chicken,and did not have time to go to my distributor,or get any delivered.I called up a local meat supplier and bought 10 cases of chicken.We washed them ,breaded them and put them in the fryer.When the timer went off and the pressure released,I opened the fryer lid to discover that all the breading came off,and the pieces were"bald",I had no idea why.We had to close early that night.I found out that the chicken we bought from our supplier was specially prepared for frying.The frying chicken is a white color,because the outer skin is scalded off,and if you use a regular chicken that did not go through that process,it is yellow with the outer skin intact,which the breading will not stay on when you put it in a pressure fryer.That was a nerve racking lesson I learned the hard way.I was lucky,that I worked in a high volume pizza place when I was in high school,and pretty much knew that business.As far as the chicken and rib business,when I was researching that business I became friends with a young guy who owned a busy chicken and rib place,and I would go there at night and work for free a couple of nights a week,and he taught me that business inside out,recipes,equipment,marketing,etc.I was lucky to find him,and that he was very generous with his time and knowledge.He sold the place not soon after,and trades stocks now and last I heard he does very well.He was the kind of guy that would do great at anything.
Sorry about the long post,this is just a subject I am passionate about.I forget the actual margin on chicken when I was in the business,it also depends on what area you are in,and what you can charge.We had a 2 piece and one side order with a can of soda lunch special for $4.99 that did very well,and our most popular night time order was a 16 piece,2lbs of salad(potato,macaroni or cole slaw) and a box of fries or mash potatoes for $19.99 that was our biggest seller at night,especially for delivery. I would really think twice about a franchise,unless you have an obscene amount of money to spend,and like being told what to do all the time,and having a silent partner take a percentage of every dollar you make.For some people it's the way to go,for me I never had that kind of money,or the desire to borrow that kind of money,and I like making decisions on my own if it is my place.If I were you I would go with the chicken and rib concept,since it is your passion.There are way less of them around to compete with,there are pizza places on almost every corner it seems,and it is a tough business, the food business,better to do something your passionate about,it exponentially increases your chances of success,especilly if you do your homework before you leap in,and it seems like you are doing your homework!
Gotta go,and again,sorry about the long rambling post about the chicken and rib business,I can talk about it like most guys can talk about football!!