It’s been more than three weeks since we opened our first store in the US, and we’ve gotten some feedback from our customers. Almost every day, a few people ask if they can customize their pies. But they can’t. They won’t. We don’t allow that. Some people even get mad when they hear, “I’m sorry, but you can’t change the recipe.” Almost all pizzerias in the US have this option, but we have a whole bunch of reasons for not having it.
Let me tell you one thing right off the bat. We aren’t smarter than the smartest people in the market. That’s not the case. We have just been more determined. It turns out that sometimes, determination is all you need to make a difference and get what you want. At least, now we’ve got what we wanted—a website where you can order a pizza in just two clicks, even though it usually takes around a dozen or more.
“You could just as well take all your money, go straight to a casino and bet everything on numbers in the red—the chances to succeed would be the same.” That’s what we heard from one of our competitors recently. Some of them believe that the Dodo Pizza team is on a suicide mission in Oxford since we’re cutting off our phone line.
We said we would bring the best ingredients to our kitchens in the US. We didn’t want to buy frozen mozzarella or pepperoni made with 35 different chemicals (and a little bit of beef), even though we understand why some pizzerias go that way. The best always costs the most. But that strategy can suck away all your profit. The average food cost in the industry is 20–23%. By aiming for the best ingredients on the market, we managed to make it 29%. And that was way too much.
An entrepreneur told us recently that we’ve gone bananas. When he learned about our plan we’d already put in motion in Oxford, he thought that it was pure insanity. He was sure that we’d never make ends meet and that Dodo Pizza would be out of business in the US in a few months. Well, maybe he’s right. :) Our plan looks as crazy as it does ambitious and promising Read more “How We Have Gone Bananas”