Dodo Pizza’s headquarters is starting a new round of negotiations with investors. We’re growing globally (for instance, Dodo Pizza opened in China in June) and need a few more millions to feed our expansion. As part of this process, our small American branch, which now consists of only one pizzeria in Oxford, was asked to outline a long-term plan for the US market.
Oxford has halved. Students are out of town for the summer, and our sales have dropped. It’s high time we think about what will happen when they get back. Nothing good, I have to admit.
Dodo Pizza has been working in Oxford for more than a month. That gives us the opportunity to perform an intriguing experiment and compare our actual results with our now half-a-year-old expectations. In a startup, such a task always brings the joy of discovery because after launching your business, you’re doomed to face something totally unexpected.
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.
So, we want to open a pizza delivery. How much dough will we need? Let’s start by answering this question from the end—imagine that distant but bright and cheerful future where our ultimate goal has been reached and at last we have a pizzeria in Oxford. It’s built, it’s open, it’s popular, and it’s profitable. Wow. But what exactly will it look like in terms of numbers? A good business plan could answer that question. Why can’t we have one? Read more “Our business plan for the first US pizzeria”