Pizza is one of the greatest inventions in the world next to the light bulb. Sure, it wasn’t a technological advance, but it did advance our taste buds. If you’re here, then you must have a pizza business, or you’re looking to start one. Let’s help you get started.
There are a ton of tips when it comes to the pizza industry 2021, and sorting through what you should use and what you shouldn’t can be a time sink in itself. So, we’ve compiled the best tips through analysis to give you a leg up on your competition.
Pricing Your Pizza All The Way To The Pepperoni
The first menu analysis tip begins with two questions: Do you know how much a single slice of your pepperoni is worth? What about a cup of your finest mozzarella? If you answered no to either of those questions, then we’ve got a big problem. Think about it. How can you create a menu if you can’t price your dishes?
Knowing what your pizza is worth is the first step to creating a mouth-watering menu. So, let’s find out how to do that.
Food Cost Formula For Pizza
The food cost formula is all you need to find the actual price of your dishes. It may sound difficult, math-intensive, but we promise that it’s easier than it sounds. First, you’ll need your menu and a sales report, which you should be able to obtain from your POS system.
Once you have those two, all you’ll need to do is plug it into the food cost formula, which is:
- (Initial Inventory + Purchases – Ending Inventory) ÷ Food Sales = Food Cost Percentage
Simple, right? This equation is used by many successful restaurants and restaurants that want to be successful. With it, you’ll be able to discover the actual price you should charge for your pizza, the cost of ingredients, and you can even find your most and least successful dishes. It also leads us to the next point…
Now that you know what your dishes and pizzas are worth, you’ll understand the importance of giving proper portions when cooking. Imagine the fanciest, high-class, pizza restaurant. You can smell the aromatic zest of marinara sauce being made, and you can taste the smell of fresh dough cooking in a brick oven just at the tip of your tongue. They bring you the pizza you ordered, and on it is extra cheese and toppings. You may not have a problem with it, but we promise you the owner of the business does.
There’s a lot of bad in the world, and chefs that don’t know how to control portions are a part of it. Make sure you train chefs and any other kitchen staff that may be cooking, to measure and weigh all ingredients.
Changing Prices With The Times
If you don’t know, food prices change month-to-month. This can be a result of many things like decreased ingredient yields, increased crop yields, theft, and natural disasters (floods, droughts, pest infestation, wildfires, wet seasons, and dry seasons).
As you may have guessed, this means your prices should be flexible. If you’re used to using the food cost formula, then it won’t be hard to keep your pizza menu up to date. These month-to-month changes require owners to always be aware of the market and how it’s changing.
In some cases, you’ll be able to use market changes to get a leg up on the competition. Let’s say the price of an ingredient goes down. You could then lower the price of a dish that uses that ingredient, undercutting your competition. Pair this with social media marketing (which we’ll dive into later), and you’ll take the rug from under them.
Menu Design Analysis
Prices are great and all, but without a stellar menu design what good are they? With menu engineering tips, you’ll be able to encourage customers to purchase certain dishes over others. And, you can’t forget the artistic design. When people look at your menu, they should get an idea and feeling of the restaurant’s culture. You won’t see a 5-Star restaurant with a menu similar to that of one you’d see at a pizza truck, right? So, let’s start with…
People Eat With Their Eyes Too
Sounds kinda weird and creepy, but it’s true. Everyone loves eye candy, if they didn’t, then why would so many people post it on Instagram. Imagine your favorite dish in the most appetizing way possible. It makes your mouth water a little, doesn’t it? It’s possible to get customers to feel the same way. How?
With pictures. Pictures say a thousand words and pictures of food make our taste buds sing. So, give your customers something delicious to look at. You only have so much real estate with menus, so feature staple dishes. We’d recommend having a picture of your signature dish, and a picture of an appetizing expensive dish.
The Cost Should Be The Least Important Element
Along the same lines as the last tip, make sure the cost is the least pronounced element on the menu. We’re not saying put the dollar amount in a font size that requires a microscope, but make sure it’s the last thing the customer considers. In some cases, you can make it not considered at all.
How? Why not just remove the dollar sign altogether? Yep. You can do that. In fact, many of the top pizza restaurants already do it. According to a Cornell University study, “Diners in an “upscale casual” restaurant spent an average of $5.55 — about 8 percent — more when the menu did not use dollar signs…” Basically meaning that customers will spend more if they don’t see the ‘$’.
Descriptions Should Be Scannable
Did you know that unless people are reading something they really care about, they scan instead of reading? For example, the previous sentence has two errors. If you caught them, then good job.
Your dish descriptions should be scannable sentences that summarize what ingredients are on the dish. Use this as an opportunity to paint a picture for the customer. Look at these two descriptions as a pizzeria customer:
- Pepperoni Pizza – Pizza Dough, Pepperoni, and Mozzarella 14
- Pepperoni Pizza – Our take on the classic with aged hand-tossed dough, premium cut pepperoni, and hand-crafted mozzarella 14
Would you spend money on the first or second one? You picked the second one because it highlighted what was on the pizza while also painting a picture. Another key when creating scannable menus is to make the beginning and end of the descriptions focal points. Putting the most important parts at the beginning and the end will help you create impressionable descriptions.
Pizza Market Trends
It’s also important to keep up with trends. The last thing you want is to lose to a competitor for not adapting to the ever-changing market. We’ve got the latest trends summarized like why you should offer healthy options, consider environmentally friendly options, and use the internet to market your business.
Offer Healthy Options While
We’re presented with so many options on a daily basis. Even in the context of food. Just go to your local grocery store and you’ll see gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, grass-fed, etc etc. Restaurants are the same way, especially with pizza. Most, if not all, pizza businesses offer gluten-free pizza.
When something becomes a standard you have to adapt to it. Not offering alternative options will cause you to miss out on customers from vegetarians and vegans, all the way to pescatarians.
An example, not in the pizza business, would be Kraft & Heinz. Their brand was rising until healthy alternatives started showing up. They didn’t decide to create healthy alternatives till it was too late. Now, if you check their stock, you’ll see they’re still in a hole.
Create an Online Presence
Having an online presence for your pizza business is a must. You can use it for personal messages, deals, events, and PR fires (which hopefully you’ll never have). Devote your resources to apps your target demographic uses. Twitter is popular with chain restaurants, and they get plenty of shares by interacting with their followers and public figures. Facebook would be the perfect place to entice families to come in for a dinner special.
Get a website. Making a website now is intuitive with all the apps you can use to make one. Some people prefer online orders, where they can see the menu and order on their time. A great incentive you could add is a loyalty rewards program.
Menu Analysis In Pizza Business Closing Thoughts
Starting or improving the menu of your pizza business will be easy with this menu analysis. There is no specific guide for any one restaurant, but all tips here have been proven or used by top pizzerias. If you only take one thing from this article, let it be the food cost formula. Knowing the actual cost of food will help your pizza business in the long run. Go and be successful with these new tips!
Looking for a better way to manage your pizza business menu? Click below to get started with your free EagleOwl demo today!