Walk down any British high street and a wide selection of restaurants will come quickly into view. A large proportion of these will serve pizza, from independent pizzerias to successful takeaway chains.
Pizza is big business. Customers in the UK are enamoured with pizza thanks to its affordability and convenience. This is, however, versatile food that is also able to cater to a higher end of the market through gourmet offerings.
There are three factors that have propelled the success of the humble pizza from tasty foodstuff to small business money-maker. Primarily, it is quick to produce, secondly, the basic ingredients are readily available and inexpensive. And lastly, it is a fast-moving consumer product that customers love.
Pizza is globally adored. The plethora of brands available to customers is astonishing, with many cities worldwide having an affiliation it.
Convenience for consumers
It's now very easy to order a pizza online or through an app. It can take as little as two minutes to make a pizza and roughly ten minutes to bake it making it much more expedient than other food options.
Although it is often seen as a successful franchise business (just take a look at Papa John's and Pizza Hut), family-run pizza restaurants populate most areas of the UK.
No matter what kind of pizza business you open, consumers are sure to leap at the opportunity to buy this quick and easy food.
Becoming a pizzeria owner
It's good to know that independent businesses are still plying a successful trade. Nav Kumar, a former IT consultant who bought and now runs a successful independent pizzeria considers demand and individual products as key to making it in the pizza business.
"Look where the demand is" he advises. "You might see a pizzeria around the corner, and you've got the high street competitors. You have to look at all angles.
"As a first-time business buyer you need to see what demand there is, what you're going to sell, and how much you want to invest."
Buying an existing business can be a good route if you have access to enough capital. This will save you having to build a customer base and develop systems. Make sure you do adequate due diligence, though. Buying a business will mean buying everything that comes with it- even if that’s a bad reputation!
The skills that you will need will remain the same no matter if your business is a sit-down or take away pizzeria. You will need to be able to recruit and manage your team. Training them and investing in their skills will benefit you down the road.
Be prepared to work long hours, especially in the first few years. You will be able to train up a manager to take up some of the responsibilities. However, particularly at the start, being hands-on can often be of benefit to your business.
No matter what though, you need to have a passion for pizza. On top of that, basic business skills and enough knowledge of marketing in order to promote your business.
If you have all these things covered, you have a recipe for success!
In this sector, there are a lot of big names that dominate the market. A great option for first-time business owners is to become part of these brands by becoming a franchisee.
This is a route that anyone can take, even if you don't have any experience in the sector. Becoming a franchisee will give you the chance to get training from the franchisor and support throughout your business venture. This can be particularly helpful for those with little to no experience running a business. You will, however, need to be personable, enthusiastic and ready to work hard.
Pizza restaurants are particularly successful as franchises and this is a trend that is set to continue so do not discount this as a very viable option.