Thursday, January 24, 2008

So much for that "opportunity"

Well, I don't see the pizzeria thing happening. I most certainly want to do it, but apparently my only location option would be the second floor, above the bar/club.

A second-floor location may not seem like a big deal to you, but it's a killer. First of all, it would add at least two minutes to every delivery run that leaves the building (round trip). That is, every time a driver leaves the building, he would be slowed down by the elevator on his way out, then again on his way back into the store.

Oh, two minutes is nothing, you may be thinking.


Under those circumstances, if one driver leaves the building ten times during a shift, that adds up to a minimum of 20 completely nonproductive minutes from EVERY DRIVER during EVERY SHIFT. There's nothing I can do to fix that. NOTHING! So to make up for that inefficiency, I'd often have to schedule an extra driver, which comes out of my paycheck.

Meanwhile, after each night's shift, every driver thinks to himself: "Man, if I didn't have to jump all those hurdles between the kitchen and my car, I could have left the building at least one more time tonight, delivering 2 or 3 additional orders, which would have added another $5 or $10 to my pocket with no extra effort. Hell, even if I was making that extra $5 or $10, I'm still totally sick of jumping through all the hoops... Hmmm... I wouldn't have to deal with these constant obstacles if I worked at Pizza Hut or Papa John's... Sorry dude, I gotta quit."

So if I want to keep my drivers, I need to pay them better, even though I'd probably already be paying them better than my competition pays their drivers.

Where does that money come from? It comes from my paycheck.

Quick recap: Having a location on the second floor forces me to schedule more labor than I should need, and it also forces me to pay all my drivers unusually high wages.

So what about the customers?

There most certainly will be times when the "second-floor slowdown" causes delivery orders to arrive ONE MINUTE later than what the customer considers acceptable. And every time that happens, there are two possible outcomes: 1) I lose a customer, or 2) I make a huge sacrifice to keep that customer happy. In that circumstance, I'd probably be more inclined to chop off a big chunk of the price, but if necessary, I'd make it a freebie.

My response to that situation may save a customer, but it still costs me money that I shouldn't have to give up. And I can't blame my driver or anyone else. The only person I can blame is myself because I made the choice to open a pizzeria in the stupidest possible location.

And that is just one of many money-munching setbacks I'll have to deal with every single day if I choose to open a pizzeria on the second floor of this building.

The bar owner wants to include "southern-style" cuisine to accompany the alcohol and live music (music on weekends, anyway). However, to the best of my knowledge, he knows as much as I know about southern-style food: Nothing.

So how do you serve southern-style food if you don't know anything about southern-style food? And do beer-drinking, live-blues-music-listening customers even want southern-style food? I'd say probably not. It's not a restaurant with a bar; it's a live music club with a kitchen.

If I knew anything about southern-style food, I'd love to help him in that department, but I don't know shit about southern-style food. I am simply not the right guy for that, nor do I expect him to find "the right guy" for that. However, I am one of very few people who really understands what it takes to operate a successful independent pizzeria. No bullshit. Not just a successful pizzeria, but the most successful pizzeria. The kind of pizzeria that will bring people into his bar to buy beer, which is especially relevant if live music and sports fail to do it alone.

I'm pretty sure I could operate a profitable pizzeria on the second floor of this place, but I would be absolutely stupid to even try. Regardless of location, I'm already prepared to bust my ass at least 80 hours a week in "my" pizzeria. But if I was on the second floor of this building (or any other building), that 80-hour workweek instantly becomes 100, probably more. That's an absolute waste of money and energy, and I won't do it.

Ah, but my dad thinks this is the right opportunity. No, dad, it could be the right opportunity, given the right circumstances, but it is absolutely not the right opportunity with the current circumstances.

Y'see, Dad, you already walked away from the right opportunity two years ago. And if I change my mind and decide I want to open something on the second floor this time (which would be totally retarded), you'll end up walking away from this one, too.

I'm never going to be able to do what I can do better than almost everyone.

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