Author Archives: Big Dave Ostrander

Poor Performers

If you sales are increasing, give yourself a big pat on the back. If your sales are flat, and you are barely breaking even, welcome to the new normal. If you are afraid of what the future has in stock for your store, the clock is ticking. The longer the restaurant runs unprofitably, the lessMore »

Operator Expense Breakdown

Operator Expense Breakdown

Chances are, your employees think you strike it rich with each sale. They don’t realize you have to keep your lights on, buy more cheese and market to keep customers. If you make a $10 sale, they think you’re putting $10 in your pocket. Boy, wouldn’t a 100 percent profit margin be nice? If youMore »

Menu Pricing & Food Costs

Menu Pricing & Food Costs

If you don’t know what it costs to make your pizza, how do you know your menu prices are where they should be? In the last month I’ve presented workshops and seminars to several thousand owner-operators in eight cities. The overriding theme of the seminars is getting back to restaurant business basics. In every singleMore »

Employee Theft Warning Signs

One of my first assignments as a consultant was to implement a turnaround for a group of pizzerias. They were hanging on by a thread. They had cashed in all of their CDs, 401ks and charged their credit cards to the max. I had made several visits to the operations. They were buying their food at good pricing andMore »

Is Pizza Recession Proof?

To a certain point we are masters of our own destiny. To a certain point. The current economy is in uncharted waters. I hope our elected government officials are up to the task of putting the economic train wreck back on the tracks. I’ve seen and lived through some similar economic times. I remember when,More »

Cost of Delivery

History tends to repeat itself. Ten years ago, I wrote an article regarding my personal experiences dealing with soaring delivery costs and associated expenses. Big Dave’s Pizza had a sales mix that approximately half dine-in and half delivery. This ratio, now more than ever, is critical. In the past decade, associated delivery expenses and wagesMore »

Establish Measurements

Big Dave’s delivered a lot of orders. I’m convinced that one of the biggest reasons we dominated the delivery market in my area was that we measured the amount of time that elapsed from the phone call, in the oven, time out the door and time to the customer’s door. I became very obsessed withMore »

Downsizing Pizza Sizes

It was a hot summer night. I was cruising with my friends. We were a carload of young guys, fresh out of high school, approaching a college campus, looking for a good time. The driver pulled into a drive thru burger place. He said “these burgers are great. I bet you can’t eat two andMore »

Cross Training

The more your crew can do, the better your operation will run. In baseball, triple threats — players who can hit, field and run brilliantly — are rare gems. Entertainers who can sing, dance and act are called triple threats. In our world, my definition of a triple threat is crew people who can “makeMore »

Common Number Problems

Independent operators get a failing grade on a huge issue: they do not have readable financial statements. For the moment, I won’t even consider the problem of getting information too late to be of any real help. Some operators just rely on their accountants to work up the figures and accept what they are given.More »