2010 June: A Pizza My Mind

Long before Cuba Gooding Jr. laid that line on Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry McGuire, I heard it from my wife every April 15th. My CPA heard the same such words from me. Did you ever ask yourself the question, “What am I doing this for? Did I buy myself a low paying job? All I want to do is make a good living commensurate with the stress and risk I take every day. Am I the only one?”

You are not the only one. A huge majority of operators are in the same wagon. They feel underpaid, overworked and overtaxed and are deeply concerned about the future. The current state of the economy and lack of discretionary income of our customers just adds to our anxiety. Does the possibility of failure cause you to lose sleep?

The secret to staying in this crazy business is to act like a business. If your business has survived to this point in time you probably have satisfying the customer down pat. Your customers are loyal to you because they like the positive experiences they receive when they let you cook for them. Making guests feel special is a learned trait that I call the Service Mentality. Businesses are in business to make profit and to satisfy stockholders needs.

In this month’s “Back Office” section, I’ll try to explain the critical decision-making process I made with a very small group of friends that charted the rest of my career. I’ll also explain why you may feel broke every tax time and the mystery of what profit is. Along the way I’ll ask you to analyze your operation in a methodical way to peel back the pork and get to the bone. This is the zone where you can actually sense real rewards for your hard work and dedication. Turn to page 51 for more. ?

Big Dave Ostrander owned a highly successful independent pizzeria before becoming a consultant, speaker and internationally sought after trainer. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today and leads seminars on operational topics for the family of Pizza Expo tradeshows.

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