March 1, 2018 |

Melissa Rickman on Common Pizzeria Startup Mistakes

By Denise Greer


Melissa Rickman, Co-owner of Wholly Stromboli in Fort Lupton, Colorado contributed March’s Conversation. She will speak at this year’s International Pizza Expo. Don’t miss these sessions: Panel Discussion: Common Pizzeria Startup Mistakes and How to Avoid ThemDemo: Stromboli and Panel Discussion: Women in Pizza

Denise: You’re on the Common Pizzeria Startup Mistakes Panel at Pizza Expo? What is the one piece of advice you would offer prospective operators based on your startup experience?

Melissa Rickman, C-owner

Wholly Stromboli, Fort Lupton, Colorado

Melissa: There are a lot of things I would do differently, and some of them I just had to learn on my own. No one can prepare you for the things you see, hear, experience, and even have to say to people as a restaurant owner. I swear I’m going to write a book one day,

One of the recurrent lessons that clobbers me over the head daily is to “spend the money” Whether it is on your POS, a bigger hood, or that darn FRP, stuff – spend the money. When you are building a restaurant from the ground up with limited financial resources, it is your natural inclination to be conservative and cut corners where you can. The truth is, that the extra few hundred dollars in FRP will save you time, money and frustration when you don’t have to repair or repaint your walls When your business has grown so much that your hood size limits your ability to expand your cook line, or your salamander is packed on a crazy Friday night, you will wish you had made the investment to begin with. Plan for the size of business you want to be, and not the size of business you expect to open with.

Think about your POS as being the central nervous system of your business, now imagine that it doesn’t work – it crashes, doesn’t keep track of inventory properly, stops processing credit cards, or loses orders and transactions, and truly is a “POS” , bet you’ll wish you spent the extra money up front! Also, do your due diligence with the POS vendors, make them demonstrate the functionality that is important to you, and get promises in writing. Their sales folks are good at making promises the developers cannot deliver.

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