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How did your pizzeria do in 2020? Survey says half of participants saw sales up or on par with 2019


February 21, 2021
By Canadian Pizza

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How were sales at your pizza business in 2020? Canadian Pizza magazine conducted a short national online survey to find out how pizzerias in Canada fared in 2020.

We entered participants in a draw for a chance to win a set of Apple AirPods.

Congratulations to Domenic Ruggiero of Dante’s Mobile Pizza in Grimsby, Ont., who won the AirPods!

Here is a sampling of the survey results:

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Who participated?

We thank the 57 pizzerias who shared their experiences in the survey. Seventy-five per cent identified themselves as small independents. About 15 per cent were franchises with two or more locations. The remainder described themselves as a large independent or small independent with two locations.

To our question “How were sales at your pizzeria in 2020?” answers were mixed. More than 25 per cent reported sales decreasing by more than 10 per cent compared to 2019 sales.

Nearly as many pizzerias (21 per cent) reported sales increasing by more than 10 per cent.

For 15 per cent of participants sales increased slightly.

Nearly 15 per cent reported sales on par with 2019.

For 11 per cent sales decreased slightly.

The 12 per cent – seven pizzerias – who responded “Other” to this question told an interesting tale. Discouragingly, one business reported sales decreased by 45 per cent compared to 2019 and another reported sales were down by about 65 per cent. However, there was also good news: Five pizzerias opened in 2020. One response was encouraging for the future independents: “I opened on April 1 and our sales are increased up to 25% on top of the break-even point.”

Taken as a whole more than half of participants saw sales go up or stay on par with 2019 sales, an encouraging sign for this sector.

When asked “What was your biggest operational challenge in 2020?” 32 per cent reported finding and keeping competent, reliable staff as their biggest challenge. One quarter said managing the flow of orders from different sources (delivery/curbside pickup/walk-in traffic) was keeping them up at night. For almost 20 per cent, managing staff scheduling was a headache. Nine per cent found marketing and reaching new customers a major challenge.

As expected there were several responses outside of the choices given (14 per cent responded “Other”):

  • grocery, products and food cost
  • COVID shutdowns and restrictions
  • shortages/availabilty of mozzarella, increase prices in supply chain, e.g. pepperoni produce
  • keeping staff safe from COVID and informed about changing protocols
  • dealing with suppliers: shortages and major price increases
  • finding staff that wasn’t collecting CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit)

Learn more insights gleaned from the survey – including fellow operators’ delivery experiences and their plans for 2021 – in the next edition of Canadian Pizza.


Although the prize has already been awarded, our survey remains open. We encourage pizzerias to participate and have your say.

Take the survey:

(English) https://www.research.net/r/CanadianPizzaSurvey2020

(French) https://www.research.net/r/CanadianPizzaSurvey2020French

If you have questions about the survey, contact editor Colleen Cross at ccross@annexbusinessmedia.com.


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2 Comments » for How did your pizzeria do in 2020? Survey says half of participants saw sales up or on par with 2019
  1. Brian says:

    I opened a pizzeria in 2020 as well and have not been eligible for any of the government assistance because I didn’t have year over year sales

    My question is did any of the five in the survey receive any assistance re CERS and CEWS
    Thanks
    Brian

    • Colleen Cross says:

      Thanks for your comment, Brian@piattopizzeria.com. Congratulations on your opening – it can’t have been easy or straightforward. Unfortunately. I don’t have the answer to your question as we did not include that in our poll. I will ask our financing expert, AKR Consulting, what experience she has with newly opened businesses and what they may be entitled to and consider addressing that in our magazine content.

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