Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations Marketing
Your location can make it or break it

Your location can make it or break it


January 27, 2009
By Tom Stankiewicz

Topics

Bondi’s Pizza opened in the early 1960s with its primary address at 325 Wharncliffe Rd. S. in London, Ont. We operated there for almost four decades, and then an opportunity presented itself a few years ago to move to a different location.

p30_bonitos 
Sharing a plaza with a movie store helps drive business to your pizzeria.


 

Bondi’s Pizza opened in the early 1960s with its primary address at 325 Wharncliffe Rd. S. in London, Ont. We operated there for almost four decades, and then an opportunity presented itself a few years ago to move to a different location. It turned out to be a very wise business decision. One of the many wins that came with this move was plenty of parking for our loyal customers. This is a definite plus for everyone and it makes sense that our pick-up orders have increased by a high percentage. This simply proves that convenient access could translate into more sales. It also works very well that there is a Blockbuster video store in the same plaza. It’s a great win for our customers who want to make it a pizza and movie night.

Business location plays a huge part in the success of your business. Although we had been successful at the old location we knew that relocating our business could improve it significantly. The old location simply had some key disadvantages that couldn’t be fixed. We couldn’t offer any parking spaces to our walk-in clients as there were none attached to the building. Those who did come in to pick up their pizza were forced to park on the side street. The building is very old, and as hard as we tried to refresh the inside of the store it never had the effect we were hoping for. You could see the age of the building in almost every corner. It was truly a case of not being able to make any improvements that would have significantly fixed the appearance of the store.

Advertisment

Since our move, there have been a few attempts by others to open a pizza store at our old location. Unfortunately, all of them turned out to be unsuccessful and lasted no more than a few months. Maybe they thought that since we enjoyed success there for so many years their businesses would prosper as well. The key difference was that we have a base of loyal customers who have been buying pizza from us for many years. Maybe the location didn’t bother them so much and they came in for the quality of the product. It’s easy to forget that it took a long time to establish a great reputation and clientele. It’s different when you try to open a brand new independent pizza store and are hit right away with the disadvantages of our old location. You can’t afford to have no parking spaces for your clients and operate in a building that’s ready to crash. Simply put, that’s just not good advertising for anyone starting a business. You need an easily accessible and presentable location that will draw positive attention to your business. One thing that hopeful pizza owners shouldn’t forget is that they will have to compete with pizzerias that have been in operation for decades.

Rent is an important consideration when talking about business location. Most of us would agree that it is a wise business decision to pay a bit more for rent if it returns higher sales. Only a few lucky ones can say they pay cheap rent for a prime location. The rest of us must deal with paying a premium, but at the end it should all balance out when you look at your sales in proportion to your rent. That’s a decision that we have made and it has worked in our favour.

When choosing a location for your business it’s important to consider who your neighbours will be. It comes as no surprise then that many pizzerias open near movie rental outlets. People seem to associate one with the other and those of us who have such an arrangement can attest to its power. The reason is simply that whether you like it or not, they will have an impact on the traffic flow in the surrounding area. When the right businesses are close by you are automatically getting increased visibility and free advertising for your business. No one can argue with that strategy. On the other hand, if you are surrounded by other businesses that could potentially draw negative attention, it won’t help you grow. There is nothing worse than moving your business in hopes of expansion only to see your sales plunge dramatically. It’s important to carefully consider all the factors in choosing a location that will affect you in the long run.