From the horse's mouth

This Issue's Contributors
Cape Coral, FL Andrew Sears
C & M Pizza
Leominster, MA
Wayne Rempel
JP’s
Lacombe, Alberta Canada
David Gladstein
New York, NY Pizza
Cape Coral, FL
Andrew Sears
C & M Pizza
Leominster, MA

How do you charge for half-orders of toppings?

Parker Greenman – For half toppings we simply charge 50 percent. We program it into the POS computer so it automatically charges accordingly.

Wayne Rempel – We charge half-orders the same as all other pizzas. If one half of the pizza costs more, I charge for the one that costs more. For example, if someone gets a pizza that’s half Meat Lovers and half ham, I’ll charge for the Meat Lovers because that pizza costs more since it has more toppings.

David Gladstein – Half-orders of toppings are charged at half the price of full toppings.  That will change next year; we have plans to increase the charge to somewhere between 60-65 percent of a full topping.

Andrew Sears – We have a 16-inch and 18-inch pizza, with our cheese pizza priced at $7.75 and $9.00, respectively. We add $2 per full topping on each size. If we have an order that calls for one half to be pepperoni and one half sausage, it is treated as one topping. We go one step further if someone gets a one half pepperoni: we only charge $1 for a one half order. Our biggest seller is our hamburger topping that we make and grind ourselves with a 40-year-old recipe handed down from my godfather (the previous owner).

How do you track inventory?

Parker Greenman – Our inventory tracking is two-fold. We do a daily soft inventory to ensure proper ordering of product. We also incorporate a hard inventory every 28 days to look at our true food costs and sort out problems like waste, shrinkage, vendor error, or improper ordering on our side. Our POS systems track food cost, but I only trust my computers to help guide me. I like to see it with my own two eyes from time to time.

Wayne Rempel – I have a book that I write all orders in. Every order day I check the order against the amount ordered and what’s on the invoice. I put all that information in my accounting program, which automatically tracks the cost of my goods. I keep a running tally of how much stock I have on a week-to-week basis rather than a day-to-day check. I do a manual inventory about twice a week where I figure out how much I have in the freezer and how much I need to order.

David Gladstein – I track inventory based on cost versus sales. My POS allows me to track each category from a 12-inch pizza to 10 chicken wings. I have developed a relational database that will flag “exception” categories on a weekly basis; in other words, if sales are too low in a certain category based on the amount of inventory I purchased, then I can quickly generate a report detailing the shortfall.

Andrew Sears – We currently are purchasing a PDQ POS system and plan to use it to track our inventory more thoroughly as we currently track it by hand.  We have the staff do inventory twice per year, but have high hopes for our new POS system to make us much more efficient.

How do you pay your managers? Any bonuses?

Parker Greenman – My managers collect a weekly salary, plus a handsome bonus program. I base bonuses on prime costs, random spot checks by myself, health inspections, secret shoppers scores, sales goals and net profit—without profit, no bonus can be paid. I used to use a percentage of sales as a bonus for managers, but hinging bonuses directly off actions and results correlating to their job increases their awareness and ultimately provides the motivation I want from them. Their bonuses can be upwards of five figures annually if they keep sharp.

Wayne Rempel – I don’t really have a specific “manager” position because I’m so hands-on and at the store so much. I do have shift supervisors that are in charge during those few times that I’m not there. They’re paid a premium above what the rest of my staff make, but it’s based more on experience than the position. When I do go away on a trip, the shift leader gets a $1 premium added to their wage, and that’s just because they suddenly have to make the everyday decisions that I usually take care of. All of my shift leaders are trained to do this; they just rarely have to with me there so much.

David Gladstein – We are a family-owned operation and are hands-on so we don’t have a management team in place.

Andrew Sears – We currently have one of the owners in the restaurant 85 percent of the time so we do not have a “manager.”  We do, however, have an employee of the month that we give a $50 bonus to each month. Our pay scale is on a performance basis, and the harder they work the better their pay is. We have had staff with us for as many as 20 years, and my mother and co-owners have worked here 35 years prior to buying this past year.