Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay once told Forbes that when he retires he’ll buy a boat, go down to the Virgin Islands, buy a restaurant, and open it one day a week.

Most of us can’t afford to own a business that’s only open one day per week like chef Ramsay, but his comment does illustrate that many people have little intention of retiring completely.

In fact, a recent study by BankRate found that 8% of respondents don’t plan on retiring, and 61% of those who do plan to retire don’t know how much money they’ll need to pull it off.

The good news is, for those who choose to continue to work, or better yet, retire and open their dream pizzeria, age may have its advantages.

A study of 32,000 funding requests conducted by Biz2Credit has revealed some surprising results. According to the report, “Almost 60% of applicants were in their 30s or 40s. However, funding approvals were highest among borrowers who were in their 50s.”

Overall, the study showed that bank loan approval rates increased as age increased, according to the analysis. Those aged 20-29 had an approval rate of 9%, while those over age 60 were approved 30% of the time.

Now, owning and operating a pizzeria takes much more than gaining approval for a bank loan, but knowing that you still have a good chance at obtaining funding is a step in the right direction. Raising enough capital for your venture is one of the biggest hurdles all entrepreneurs need to overcome on their way toward business ownership.

Choosing a Pizzeria in Retirement

When opening a pizzeria later in life, you may not want to start from scratch. You can actually find established pizzerias in your region that are in need of new owners by checking sites such as BizBuySell, or inquiring with friends and local business owners. Purchasing an existing independent pizzeria (that’s in good standing) can save a lot of time and money during the start-up process.

Alternatively, you can research franchise pizzeria options, which range from big name companies such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s and Little Caesars, to smaller, regional chains with more affordable franchise fees, such as Fox’s Pizza Den, Papa Murphy’s or Pizza Ranch. Franchises allow you to hit the ground running with proven systems and processes.

If you have experience in the restaurant business through working for someone else, you might be ready and willing to take the leap and start from the ground up. There’s no reason you can’t build a business of your own from concept to completion, but it will require much more planning and legwork than the previous two options, and you should truly have something unique before expending the extra effort needed to go down this road. No matter which path you choose, surround yourself with management and staff members who are reliable, trustworthy and can help your business grow.

Related Reading: Different Generations Require Different Marketing Tactics

When to Wait and When to Leap

There are many resources available online to help you decide if you’re ready to venture into business ownership after retirement. AARP  offers online quizzes and guides to help you weigh the pros and cons of a new business journey (especially later in life), and the Small Business Association (SBA) extends a wealth of free advice, along with its SCORE program, which connects small business owners with mentors who have been there and can lend a helping hand. 

Are you considering opening a pizzeria after you retire? Did you open your pizzeria after retirement? We want to hear from you in the comments!


Web Exclusives