Why now is the perfect time to build more stores
Among Warren Buffet’s many famous sayings is “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Looking back through history, the best times to create wealth in other industries can be right after the biggest shocks to those industries. Take 1987, when the stock market crashed and soared to new highs, or the housing crash of 2008, which preceded one of the strongest housing markets ever. I truly believe right now is that time in the restaurant and pizza industry — it’s time to expand.
The devastation wrought by the pandemic and the restaurant industry’s labor shortage are creating a perfect storm for fiscally sound operators. If you’ve been following along with this series, you know how much I love a good deal — and today, once-in-a-lifetime deals are within reach.
On top of the wealth you’re building for your family, more stores will help you grow your operation to create more career-based positions on your team. Adding the chance to hire more workers, pay your current employees better and offer them more benefits than other operators, expansion is not only good for the owner but also your core staff. But first, you must get them on board.
A clear vision spells out to the staff what’s coming and what’s in it for them. Having a clear path of where you want to go — and communicating it — is crucial. For a while at Caliente, we were building stores without an end number in sight. Now, I have a number and a year: 12 stores by 2026.
Next, spell out what that looks like for your team. Discuss pay increases, projected dates for new stores to open, the benefits that will be added when new stores open. Have a game plan of what new positions will need to be created as the business grows. Start at the end and work backwards. For me, I researched companies with about 12 stores and worked that timeline backward to today.
Once you have that vision, you want to speak it over and over — not just to your current employees, but in your interviews as well. You want people who want to grow with you. Every company is hiring right now, but having a clear vision of growth and being able to communicate that to current staff and new hires gives you a leg up. Never preach anything false — your word must mean something. Once you start talking about your vision, you must be committed to making that happen, so make sure your vision is achievable.
When describing to your team the different positions you are going to create to meet your vision, you must have a clear idea of what roles are required. In the next building blocks, we’ll examine all the types of managers, supervisors and shift leaders any pizza shop needs on its team to succeed.
NICK BOGACZ is the founder and president of Caliente Pizza & Draft House in Pittsburgh. Instagram: @caliente_pizza