How to Set Up a Pizza, Pasta & Sandwich Shop

A pizza, sandwich and pasta shop will appeal to a large customer base.
A pizza, sandwich and pasta shop will appeal to a large customer base. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Setting up a pizza, pasta and sandwich shop help you broaden your customer base by offering a wider variety of menu choices. They are low food-cost menu items — with the exception of cheese, perhaps — and your chances of making a profit are better than with any one of these menu items alone. As with any business, it will serve you well to have an organized plan to get your business up and running. Pizza, sandwiches and pasta are popular, but you want to avoid blindly setting up shop and hoping for the best.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen equipment
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Tables
  • Packaging
  • Health permit

Decide on the specifics of the cuisine. Regarding pizza, there are several routes to take. New York style, Chicago style and Neapolitan are a few examples. If you are just starting out, it may work best if you settle on just one type to keep costs down. For sandwiches and pasta, the idea is to keep it simple, minding the feasibility of their production. For example, steer clear of items, such as lasagna, that are not cost-effective as they are time-consuming to mass produce. Determine your food cost and labor costs, then price your menu as competitively as you can.

Write your business plan. It's important to be as thorough as possible, factoring in the needed operating capital, projected sales and staff size, for example. If you are in need of investors or a bank loan to get up and running, you will need to have a detailed plan to let potential benefactors know how their money will be spent and how long it will take them to get their money repaid.

Decide on a location. It's vital to strike a balance between visibility and cost. You don't want to be too out of the way, but you may not be able to afford an attractive corner lot location to begin with, either. Consult with a business real estate agent to decide your best options.

Hire your staff. Initially, you will be in an owner/operator role and chances are you will work your fair share of shifts and be in house everyday. Keep enough staff to efficiently serve customers, but keep labor costs in mind. Two full-time employees or four part-timers is usually a good start, depending on the size of your operation.

Set up the restaurant, using the new staff. Dining furniture, refrigeration equipment and the unloading of the first truck are a few examples of the move-in process. Look into modestly priced advertising, be it in the form of a mailer or a banner to hang announcing the grand opening.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure you obtain the proper permits and licenses from city and county agencies. Purchase insurance for liability and theft and worker's compensation to protect you against losses and claims.

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