Just bought my first business, now what?

by MoNeyMillz28. Posted on Sep 11, 2020    2    32

So, I just bought my first business and am looking for some tips from current business owners. It’s a pizza shop that does 1 mil+ a year, so it is fairly busy most of the time. I guess my biggest question to fellow redditors would be, what should I focus on first? Things I have noticed is the inventory control is terrible, bad products not tracked, voided tickets not tracked, employee meals not tracked. Secondly, the night shift manager who closes 5 nights a week is more someone who knows the duties but has no manager qualities, the culture seems to be kind of do whatever/whenever, and milking the clock seems to be going on a lot. I have a GM who only closes 2 nights a week and has sundays off. I worked the business for 6 years, so I know how to do most of the tasks, and some of things I see I just can’t believe. I know myself and can’t stand a dickhead manager, so how do you teeter that line with people? It seems like a lot of employees have been able to do whatever for a while and I want to give everyone a chance to be a better employee before having to use discipline. I’m thinking I need to focus on management first and then can worry about inventory, products, etc after that. I haven’t had the chance to have an employee meeting yet, and I was thinking that would be the best way to get everyone on the same page. I want the culture to be fun, but also work comes first. I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment and thought give you guys a try.


mondaysbest 1

Loose management can be a strategy for retention. FWIW

eagerdreams 1

1 Million in revenue is great but what's the NET?? I would start looking at the books and seeing where there is waste - in labor or ingredients. What does the previous years P&L's look like? What does the balance sheet look like? I'd want a macro look at all of these things. As others have said, I would also want to just watch how things are being done for a month or two - this will really give you a snapshot / microscope into everything.

[deleted] 2


  MoNeyMillz28 1

I like the way of thinking, thanks!

Jabroni1616 2

It sounds a bit like you want to jump in and start micromanaging certain things, which probably isn’t a great idea and is going to rub the employee’s the wrong way.

Generally, a happy employee is a productive employee.

As others have stated, it’s great that you have ideas on what can be improved, but just wait, the business already seems to be doing well, you really don’t want to jump in and change things in a business that is already holding its own. Just observe things for a bit. And start with smaller changes, just to see how everyone handles and reacts to that before doing anything bigger.

brasilkid16 2

I went through a similar kind of transition as an employee. I found it was super effective to communicate with the clientele, let them know ownership has changed and is looking for feedback for potential improvements. Ultimately, your restaurant is there to serve the customers, so their opinions should be valued and taken into consideration before making any changes.

I'd also agree with many other commenters here that listening first will be your best choice. Even though you know the business already, it is important to gauge whereyour employees stand. Gather their impressions of what they think should change, what needs to stay the same, and any new suggestions they may have. This will have the double effect of you acquiring useful information as well as improving the connection with and among your staff. Empowerment and validation are very powerful tools for motivation.

Lastly, be involved. I've had too many managers that were taskmasters with ridiculous expectations simply because they were not involved and couldn't grasp what all they were asking for, causing employees to become unmotivated and in some cases, quit. If you show your employees you're invested in THEM and THEIR success, and not just the business and YOUR success, that will grow motivation and culture like nothing else.


Good luck to you!

  MoNeyMillz28 1


irlcake 2

Do a swot analysis and make sure your stable. I.e. you'll be able to pay your bills for the foreseeable future.

Set meetings and schedule number crunching.

Start today. Right now. Literally in an hour.

I'm 15 years into my business and we're having hell sticking to pnl review because we never did it.

If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business.

Set schedule to review your pnl, sales, labor cost, food cost, source of customers etc monthly.

Quarterly schedule times to review: insurance, food contracts, pest control, etc etc contracts. We just saved literally 60% on our phone bill by researching.

Set goals. Do you want to grow? Do you want to have this one just super efficient? Do you want to have time for vacations, kid's sports, date night? Start planning for them now.

If you don't have a destination, you'll never get there.

carpora15 2

scale it

WSPGrants 2

Well i'm not a business owner but I think you summed it up pretty much yourself. You noticed things that can be improved, so you could talk with all the employees to discuss there are improvements and if they would like to help with that. Ask them what they think could be improved and you can tell them what you think can be improved. Maybe they noticed the same things you noticed and can come to an agreement and maybe the answer why it hasn't been improved yet comes up.

DubbleDee420 3

I'm not trying to be discouraging with this but this kind of seems like something you should've asked/answered BEFORE you bought a pizza shop.

Do you have any experience with working (not running) pizza shops? If not, you may be in for a bumpy road. But bumpy does not mean impossible. I agree with the fellow who said to study how dominos does there managing. I used to manage one and I have to say, on the book-end of things, they have that down to a T. Every successful chain as a matter of fact has a binder/notebook that will walk the MOD through the duties of the day. Try to get them into the habit of doing something like that but DONT BE HARD ON THEM at first. They probably already have some sort of flow going (even its a bad one) and you dont want to just come in all of a sudden and disrupt that. In time I'm sure if its as bad as you day it is, you could turn that $1m+ store into a $5m+ chain

TLDR: it will be a lot less overwhelming once you organize it on a piece of paper

  MoNeyMillz28 1

I worked for 6 years at another location all through college. I worked for 6 years as a field worker for a gas utility company up until about 2 weeks ago, when I purchased the pizza shop. I think the reason I have a lot of thoughts on the way things are done is because of my experience. I am experienced in the sense of knowing how to do the task, but as an owner I am have none. As of now I am just keeping notes on my phone and have thrown out little feelers asking the gm what he thinks.

freddyjohnson 2

I suspect OP is wealthy and just bought this business that does $1millon+ a year as another investment. Reminds me of Chevy Chase in "Caddy Shack". 'What's wrong with lumber, I own two lumber yards?' 'I notice you don't spend much time there'. 'I'm not really sure where they are'.

DubbleDee420 2

Lmfao I hope its just the way OP worded it rather than it being a caddy case.

xeneks 6

Study domios. IT company first, pizza second.

  MoNeyMillz28 2

Never heard that, thanks!

xeneks 1

Just in case, I’ll give you my perspective of what IT means.

IT refers to computers and networks. People usually think of it equipment. Like phones or tablets or pcs or macs or servers or all the stuff that connects it.

But a different definition can be found in the words assessed apart from the strict industry or public understanding



Taken apart, information is quite simply, things that are said, written, in video form or audio form, or carried out in the form of physical actions.

Technology refers to tools that we create or use that allows communicating or recording or managing the information.

So by this somewhat different understanding of IT, reading a book in a library is actually IT. Demonstrating how to add yeast to flour to a new employer is... at a stretch, a very basic form of IT. (closer maybe if you had a third person record the process).

Shouting to someone to turn down the oven is IT. (Your voice is the technology, the instruction to turn down the oven + knowledge that the employee has on how to do it and what temp to set, is the information)

So it’s a bit absurd but IT and ICT can, by stretching your understanding, mean things that are real world actions. When you think of it like that, you can even imagine a human as either information, or technology, or some weird ass combination of both. Is a person IT?

Anyway, dominos probably has a simpler understanding of it. They use IT to put numbers to everything and tie it to costs and sales and margins, as mediated by actions or processes, human or automated or some combination.

And they make sure no effort is spared in constantly updating the tech that is ‘customer facing’ such as their website or phone app or spam emails etc. to make the experience better for whatever customer base they sell to.

How long a pizza is in the oven is information. How you put it in and remove it from the oven might be technology.

‘Better IT management’ could even refer to teaching staff how to retrain themselves on optimal foot positioning and arm and gripper placement when turning to remove a bunch of pizzas from the oven.

Practically, this might take the form of the manager telling the staff member to set a series of three reminders in their personal phone calendar calendar over three months to hit the company intranet and slowly watch the video description on where to stand, how to hold the gripper, which arms to use and how to rapidly and safely remove a set of 5 pizzas that come out at once without dropping them or getting burned.

seagateexpansion1 4

Work some shifts on the floor, you've probably got one or two key members of staff who hold everything together. Look after them and take their feedback. Staff and wastage are the biggest issues to focus on it you have a regular customer base. Hospitality runs on strong management, do a very extensive deep clean of everything, kitchens, cold stores etc scrub it all like new and have processes that keep it that way.

  MoNeyMillz28 1

There is a GM who is a rock star, and I am really hoping he stays with me. He has been there 18 years and treats it like it is his own business mostly. Problems seem like mostly when he is not around, but that happens to be during peak hours because he has scheduled himself some easier shifts. Can’t blame him but as a new owner I need him around those times the most.

seagateexpansion1 1

This is where you need a) an assistant manager who is ambitious and wants to progress and be given more responsibility and b) airtight management processes that encourage accountability and adherence to procedure when people are working without senior management supervision.

cart_man 2

This. Work in the business to learn it before you work on the business to grow it.

Something makes this business work, to the tune of 1 mil a year. Do you know what it is that makes it work? Make sure you do before you get too comfortable and start making changes.

GoergiDinkov 4

Focus a lot on the customers and the quality of your products as well the people that work for you. Make sure things are very efficient. If you don’t mind how much you pay for a business that does one million in sales?


Get onto r/thesidehustle for guidance

  MoNeyMillz28 1

375k, nets around 110k with room for improvement

GoergiDinkov 1

That is super good deal. 10% net margin. Does the business have any debt obligations?

  MoNeyMillz28 2

Nope, everything free and clear. I worked out a super good deal on the terms as well. Owner financed with 10% down, 10 years, 5% interest. Owner really wanted to retire and it would not finance through SBA because Taxes did not show profits in line with 375k asking price.

GoergiDinkov 1

This is awesome do you find deals like this online or in person. I mean you knew him?

  MoNeyMillz28 1

I met him through my father in law who owns a pizza shop as well. He gave the guy my number and we talked and that was that.

mancala33 3

I'm wondering the same

Student8528 25

My advice to you is to just watch for awhile and see exactly how it works before making changes. At 1m+ a year revenue something is already working and it could be the culture. Had a GM come in once and he didn’t do anything for 30 days. Got to know us, watched how we worked and then started making changes. It showed he really knew what he was doing and didn’t rush into things just because he wanted them done his way.

Edit: Gold really?? Thanks! I’m glad someone thought my advice was worth something!

  MoNeyMillz28 2

Survey says.... observe for 30 days before making any real changes! It will be hard to wait 30 days, since I do have 6 years experience doing the job, lol but I will try to observe more and keep notes. I think you got the gist of what I was asking, thanks