So many successful restaurateurs and savvy operators start simple. They find a proven path, a niche market or a unique twist to help get ahead of the crowd. In Vancouver, we’re extremely gifted to have such a bevy of great dining choices that span the globe of culinary influence, often within steps of where we live, that it can almost seem routine. It’s not, as anyone whose ever worked in a restaurant will tell you. But as the competition increases, so does the public’s demand for quality. So where to start?
One of the most tried and true recipes for success is pizza. You can probably name your top five and argue with mine. Although a fave of mine to this day remains ‘Don’t Argue’ my all-time goes back to Brooklyn and ‘Not Ray’s‘ who had the best moniker along with a helluva slice.
One the best reasons pizza makes the dough rise, is that it’s relatively simple and much more affordable to get a stand alone pizza oven versus a fully vented kitchen. You can buy a whole operation and simply grandfather it. Change the sign. Don’t change the sign. Like Unforgettable Pizza for $129K. An independent shop with long history and presence in the ‘hood, joints like this are interwoven with a neighbourhood’s identity. You can’t build a shop at this price.
At a different level, some prefer the stability and corporate management that a franchise offers. Nothing like having head office send you an order for 100 pies. Just made your whole day of sales in one order. Also franchises have marketing power that few independents can possibly even attempt. The price tag usually reflects this, so the discerning investor knows what to look for.
With all of the highly trained chefs in town, we’ve also seen some serious upticks in quality and presentation. Just try to get a pie out of Pizzeria Farina after 8PM. Let me know how that works out for you. Vancouver has thin crust, Vera Pizza Napoletana, Roma Style probably too many twist on classics and even The Vegan Pizza House. I’ll bet you a hundred dollars someone figures out how to get a true Chicago Deep Dish happening in a year too.
No matter the format, people love ’em and support them in droves. This slick and modern shop is a perfect example of next wave concept in action: Modern Downtown Pizza $199K You know we’ve arrived as a city when you can just take the keys to the next ready made concept (already killing it) and simply build on the success the easy way.
However you like it, pizza is a rare concept that leaves room for interpretation, discussion, debate and most of all success. Maybe you have the next idea that starts the path to multiple concepts? Maybe you just want the security of the one thing we can all agree on: Everyone loves pizza.