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How to Open a Pizza Shop

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Open a Pizza Shop

Fast Facts

Investment range

$14,550 - $29,100

Revenue potential

$275,000 - $820,000 p.a.

Time to build

1 – 3 months

Profit potential

$41,000 - $125,000 p.a.

Industry trend




Who doesn’t love pizza? Thick crust, thin crust, stuffed crust — we can’t get enough! Pizza is worth almost $50 billion in the US alone and continues to grow. From mustard to rhubarb to curry, today’s topping possibilities are endless, and you can even find breakfast pizzas and dessert pizzas! If you love getting creative in the kitchen, why not open your own pizza shop and put those skills to work? You could be the next Papa John’s or Pizza Hut franchise, making good money while delivering smiles to countless faces.

But before you start baking those pies, you need to know what you’re getting into from a business perspective. Luckily, this step-by-step guide is packed edge-to-edge with all you need to know about starting a pizza place and will put you on the road to entrepreneurial success.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and Cons

Starting a pizzeria has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.


  • Good money — Profit margins are high compared to other restaurant types
  • Share your passion — Share your pizza love; spread joy
  • Creativity — Pizza offers a world of creative options


  • High startup costs — Space and equipment are $$
  • Highly saturated market — Every “hood” has a pizza shop or two

Pizza Shop Industry Trends

Industry Size and Growth

pizza industry size and growth

Trends and Challenges

pizza shop Trends and Challenges


  • Cauliflower crust plus vegan and gluten-free pizza options are all the rage.
  • Pizzas that are internationally inspired are trending with Gen Zers, including Indian and Southeastern-inspired pizzas.
  • Consumers are also seeking eco-friendly packaging for their pizzas, meaning recyclable boxes.


  • Higher dairy, wheat, and flour prices are cutting into the profit margins of pizza shops.
  • Labor shortages, particularly in the restaurant industry, are making it difficult for pizza shops to effectively operate while short-staffed.

Demand Hotspots

pizza shop demand hotspots
  • Most popular states The most popular states for pizza shops are New Hampshire, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
  • Least popular states The least popular states for pizza shops are Louisiana, South Carolina, and North Carolina.((https://www.zippia.com/pizza-maker-jobs/best-states/))

What Kind of People Work in Pizza Shops?

pizza industry demographics
  • Gender — 46% of restaurant owners are female, while 54% are male.
  • Average level of education — The average restaurant owner has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Average age — The average owner of a restaurant in the US is 39.1 years old.((https://www.zippia.com/restaurant-owner-jobs/demographics/))

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Pizza Shop Business?

Startup costs for a pizza shop range from $15,000 to $30,000 or more. Costs include a space rental deposit, space preparation, and kitchen equipment.

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your pizza shop business, including: 

  • Pizza mixers
  • Pizza conveyor oven
  • Prep tables
  • Dough box
  • Tables and chairs
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$150–$200$175
Business licenses and permits$100–$300$200
Business cards and brochures$200–$300$250
Website setup$1,000–$3,000$2,000
Pizza shop space rental$3,000–$5,000$4,000
Space preparation with a counter, tables and chairs$5,000–$10,000$7,500
Kitchen equipment$5,000–$10,000$7,500

How Much Can You Earn From a Pizza Shop Business?

pizza shop earnings forecast

Pizza prices range from $7 for a small cheese pizza to $20 or more for a specialty pizza with toppings. You can also sell beverages, so these calculations will assume that your average sale price will be $15. The average profit margin for pizza shops is 15%.

In your first year or two, you might sell 50 pizzas a day, bringing in nearly $275,000 in annual revenue. This would mean $41,000 in profit, assuming that 15% margin. As your brand gains recognition and you get repeat customers, sales could climb to 150 a day. With an annual revenue of $820,000, you’d make a tidy profit of almost $125,000.

What Barriers to Entry Are There?

There are a few barriers to entry for a pizza shop. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • The startup costs of space and equipment
  • Drawing customers in a saturated market

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Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a pizza shop, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an Opportunity

Research pizza shops in your area to examine their products, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a gluten-free or vegan pizza shop.

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as Indian-inspired pizzas or Middle Eastern-inspired pizzas.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine Your Menu

You’ll need to come up with a pizza menu, but you can also offer additional food and beverage items like garlic bread, chicken wings, and alcoholic beverages.

How Much Should You Charge for Pizzas?

You’ll need to check local pizza prices to make sure you’re competitive in your market. Prices will also depend on what it costs to make your pizzas. You should aim for a profit margin after all costs of about 15%.

Once you know your costs, you can use our profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify Your Target Market

Your target market will be broad, since almost everyone likes pizza. You should spread out your marketing to include TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn.

Where? Choose Your Pizza Shop Location

The location of your pizza shop is a crucial factor that can determine the success or failure of your business. To ensure success, aim to find a spot that can be considered a pizza lover’s paradise. Look for an area with a high volume of foot traffic, where potential customers are constantly passing by.

It’s also beneficial to choose a location near residential areas, as this will make your shop easily accessible and convenient for customers looking for a quick and delicious meal.

You’ll need to rent out a space for your shop. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
pizza shop idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Pizza Shop Name

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “pizza” or “pizza shop,” boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for example, “Jim’s Pizza Station” over “Jim’s Sicilian Pizza Corner” or “Jim’s Vegan Pizza Bistro”
  • A location-based name can help establish a strong connection with your local community and help with the SEO but might hinder future expansion

Discover over 300 unique pizza shop name ideas here. If you want your business name to include specific keywords, you can also use our pizza shop business name generator. Just type in a few keywords, hit Generate, and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Pizza Shop Business Plan

Here are the key components of a business plan:

what to include in a business plan
  • Business overview — Detailed introduction to your pizza shop, including the business name, the type of pizza shop (dine-in, take-out, delivery), location, and the vision behind starting it
  • Product and services — Description of the pizza and related products (like beverages, sides, etc.) you’ll offer, plus any additional services such as catering or special event hosting
  • Market analysis — Examination of the local demand for pizza, customer demographics, and spending habits in your targeted area to demonstrate viability
  • Competitive analysis — Assessment of other pizza providers in the vicinity, highlighting what your shop will do differently or better to attract and retain customers
  • Sales and marketing — Strategy for attracting customers to your pizza shop, which may include advertising channels, pricing strategy, promotions, and customer loyalty programs
  • Management team — Overview of the key players in your business, their roles, and their experience in the food industry that contributes to the shop’s success
  • Operations plan — Outline of the day-to-day running of the shop, including suppliers, equipment, staff, and processes for preparing and selling pizza
  • Financial plan — Projection of the startup costs, operating costs, revenue expectations, profit margins, and break-even analysis to ensure financial feasibility
  • Appendix — Supplementary section containing any additional documents that support your business plan, such as menus, maps, surveys, or legal documents

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose Where to Register Your Company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to pizza shops. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind that it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose Your Business Structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your pizza shop will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures
  • Sole proprietorship — The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General partnership — Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) — Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corporation — Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corporation — This refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just needs to elect to be an S Corp for tax status. In this business structure, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number or EIN. You can file for your EIN online, by mail, or by fax. Visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund Your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

types of business financing
  • Bank loans — This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans — The Small Business Administration can act as a guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants — A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and family — Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding — Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal — Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best options, other than friends and family, for funding a pizza shop business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept. 

Step 8: Apply for Pizza Shop Business Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a pizza shop business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

A pizza shop may need the following, depending on the requirements in your area:

  • Foodservice license
  • Food handler’s permit
  • Building health permit
  • Liquor license

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your pizza shop business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

types of business insurance
  • General liability — The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business property — Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment breakdown insurance — Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation — Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property — Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto — Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability — Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP) — This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential Software and Tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks. 

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Restaurant 365, lightspeed, or toast, to manage your inventory, orders, staff, and payments.


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, FreshBooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences of filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial. 

Develop Your Website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using website builders. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

However, people are unlikely to find your website unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  • Targeted social media advertising — Utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to target specific community groups, engage younger audiences, and leverage trending topics.
  • Optimized website and SEO — Implement best SEO practices to enhance search rankings and improve conversion rates.
  • Local SEO — Regularly update Google My Business and Yelp profiles to increase local visibility and encourage positive reviews.
  • Mobile app development — Offer a mobile app for easy ordering and to manage promotions and loyalty rewards.
  • Content marketing — Distribute engaging newsletters and blog posts about pizza, and run interactive competitions to boost customer engagement.
  • Influencer and community partnerships — Collaborate with food influencers and local businesses for broader reach and community integration.
  • Experiential marketing — Host pizza workshops, tasting events, and themed parties to enhance in-store experiences.
  • Sustainability practices — Promote eco-friendly initiatives to attract environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Customer loyalty programs — Develop loyalty and VIP programs to reward frequent customers and gather valuable feedback.
  • Dynamic promotions — Execute flash sales and happy hours to increase store visits and use paid ads to target potential customers actively searching for pizza.
  • Visual merchandising — Enhance physical and digital spaces with compelling visuals to attract and retain customers.
  • Community engagement — Support local artists and engage in community events to strengthen local ties and visibility.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Today’s customers are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they can quickly grasp how your pizza shop meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your pizza shop business could be: 

  • The best vegan pizza shop in town!
  • Fresh, fantastic pizza made with only local ingredients
  • From curry to tacos — our pizzas satisfy global tastes
unique selling proposition


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain but your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a pizza shop business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in pizza for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in pizza shops. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a pizza shop business include:

  • Wait staff — taking orders, serving customers
  • Pizza chefs — preparing pizzas and other food items
  • Delivery drivers — delivering pizzas
  • General manager — ordering, scheduling, accounting
  • Marketing lead — SEO strategies, social media

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Pizza Shop — Start Making Money!

Running a Business

Are you ready to share pizza joy with your community? If you can make great pizza, you’ll be pleasing many palates and joining a growing $50 billion market while making good money and having fun whipping up tasty creations. You can become the go-to pizza shop in your area, and eventually expand into a chain of pizza shops.

You’ve learned what you need to know about pizza entrepreneurship, so now it’s time to get tossing and launch your successful pizza shop!

Pizza Shop Business FAQs

Is a pizza shop a profitable business?

Yes, pizza shops have a higher profit margin on average than other types of restaurants. If you have great pizza and unique flavors, you can stand out from the competition and be successful.

Where was the first pizzeria in the United States?

The first pizzeria in the United States is generally believed to be Lombardi’s, which was opened in New York City in 1905. Lombardi’s was founded by Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi, who had previously worked as a baker in Naples, Italy.


What are the most popular pizza toppings in the United States?

Popular pizza toppings in the United States include spicy beef and pork pepperoni, fresh or canned mushrooms, ground meat sausage, diced or sliced white or red onions, fresh sliced or diced green peppers, black or green olives, small pieces of bacon, divisive pineapple, extra mozzarella or other cheeses, and fresh or canned sliced or diced tomatoes.

How do I attract customers to my pizza shop?

To attract customers to your pizza shop, focus on using high-quality ingredients, creating delicious pizzas with unique flavor combinations, and offering a variety of toppings. Provide prompt and efficient service, establish a strong online presence, and offer convenient online ordering and delivery options. 

How can I differentiate my pizza shop from competitors in the market?

To differentiate your pizza shop from competitors, develop signature pizzas with distinct flavors and innovative crust options. Provide exceptional customer service, create a compelling brand story, and utilize creative marketing techniques. Consider offering specialized menu items like gourmet appetizers, fresh salads, or unique desserts. Emphasize the use of local and sustainable ingredients to attract customers who value supporting local businesses and sustainable food practices.

Which pizza is the most popular in the USA?

Common favorites include cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, margherita pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, and supreme pizza with various toppings. 


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How to Open a Pizza Shop