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A few months ago, I was in a neighborhood where one of a large chain of grocery stores is located. There aren’t any near me, but I love shopping at this chain when I have the opportunity. While shopping for groceries, I past the freshly made pizza area. This chain of stores have their own pizza shop inside each store. The customer can buy hot fresh whole or pizza by-the- slice. This day, I thought I would buy a couple slices to go. At the display counter, I had five pizzas to choose from. Four of the five were visibly cut into unequal slices. I could have bought four slices, but the bigger slices were so big, I only had to pick two of the biggest slices. That way I could get equivalent to four slices for the price of two. What a great deal!

Like any customer who is given the choice, I pointed out to the employee at the counter the two biggest slices from two pizzas. The slices were so big, they wouldn’t fit in the slice box. After I was given the two huge slices, I asked the lady behind the counter what they will do with the real small slices. With no concern about sales or profit, she told me the slices would be thrown out. This was about two in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Typically, a slow time and day of the week for selling pizza. I can’t imagine how many slices would be thrown out during the busier lunch and dinner hours, when less attention would be given towards trying to cut pizzas into equal slices.

Domestically, this popular chain of grocery stores have over four hundred locations. They do not use a pizza cutting guide. I think it would be safe to assume that each location will throw out, on the average, four slices a day. They charge per 3.00 per slice or 2.50 when two or more are purchased. So, I even received a better deal for buying two huge slices of pizza. If four slices of pizza are being thrown out each day, which the store would charge 2.50 per slice, the daily loss in sales for four slices would be 10.00. That may not seem to be such a big loss, but on a weekly basis, that is 70.00. Yearly, that is a loss of 3,6400.00.

At the store level, this is quite a bit of loss in sales, especially for a small profit center that is part of dozens of profit centers within that store. Probably not enough to bring too much attention to the problem.

Here is where from the corporate level, the numbers of lost sales and profit become shocking. Domestically, there are at least four hundred stores. If each of the 400 stores are losing in sales, on the average, four slices a day or 3,640.00 a year, the chain is losing 1,456,000 in sales annually. Can you imagine what the loss would be if each store averaged more than four slices a day? That’s a lot of sales and profit lost… one unequal slice at a time.