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As a pizza business owner, I understand well the challenges of creating equal slices of pizza for customers to choose from. Buying behaviors can have an enormous impact when pizza is on display for customers to select from.

A few years ago, I was at a grocery store that sold pizza by the slice in their store. I chose these two very large slices (on the right) from two poorly cut pizzas at a grocery store that sold pizza by the slice in their store. Needless to say, from the two pizzas where I selected my slices, there were a couple of slivers of slices that couldn’t be sold.

Those slivers are thrown away or given to a customer as a buy one small slice and get another smaller slice to equal one slice.  Either way, those small slices that can’t be sold represent losses in sales and losses in profits.  Last year, that same chain of grocery stores went out of business. They filed for Chapter 11 in Bankruptcy Court.

Now – no one can say that losing profits from poorly cut pizzas that are sold for by-the-slice was the primary reason for the bankruptcy but small overlooked operational processes can be a contributing factor to loss in profits and can help put even large chains out of business.

Let’s look at the math. At the time, this chain was selling a slice of pizza for $3.00 a slice. It is reasonable to assume this grocery store was throwing out a minimum of 4 slices a day for a loss of $12.00 a day, per location. Except for a few holidays, this grocery chain was open every day. When multiplying $12.00 in lost sales per day by 360 days, the chain was losing $4,320.00 a year in sales. At the time this grocery chain closed, they had 50 locations. At a loss of $4,320.00 in sales per location, this chain was losing approximately $216,000.00 in pizza-by-slice sales a year.

Not only was this grocery chain losing sales, they were also losing profits from food waste by throwing out or giving away for free the smaller slices they couldn’t sell. Using a portioning guide at each location, they could have realized $208,000 in net sales and realizing a substantial gain in sales and profits year after year.

Minor details, whether in a small or large business can determine profitability.  Take a look at our Portion PadLs to learn more about the free customization of this tool based on your pizza size and slice applications.