How much do local pizza restaurants make, and what are the top pizza days of the year?

In this six minute read:

  • How much money do pizza restaurants make on a typical day?
  • Which days of the week are biggest for pizza restaurants?
  • The busy (and slow) seasons for pizza places
  • The biggest days of the year for pizza restaurants (and the surprising impact of National Pizza Day)
  • How to make the most out of busy (or slow) seasons if you own or manage a pizza restaurant

If there were a contest for the most popular food in America, it would be hard to bet against pizza claiming the top spot. With tons of unique styles and near limitless topping combinations, there’s a perfect pizza out there for everybody.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Americans spend a lot of money on pizza every year.

According to Restaurant Dive, the U.S. pizza industry is worth nearly $46 billion in revenue. The top national pizza chains claim 60% of the market, which leaves a lot left over for regional and local pizza restaurants.

That left us wondering, how much do local and independent pizza restaurants make on a normal day? And what days of the year are the ones where Americans most love hitting up their local pizza joint? Does National Pizza Day move the needle? What about other holidays?

We analyzed credit card transaction data at local pizza restaurants from across the country to answer these questions and more.

How much do pizza restaurants make on an average day throughout the year?

We started by analyzing the average day throughout the year at local pizza restaurants throughout the country.

To do this we looked at the average number of transactions on a given day throughout the year, what the average ticket price was per transaction, and how much revenue the average pizza restaurant brought in. Here’s what we found:

On any given day throughout the year, the average pizza restaurant we analyzed brought in about $1,244 in revenue. They processed around 49 transactions at $25.45 per ticket.

Pizza restaurants, of course, can range from quick and cheap “simple” pies, to high-end specialty eateries. So the numbers are merely an average.

The busiest pizza restaurants in our study processed well over 100 transactions on average per day, while some of the slower pizza places averaged 10 to 15 transactions per day.

Average ticket, as you might expect, also varied wildly—with some pizza restaurants averaging as little as $9 per ticket, and others averaging as much as $60 to $80 per ticket.

What are the biggest days of the week for pizza restaurants?

The numbers above give a good look at the average overall day, but let’s see how things change when we look at the days of the week.

As you might expect, weekends are huge for pizza restaurants across the country. Over half (54%) of all revenue at local pizza restaurants comes in on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

With an average of 67 transactions per location, Fridays are hands-down the busiest day of the week in terms of foot traffic. Saturdays, meanwhile, see the largest average ticket of the week at $28.18 per ticket.

When you look weekdays, meanwhile, you can see a steady day-over-day uptick in transactions as the week progresses. Suggesting, perhaps, that Americans increasingly seek relief in a slice of pizza as the work week drags on.

What time of year do pizza restaurants make the most money?

It’s clear that weekends are big for pizza restaurants, but what about certain weeks and months of the year? Are there “busy seasons” when it comes to grabbing slice of pizza? Or do Americans like pizza equally throughout the year?

We answered this question by looking at the average amount of total money being spent at pizza restaurants during each week throughout the year.

Pizza restaurants are particularly slow to start the year, perhaps as millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and swear off pizza for good.

But, as you can see, sales gradually (then quickly) increase to a consistent high throughout the spring and summer. Sales start to dip a bit during the Back to School season, spike a bit during Halloween before slowing down leading up to Thanksgiving before rebounding to close out the year.

What are the biggest days of the year for pizza restaurants?

Spring and summer are home to the busiest months of the year, but the fact is that pizza restaurants stay consistently busy regardless of the season. So we next wanted to see which days of the year were the biggest.

In order to find out, we decided to take two distinct looks at which might be the “biggest pizza days” of the year. First, we looked at the days when local pizza restaurants averaged the most transactions per location, then we looked at which days saw people spending the most money per ticket.

The top five “busiest” days of the year for pizza restaurants by average number of transactions

The top transaction days of the year were all Fridays, which comes as no surprise considering its status as the busiest day of the week for pizza restaurants.

A bit more surprising, though, is National Pizza Day claiming the #1 spot (edging out Friday, March 9th by mere decimal points) for the busiest day of the year for local pizza restaurants in our study. We’ll take a closer look at National Pizza Day in a moment, but it’s clear that local pizza restaurants can indeed use the buzz generated from the “holiday” to drum up extra business.

We’ll let you draw you own conclusions about the significance of April 20th being the third busiest day of the year, but we’d venture to guess local pizza places benefited from hungry customers celebrating another “unofficial” holiday on that day as well.

Instead, they benefit most from the times of year when people have a little more time off and more downtime (Spring Break, post-Christmas break, etc.) than big single-day holidays or long weekends (Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc.)

The top five ticket days of the year for pizza restaurants

While the above section shows us the days when the average pizza restaurant saw the most customers come through their doors, we wanted to see when customers spent more money at their local pizza places.

As you might expect, holidays or big events, when customers might be more likely to be placing particularly large orders, dominate this list. On Christmas Eve, when customers likely ordered enough pizza to feed friends and family, experienced an average ticket price of $34.42. Christmas Day, when only 10% of pizza restaurants in our study were open, also saw customers placing big orders.

We also learned that it’s not just the major national pizza chains who cash in on Super Bowl parties, as Super Bowl Sunday was the 3rd biggest day of ticket the year for local pizza restaurants as well.

Our key takeaway: if you own a local pizza restaurant, expect bigger orders during the holidays and major events, and bank on increased foot traffic on Fridays during the springtime.

A closer look at National Pizza Day

As you saw in the sections above, National Pizza Day was the busiest day of the year in terms of average number of transactions per pizza restaurant in our study. And while there are countless unofficial “National” days celebrating everything from beer to bowling, they don’t often move the needle to this extent.

So we decided to take a closer look:

As you can see, National Pizza Day’s success came entirely from an increase in customers, as the average ticket price was actually lower than on a typical Friday. This suggests that pizza restaurants would be well-advised to tie the holiday to special deals and discounts.

It’s clear that National Pizza Day (which always falls on February 9th) benefitted significantly from falling on a Friday last year. But when you consider that early February isn’t otherwise a busy time for pizza restaurants, there’s little doubt that National Pizza Day is enough to drive extra business to local pizza restaurants regardless on which day of the week it falls.

If you own or manage a pizza restaurant: here’s how to get the most out of the busy season, and get more customers when things slow down

No matter how you slice it, Americans are crazy about pizza. But, as we’ve just discovered, pizza restaurants can’t always rely on our shared love for cheesy goodness to drive consistent business from day-to-day and week-to-week.

Knowing which days of the week, month, or year are the days when you should expect larger orders or increased foot traffic can help you know when and how to advertise to new and returning customers alike. Restaurant owners should come prepared for days like National Pizza Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Christmas Eve, etc. with special package deals, discounts on group-orders, specialty pizzas, and more.

Restaurant owners should also be prepared to take advantage of the surge in total number of transactions. Take advantage of the days/times that bring an increase in new customers by using creative solutions to capture customer information so and inviting them back with a special discount or deal later down the road.

Check out our post on 4 key elements of an effective marketing strategy for your restaurant for even more ideas and suggestions.

Check out a few of our helpful guides for restaurant owners:

Finally, check out how Womply’s reputation management software helps make all this easier while saving you time and money. Sign up for a free demo below to see how Womply has helped businesses like yours increase revenue by 20%, see 22% more repeat customers, and save 10 hours of time per week.

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