How do I open a pizzeria

DELIVERY SERVICE: "Some open the door in pajamas"

DELIVERY SERVICE: "Some open the door in pajamas"

25 years ago Paul Conrad opened the first pizza courier in Lucerne. He tells how the business has changed - and what his employees experience.

“After my first night, I knew I needed a second car,” Paul Conrad (49) recalls of the success of his delivery service. 25 years ago Conrad was the first to offer a pizza delivery service in Lucerne with Pizza Pronto. Before that he was traveling in Central America for three years. «Because my visa expired in the meantime, I traveled to the USA. It was there that I saw pizza delivery services for the first time, and it was clear to me: that will also happen with us. " Back in Switzerland, a friend advised the trained baker / confectioner to implement his idea. “At the time, I wasn't even aware that I was taking a risk. I founded Pizza Pronto with very little equity, was able to organize the first pizza oven for free in Chur and searched for a free refrigerator with an advertisement. I had nothing to lose, ”says the pioneer.

25 years have now passed. Have the pizza delivery services that are everywhere now made life difficult for traditional pizzerias? Conrad: “Of course, the option of having food delivered to your home contributes to the death of pickling. But there is no competition between pizzeria and delivery service. If you go to the Italian, you get the atmosphere, the whole package. I, on the other hand, bring some Italy to the people at home. "

Expectations have risen

Today you have less time to cook, but a good income. “Then a pizza delivery service comes in handy. This also means that home-style Swiss cuisine is becoming rarer, "believes Conrad. The expectations of the food have become diverse. “There is wheat in a pizza. And a pizza is not low in calories. When it comes to pizza, health is not the focus, but enjoyment, ”emphasizes Paolo. If he wanted to offer a gluten-free pizza, it would have to be produced in a sterile environment and then packaged airtight. “To this end, we are clarifying whether we will offer lactose-free mozzarella in the future,” he adds. Paul Conrad also deals with sustainability on another front: “We deliver the pizzas by car. And I would like to keep it that way because of occupational safety. For environmental reasons, we are now talking about electric cars. " Safety is important to Paul Conrad. Only twice in the company's history has a courier been robbed on the street. Accidents were also very rare. “But I'm still burning in the pizza oven,” he smiles.

Pizza Pronto has been on Reusseggstrasse for a year now. "From here we can get in all directions via the autobahn," explains Conrad. "We are considering opening a small branch in the city as well." The industry will continue to change. "Pizza delivery by drone or driverless car is the future, I am convinced of that." Pizza Pronto has just taken a step into the future: You can order a pizza using the app on the iPhone - the app will also be available for Android at the end of the month. You won't find Pizza Pronto on the online ordering service eat.ch. “The 10 or 11 percent that I would have to give up would be the profit. That means we would have to save elsewhere, ”says Conrad. He wants to stay independent. “There was a time when I thought about opening more branches. But then my daughter was born. Family is very important to me, so I decided to focus on my child. If I had done it differently 13 years ago, I would probably no longer be at the front today, but would be doing business in a suit, ”he says with a smile.

"Ketchup is not on the pizza"

The 49-year-old prefers to eat pizza funghi himself. “But we sell most of the prosciutto and margherita,” he reveals. The currently 12-person team delivers around 40,000 pizzas every year. “There are customers who open the door for the courier in pajamas or lightly clothed. Older customers sometimes expect the pizza to be served to them, or to be invited to a glass of wine, which of course we don't have time for, ”says Conrad, who bakes pizzas himself, does the phone service and makes deliveries. But it has its professional limits. "Even if customers sometimes ask: I don't have ketchup on my pizza."

Natalie Ehrenzweig