Less is the New More

Posted on July 18, 2006

HomeMade Pizza Co.John has been telling me about a new food concept called the HomeMade Pizza Company for quite some time. This concept is only in Illinois right now but I feel like it will spread to other states shortly. Anyhow, I had thought for a while that the HomeMade Pizza Company simply meant that they used great ingredients and took great care in the pizza making process. So, imagine my surprise when they hand me the pizza, after the traditional 10 - 15 minute wait, and it is not cooked. Looks like they literally meant homemade! My girlfriend and I then took the pizza back to John’s car where he and his better half Michelle were waiting for us and we proceeded to head back to their place.

While we were driving through the streets of Chicago my mind began cranking away and I thought about the idea behind the HomeMade Pizza Co. (HMPC). What a brilliant idea. They did less for us and by doing so allowed all of us to have a lot of fun while cooking the pizza ourselves. As Michelle pointed out, the satisfaction probably has a lot to do with the fact that something really good comes out of your own oven. There are also some straight business benefits that the HMPC gains from operating the way they do.

The HMPC has no ovens to buy, clean or run saving them what could possibly be the largest expense involved in creating pizzas (maybe only second to the ingredients). They can also get pizzas done in a pinch since they don’t have to cook them saving them a lot of time. With all of these costs cut they can afford to use better ingredients in their pizzas so they taste better which allows them to justify charging a bit more than the average price of a regular pizza.

In summary, they have cut costs by cutting large pieces of the pizza making process out of their equation. They pass those costs on to the consumer by having you cook the pizza at your home (using your gas, electricity, etc). They use better ingredients which allow them to justify charging a bit more than average for their pizzas even though they still, even with the better ingredients, probably spent less than average to create them. The consumer loves it since they get to be hands on and actually cook the pizza giving them a sense of pride.

Less is the new more in the pizza making business and I wonder if there are other businesses that could employ the same tactics. I’d love to get a discussion going on this topic in order to hear all of your thoughts and to hear what other businesses this type of model could work for.

Side note: The HMPC’s pizza is incredible and I consider myself a pizza connoisseur so that says something! Worth every cent.

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3 Comments so far
  1. John Zeratsky July 19, 2006 12:11 am

    Nice post!

    Well, obviously the simplicity thing is huge right now, but it’s usually couched as “this is easier to use.” (Thinking tech here, mainly…)

    Homemade Pizza Co is totally different! There is nothing easy about their version of less. It’s actually harder — you have to deal with a raw, uncooked pizza, operate your oven properly, cut the pizza, etc.

    Like you said Eric, the genius is in passing on costs to the consumer. The one similar idea we had in the car was for bicycles — sell kits and let people put them together themselves. But that’s a little nichey… there have got to be some better business ideas in here.

  2. Eric July 19, 2006 9:21 am

    Good point! Usually doing less is an attempt to make things easier but in this case things are technically harder.

    I do remember the bike example and I agree that it’s nichey and that there have got to be other business ideas that could use the HMPC model.

  3. Jake Parrillo July 19, 2006 11:50 am

    I hope you all got the chicken sausage. That’s some tasty stuff.