Competing local businesses. Rules of engagement


New thread formed splitting off from the Chandos thread, to continue the discussion regarding morals and ethics of opening a competing business close by an existing one.
Hope this is OK @Lin , just don’t want to overshadow the Chandos and its reopening.


And what of course hasn’t been mentioned is the impact on existing businesses - anyone know what the Mama Dough guys think about having a competitor on their doorstep?


No no, complete freedom, all parties are free to express themselves evenly. But less likely to feel even if you have a strong opinion. The same has applied to all previous replies where others have questioned the decision to sell pizza.

As for the impact on other businesses. Is that really a concern for a new business owner? Healthy competition keeps all parties on their toes. Besides, I believe the Chandos is likely to attract a different crowd.


I think it’s a concern for a small community. Aren’t we all about supporting each other? Would it be well received for example if I opened up a new sweetie shop a few doors down from Sugar Mountain?


I’m new to this and it was a long thread so hadn’t seen done deal and no chance to rethink. As I said, Nancy’s courteous response was appreciated - thanks Nancy (and for that reason I will perhaps give it a go)


There’s an interesting discussion to be had on how competition works in local business and you’d be sure to get some lively debate going if you fancy opening a new thread on the subject!


I totally agree with @Phil’s sentiment - there’s no need to criticise a new business before it’s even opened. @Phil wasn’t being rude. @Nancy has made it clear that she is positively engaging with the community, and the community has responded positively too. It’s important to read the whole thread.

Mamma Dough wasn’t the first pizza place in SE23 but it has made this area a known destination for Pizza, and as we’ve discussed in the BOnA thread, different people like different styles of Pizza, and all our pizza restaurants are thriving so there’s no need to fear the arrival of another one. Competition is great. It drives all businesses to do their best.


I wasn’t criticising the business before it’s opened, I was providing feedback and suggestions as a member of the local community.


Is there anyone from Mama Dough on this forum? Would be interested to get their thoughts. Also would be interested to hear from @Pauline on my analogy above. My personal views are that competion is healthy as a general rule, but there’s a huge difference between competing businesses in, say, Covent Garden and competing businesses in a tiny community such as Honor Oak. Fine if Mama Dough wasn’t a well loved local business that wasn’t performing well - but it is. Anyway, if anyone from Mama Dough is on here, they may be able to express this more knowledgeably and eloquently (or indeed disagree with me altogether!)


I seem to recall seeing what can happen when two competing businesses fall out over stocking similar items, advertising etc. Doesn’t always end well.

None the less, I don’t see why Mama Dough need be brought into the conversation really. Sure its competition so to speak, but one is a pub, one is a licensed restaurant.

I know you have good intentions, but I can’t help but feel that you are indeed being negative about both the choice of food, and the impact it may have on one business.
I am sure you appreciate that @Nancy and co have made their decision based on their own information, and are happy with it. With the equipment installed it is a little late in the day to change their mind.

They are different businesses, which will attract different crowds. The only question left is, if it appeals to you or not. I personally wish them all the best, and love the idea of a pub serving finger food which you can relax and eat. Rather than anything needing cutlery or catering to a specific taste. Pizza is pretty open to all.


There is a recognised retail model where similar businesses in close proximity actually support rather than compete with each other. For example, I’m much more likely to pop up to Forest Hill for a coffee knowing that if my first choice is full, there will be somewhere else of equal quality I can go to.

As you say, Mamma Dough is a well-loved local. There is no reason to think that pizza in a pub will damage their business unless the pizza in the pub is markedly better. Plus people like different sorts of pizza. We’ve had quite long discussions on here about the offerings locally and the conclusion was that people will go to the one they like best, and everyone had a different opinion on what that was.

A business has no obligation not to open in opposition to an established favourite. It’s up to the businesses to provide what their customers want, and up to customers to support businesses they want to see succeed. If another sweet shop opened in FH I’m sure @Pauline wouldn’t be happy, and it would be hard for another such shop to do what she does better, but there’s no moral obligation on the other retailer NOT to open.


Just as there’s no moral obligation for me not to express my disappoinment about another pizza place opening in the area!


Of course. As have others on this thread. Now it’s a done deal, we’ll just have to see how it all pans out.


I am expressing my opinion! It seems to me you’re saying that if I express an opinion that doesn’t coincide with everyone else’s then I’m being negative, is that correct?


No, I would say that you do not accept being told people disagree with your opinion, rather than being negative about it. Seeing that many others expressed similar opinions earlier in the thread, and received the same sort of replies.

No one has tried to offend anyone here, just grown adults saying what they feel. No name calling, but just appears you are in the minority at this time, and are not willing to let the matter go.

Dragging other businesses into a discussion about the morality of opening a business which may pose SLIGHT competition to another established business is maybe a little off topic.

@Chris @RachaelDunlop @Londondrz Maybe it is time to split this thread, and not ruin all the hard work and great communication from @Nancy and the Chandos


I really don’t understand @Snazy. I expressed an opinion and offered constructive suggestions about what I as a local resident would like to see in the area. Once Nancy replied saying pizza was a done deal I accepted that and even said that I would probably give it a try (as Nancy seems like a nice, enthusiastic and positive lady and was very courteous in her response). I said I was interested to know what Mama Dough’s take on the situation is and also what @Pauline’s take on the matter is (as she’s a champion of local businesses). It may well be the case that they don’t agree with me entirely or at all, and that’s fine - I’m just interested to know their opinions, either way. Isn’t that what these discussions are about? I have no issues with people disagreeing with me and I don’t think it’s a fair comment to say that I do.


@Lin A lot of your replies seem to be highly strung and strongly worded, as if there is more to the issue. Your original post raised some fair issues, which as you say were addressed by Nancy, and accepted well. Fair play.

Wondering if Mamma Dough have any feelings on the matter, I would say is more an issue to be taken up directly with themselves, maybe emailing them to get their opinion on it. The threads intention is to inform the community about a new business opening, and what they will offer. They have taken on board suggestions from other uses in this thread.

As I said before, when quoting the earlier replies in the thread which you had not seen, there was a fair bit of back and forth about the choice of cuisine for the Chandos, but with the kitchen installed, and the opening coming up, there is no scope for change.

With regards to @Pauline and her status in the community, it is unfair for her to comment openly about such matters, especially on a hypothetical situation.

In short, I think the discussion is heading way off topic right now, and would encourage you to continue it on a new thread, with an over all scope of the community and competing businesses, rather than spot lighting one established and loved, and one about to embark on a new venture.

How people perceive other peoples replies is a personal thing, you possibly read mine in a context in which it is not intended, I may be doing the same.
To clarify my point, this topic is about the refitting and opening of the Chandos,

Discussion about business ethics as a whole should be dealt with separately

Hope that clears things up a bit.


I agree!


As the lady above says, now it’s a done deal we just have to see how it pans out. That was my position several responses ago when I said I’d give it a try. The only reason this thread has continued is that there was a lot of negativity being directed towards me and I chose to respond to that rather than accept unfair accusations being made against me. I think again there was a lot that was unmerited and unfair in even your last response @Snazy but I am going to check out of this conversation now because it’s not useful. I elected to join this forum to find out useful information about the local community and make constructive contributions where I can. I’m saddened that my contributions - and my responses in defence of the negativity directed towards me - have been perceived and cast in such a poor light. End of conversation (and good luck to Nancy and The Chandos team).


Thanks for closing this discussion off nicely @Lin Clearly some wires have been crossed and some misinterpretations made, I apologise for any you feel I may have made.

I don’t feel you were perceived negatively as such, but were just in the minority for the discussion, so it can become a little overwhelming.

Lets see what the Chandos delivers, and I am sure there will be much more to be said after the opening, positive and negative.