Pizza Franchises Come in 3 Different Business Models
Published November 24, 2017
An Investment in Pizza is an Investment an American Favorite
America doesn’t get tired of pizza. Two years ago, 26% of consumers ate pizza once a week. That’s grown to 41%. Nine out of 10 Americans eat pizza at least once a month. That’s a lot of pizza. But, remember, there are also lots of pizza restaurants, almost 77,000 coast-to-coast. If you’re thinking of investing in a pizza franchise, you’re choosing a huge market – and one that is still growing. But, which one to choose? Here are the 3 biggest pizza categories and why each one might be the right one for you.
Traditional Delivery or Take-Out Pizza
One of these franchises may well be the first franchise to come to mind when you think pizza. They’re low cost and easy for the consumer to have delivered or to pick a pie up. They most likely have multiple locations in your town or city – lots of them. That makes delivering a hot pizza to the door much easier. Most have expanded their menus to include extra’s from wings and salads to chocolaty desserts. You probably have a favorite delivery pizza and that may be attracting you to their franchise. Pizza Hut is the largest pizza company in the world and, yes, it is still looking for franchisees. The upside is that it is a pizza that the company claims is the most loved pizza brand and it is a name that is widely known. But, there is a downside. Currently, the Pizza Hut franchise site is looking for franchisees that will open 20+ multi-units. That’s going to take a big investment and they’re focusing on certain states in the northeast which might not be where you want to be. Still, looking at the big two – Pizza Hut and Domino’s – may be the assurance you need to feel your success is guaranteed. But, take a look at two other choices.
Fast Casual Pizza
This pizza category is growing – it clocked over 5% growth in 2015. But, fast casual pizza restaurants topped that number. They grew by 10.4%. It’s a formula that resonates with today’s consumer – especially the millennial. Today, customers still want their pizza but they’re wanting it fresher and healthier. Fast casual franchises like PIzzaFire are giving their customers exactly that.The PizzaFire menu includes free-range chicken and grown-in-the-store basil and romaine lettuce. The basil and romaine are organic – grown hydroponically on-site. The fast casual pizza restaurants are meeting another trend – they’re giving their customers customized pizzas. It’s better than the touch screen menu at a burger place. They pick their sauce and then walk along an appealing selection of fresh veggies and meats instructing the employee to put together the exact pizza they specify. They can ask for a little more of this or a little more of that. Moms love the fresh ingredients and they love that they can finally please the pickiest eater in the family. The fast casual pizza restaurant is a relatively new pizza innovation. That can be a big advantage with a lower liquid cash requirement and more available locations. Additionally, some fast casuals offer delivery for an increased revenue stream.
Gourmet pizza restaurants aren’t necessarily intimidating establishments with tablecloths and waiters. Gourmet pizza doesn’t even mean a high price. It does stand for innovation, choice and quality. For example, Romeo’s Pizza has credentials that include competing (and placing!) on a Food Network show. Before they became a franchise, they were an award-winning local and regional pizza restaurant. With chef-inspired choices of sauce and new tastes and combinations that include the Great Ranch and Potato Pizza (don’t laugh, it won the best Gourmet Pizza in America award), Romeo’s still has pizza’s that sell in the $10 range and all the traditional favorites like a pepperoni pizza. For the franchisee, another advantage of a gourmet pizza franchise is that they usually have an expanded menu that may include subs, salads, calzones and Stromboli. That gives the franchisee the opportunity to please customers who want to opt for a different choice. And, those millennials pride themselves on being foodies. In fact, over 50% have posted a photo of their favorite pizza on a social media site. The fresh flavors and inventive taste combinations are a winner with them – and, millennials will account for 30% of all retail sales by 2020. You want their business and gourmet pizza can win it.
The Decision is Yours
You can find a pizza franchise that is exactly right for your pocketbook and your location. And, you won’t go wrong. Pizza serves up $44 billion in sales and you want a piece of that pie! Find the business model that is right for you and your location. Make sure that the slice you choose is one that offers you a franchiser who will give you the training and support you need to make sure your pizza place is a big success.