Pizza Restaurant Franchises - How To Start Your Own

04/02/2019 08:00 | Start a business

pizza restaurant franchises

A serious contender for the most loved food ever, pizza can be found in every part of the world. Versatile enough to soak up the idiosyncrasies of any culture, and just as at home in a formal setting as a late-night impulse binge, it is hard to see demand for pizza dipping.

Setting up your own pizza restaurant may seem like one of the easier food franchise options, but that doesnt mean its as simple as opening your doors and waiting for hungry customers to come. With so much competition it can be difficult to be distinctive and make a name for yourself.

This is where buying into an established pizza restaurant franchise could be the right option for you. As well as associating you with a recognised brand, becoming a pizza franchisee gives you access to a level of support and training that might not otherwise be available.

 

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Market

If you are thinking about opening a pizza restaurant in the UK, it is important to understand that you are not the first person to have the idea. In fact, you are going to be entering a seriously competitive space. In 2017, there were over 3,000 pizza restaurants employing over 47,000 people in the UK, with the industry as a whole generating £3 billion each year. That is a lot of people selling pizza, but it is also lots more buying it.

The industry ranges from more restaurant, sit down establishments to takeaways, but the goal is always the same. People love pizza for a few simple reasons: it is quick, cheap and hugely customisable. Not too affordable though with every supermarket stocking a huge range of cheap pizzas, restaurants need to be worth the added expense.

Investing in an established pizza franchise has a number of potential advantages. For any new business, one of the main challenges is building a name and recognition. With something as relatively simple as pizza, people are after consistency. Having an established brand lets people know what they can expect from you.

Another key benefit is training and support. Running a business is always going to be a challenge, but there is a big difference between setting up your own restaurant and becoming a franchisee. Having an established pool of expertise and advice to make use of gives you a huge advantage. You will also have an edge when it comes to marketing and advertising, and access to the latest technology (such as a smartphone app for ordering).

There are some potential disadvantages to be aware of too, principally a lack of creative freedom. You will be required to stick to the set menu, so if you are dying to showcase your revolutionary ideas to the world a franchise may not be the right choice for you.

Setting up a pizza franchise

There are a couple of things that are going to have a huge impact on the future success of your pizza-making project: your location and the franchise you decide to invest in.

Your location is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, you want to make sure that you do not have too much local competition. If you are primarily operating as a takeaway, you will benefit hugely from being the only local option. You will also be able to capitalise on the impulse purchases made by people walking by. The location will also influence which pizza franchises are open to you. Some franchises may be looking to establish a presence in certain areas, while others could be open to a suggestion of a good spot. You need to use your due diligence here, as once you have set a location it will be really, really difficult to move it.

Choosing the right pizza franchise to invest is of central importance. First and foremost, you need to actually like the products being sold, so indulge a little and do some taste testing. Next, you should look at the company ethos and messaging is this something you can get behind and throw a lot of your time and energy into?

Different pizza restaurant franchises will have different approaches. Some are much more hands on than others, so if you want to learn from a proven model you should be looking for an established training programme.

Things to consider

Now it is time to get down to the business of buying into your chosen franchise. Get in touch with the franchise development team of the company and talk everything through. While every process is distinct in its own way, there tend to be a lot of similarities.

You are going to need a fairly large initial investment. In fact, the investment and start-up costs may be more than those that would be involved in setting up an independent pizza restaurant. But, you are paying for the brand name and all of the resources that come with it. You are also going to have to factor in your monthly royalty payments into your financial planning.

The process also involves a lot of paperwork. It is all important though, and the vast majority of it is to ensure that franchisor and franchisee are aware of exactly what their relationship is and what is expected of both parties. If you have never owned a business before, or are new to the fast food game, it is highly recommended you enlist a franchise solicitor to help. Wading into this amount of legal documentation on your own could result in vital details being missed.

The grand opening

Once all the finances and documentation is dealt with, all thats left to do is prepare to open you doors and start churning out the pizzas. Your first priority is getting some staff and trying to drum up some interest in the local area. If you have bought into a bigger franchise, you will find that word of mouth is a substantial source of free advertising.

Once you are up and running, you need to ensure that the quality of your food and your service doesnt drop. While the demand for pizza is unlikely to disappear, people also have high expectations. When produced well and with love, the pizza is much better than the sum of its parts. On the other hand, there are few more disappointing things than bad pizza.

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