Which food franchise should take a bite into? For Ed Yancey one sector is showing outstanding performance, and it comes with free pepperoni
Choosing a sector to franchise a new business in can often feel very overwhelming – with so many options out there, which direction should an entrepreneur choose? For some, the answer is easy – restaurants. But even within the restaurant franchise industry, there are many options. Should you go with a trendy idea (poke, falafel, acai bowls) or a classic staple (hamburgers, pizza, coffee)? Full-service dining or fast casual? Drive through or delivery? The opportunities are endless. But sometimes, the answer is simple: do what the numbers say.
It’s no secret that pizza is enjoyed worldwide – in fact, the worldwide pizza market exceeds $134 billion, a number that has grown year over year. The United States pizza market alone rakes in more than $45.1 billion annually and shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, the fast casual segment is the fastest-growing sector of the restaurant industry, projecting 7.5% growth in 2018 according to a Technomic report.
While fast casual pizza has plenty of staying power and has no doubt earned a spot in the hearts and stomachs of families around the world, as a sector it continues to evolve. Now, more than ever, we’re seeing innovation like never before – from ingredients and their sources to the methods by which we receive our pizza.
For franchisors (and franchisees) who want to grow beyond U.S. borders, chain pizza restaurants pose a great opportunity. Across the world, the world pizza market is projected to grow in all major regions, including North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Australasia.
Enhancing a brand’s footprint across the world presents an excellent opportunity to grow a brand’s reputation to new audience. In fact, according to PMQ’s Power Report, many nations view Western foods such as pizza as “status symbols,” which only helps further growth.
Customized for every palate
Leading the charge in customization are top-it-yourself pizza spots who have committed to offering a variety of options for consumers across the taste spectrum. And while pizza is less susceptible to the trends that impact fluid dining whims, there’s plenty of room for innovation. Instead of having to settle for a sad, cheese-less pizza topped with raw peppers and onions, more pizzerias are offering robust vegan options including homemade vegan meat alternatives, a rainbow of vegetables and vegan cheese substitutes. The same goes for gluten-free and dairy-free diners, as well as those with food allergies: there’s something for everyone.
It comes down to believing in the ingredients served. We’re seeing a greater commitment to showing consumers that toppings, sauces and crusts are sourced responsibly and made fresh as much as possible. Waning are the days that customers will accept questionable cheese or meats on top of a pizza – they want to know that they’re getting fresh ingredients, every time, to fit every palate.
A study by EMarketer reported that 69% of internet users have ordered delivery food online in the last year, and pizzerias are leaning into this by investing in top-of-the-line technology to get consumers their food faster, easier and with minimal touch points. A SmartInsights study shows that the use of smartphones is globally increasing, with an average of 76% of web traffic coming from personal smartphone devices.
This is huge, and pizza franchise operators should listen up – mobile ordering can be a large part of business and should be easy to access through your website or other online ordering applications. Offering customers the ability to “skip the line” through online ordering will only improve ticket times and help drive traffic during the busy lunch and dinner rush.
Multiple revenue sources
As mentioned above, with the advent of prevalent online ordering, ordering ahead, delivery and pickup on the horizon (if not already being implemented) by pizza franchises around the world, franchisees have more options than ever when it comes to taking advantage of multiple revenue sources. PMQ reports that 58% of operators offer online ordering, which equates to about 5-15% of their total sales.
More than strictly the numbers, online and mobile ordering is about endearing yourself further to your customers, demonstrating that providing convenience, accessibility and information for consumers is important to you and your business. If you’re looking for a food sector to franchise a new brand in, look no further than pizza. With a focus on providing customers with the convenience, service and quality of ingredients, there’s a large market sector that still stands to benefit from innovation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ed Yancey, director of franchising for Cleveland Avenue, parent company of PizzaRev, brings more than 20 years of franchising experience to PizzaRev. PizzaRev is a “build-your-own” fast-casual pizza concept that has revolutionized the way America eats its favorite food. They accomplish this by allowing guests to watch their personal-sized pizza being crafted right before their eyes, then firing it in their custom-built 900 degree, stone-bed oven. www.pizzarev.com/franchise
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