Australian Franchise News – 15-08-08
Pizza Capers has announced an ambitious growth strategy to operate a network of 100 stores in the next two years and establish a presence in New South Wales and Victoria.
Based in Queensland and starting with one concept store in Kenmore in 1996, partners Scott Geiszler and Anthony Russo have built a franchised chain with 29 stores in Brisbane, selling over one million pizzas per year, and plans are afoot to open another 20 stores across Queensland by the end of 2008.
“This calendar year we will be forging ahead with store growth in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and North Queensland regions and in 2009 we aim to expand further south to Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Geiszler said.
“Demand from existing franchisees to open a second and even third store will provide a strong platform to propel the company’s growth in Brisbane and we are on track to become the city’s biggest pizza franchise.
“Almost 80 percent of our current franchisees own second stores or are in negotiations to open a second store which is testament to the financial success of our franchise system. On average our franchisees can expect to earn as much as 30 percent profit on their turnover.
“The company is very well positioned for future growth with a great business model in place, strong customer and franchisee demand, and our long-term vision set.”
Scott and Anthony started franchising Pizza Capers in 2005 and a busy period of expansion followed with 11 new stores opening in three years up to April 2008.
“When we first started the business we created a strategic opening plan based on the demographics of the area and who our potential customers were, and by sticking to this we’ve managed to open in successful locations and achieve strong store growth.
“Our most significant challenge so far has been the growth from an independent business to a small multi-store business and now a medium-sized company. We faced significant corporate costs and payroll taxes as well as difficulties in finding the right staff.”
Pizza Capers reported a 108 percent increase in revenue to more than $17.9 million in the year ended June 2008.
Mr Geiszler attributes the success of the company to its unrelenting focus on using good quality ingredients.
“We focus on providing the highest quality menu items in the pizza industry and that means using only the best produce available. Our pizzas, pastas and salads are topped with olives from Greece, pizza sauce from Italy, meats from local producers, and fruit and vegetables fresh from the markets.
“We also have one of the lowest-oil pizza bases with only 4ml of oil used per 200ml of dough and we only use reduced fat cheese on all our pizzas so there’s no hidden calories.”
The company’s continued growth has also been anchored in developing strong competitive advantages including the first gluten free pizza base on the market in 2003.
“We recognised that a large number of our customers had varying health needs and that is what led to the strategic development of a base that was free of gluten but also tasted delicious. Most of the fresh and natural toppings we use are also low or free of gluten making us the perfect option for people withgluten intolerance.
“We were also the first Queensland company to offer internet ordering in 2001 and in 2002 we developed a line of fresh pastas and sauces using a special cooking style unique to Pizza Capers.
“We want to cater to a wide range of customers and we will concentrate on introducing new menu items and providing innovative ideas as well as continuing to provide excellent service levels.”
Pizza Capers was ranked 16th fastest-growing franchise by revenue and 19th fastest-growing franchise by outlet in BRW’s Fast Franchises 2008.