Franchise New Zealand - Year 31 Issue 01 – Autumn 2022

Page 57

Opportunity: Food & Beverage

Pizza Hut launches smaller outlets to suit new locations – and new franchisees


izza Hut is one of the best-known food brands in the world so, when they see a trend emerging, they move fast. Long gone are the days of the eat-in restaurants and salad bars; today’s market is all about speed, convenience and delivery. ‘That’s a trend that has only speeded up in the past couple of years, with click-and-collect adding another layer to the business,’ says Mike Connell, Franchise Development Manager of Pizza Hut. ‘At the same time, retail space has become more expensive, so we set about creating a totally new format for franchisees that would maximise returns from a smaller footprint.’


Pizza Hut New Zealand is part of Restaurant Brands, which operates a number of highly-successful food brands around the country and overseas. That gives franchisees access to considerable resources and the massive buying power that comes with a billion-dollar turnover – not to mention a lot of experience and brain power. ‘We have six company-owned stores which we use for testing new concepts and ideas, but the vast majority – 101 of them – are now franchised,’ says Mike.

Lower costs to maximise profits Traditional Pizza Hut builds were large format restaurants of 100-120m², complete with a dining and seating area. ‘With the change in dining trends to more home delivery and “Grab & Go” sales, we made the decision to move to a simpler format – essentially a kitchen space with a serving counter – to maximise returns from smaller tenancies,’ Mike explains. ‘As with many retail and hospitality businesses, recent increases in commercial rents and competition for premium high street sites have been challenging when scoping new locations. So, starting in 2021 we designed a radical new concept that reduced the workable size of a Pizza Hut outlet to below 70m². This allowed us to take advantage of good sites with lower rents that traditionally wouldn’t have been available to a Pizza Hut franchisee. ‘Having a smaller format also leads to the store being able to be staffed more efficiently, as the process and equipment is more streamlined. The result is lower upfront costs, less borrowing, lower ongoing costs and improved profitability for franchisees. ‘Going forward we are trying to incorporate as many of the smaller format builds as possible into our development planning. In 2022, three of our new builds will be below 70m², with the smallest at 62m² in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie. It’s opening up new locations and – PUTTING PEOPLE IN BUSINESS

new business opportunities for franchisees all over the country, both in greenfield and infill locations. While many of our franchisees own multiple outlets, we are also looking for new people to add variety and energy to the business.’

Easy to start, easy to grow The fact that Pizza Hut’s franchisees include so many multi-unit operators says a lot about the business. ‘Our franchisees know a good thing when they see one, and many have used the Pizza Hut brand to build their own business empires with three or four stores – more, in some cases. Many food franchises require the owner to be on the spot, but our systems and processes are designed to help good operators to grow. Once you have proved yourself, you can take on more stores – and that same opportunity still exists for new franchisees. ‘You don’t need food experience, because Pizza Hut has all the expertise you could ever want. You don’t need management experience, either, because our systems are so well-developed. And you might be surprised to learn that you don’t need a huge amount of money. Thanks to our track record, if you are the right sort of person then finance can be straightforward.’

Attitude and energy wanted So what is ‘the right sort of person’? ‘All we need is a great attitude, great energy and a willingness to learn and work hard. If you want to deliver great customer service and are passionate about the Pizza Hut brand, that can be all you need. The Pizza Hut name attracts the customers, and you and your team produce the products which live up to the reputation of the best-loved pizza brand in the world. ‘Our 12- to 14-week training period ensures that no-one takes over their store until they have all the skills they need to provide excellent service and an excellent product. After that, our highly-skilled support team will be alongside you every step of the way to Advertiser Info help make the most of your investment Pizza Hut and location. ‘If you have the vision and passion we’re looking for, talk to me about a new business career with Pizza Hut. Call me now and let’s talk about making the most of the new small-format opportunities.’

Contact Mike Connell P 0-9-525 8700 M 027 282 6713