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Opportunities | Food

purchase more than one item, take them home to their family and friends and have a good quality meal at home where everyone can enjoy, experience and taste a little bit of everything. “It is about adding a variety of foods to the menu so it appeals to everyone,” he explains. While he has noticed other pizza franchises introducing new products more often than not, Brill insists the new products Crust implements are customer rather than competitor driven. “For us it is more about what our consumers want, and we talk to them personally on a store by store basis and really get to know them and understand them.” This is achieved through the company’s VIP program, and there is also a strong reliance on franchisees, as they are the ones who converse with customers and find out what it is they like, dislike and want more of. “We talk a lot with our franchisees and we get a lot of feedback from them because they are the businesses we support,” he explains.

Limited edition products are introduced throughout the year. Image: Pizza Hut

Brill says the company is always looking to develop new products as this attracts already existing and new customers to stores, which benefits both franchisees and the company. “We are always keeping up to date with what food trends are, so there will definitely be things happening in the near future,” he says. He explains the company’s head pizza maker; Peter Augoustis plays a pivotal role in educating franchisees and their staff about new products. “He runs state based workshops to impart his passion and love for pizza making and food onto each store. “All operational challenges are also covered in these pizza workshops to ensure that every store is well versed in expanding this foodie intuition to all our customers and at the end of the day, ensuring a reliable pizza experience,” says Brill. 44| FRANCHISING mAY/JUN 2013

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Franchisees are looking to invest in a brand that is able to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace, and Brill says Crust achieves this via product innovation. “We will continue to strategise and work out ways that we can differentiate ourselves form our competitors and this differentiation will always be through our products. “We compete by providing customers with something that no one else can,” he explains.

PIzzA HUt While Pizza Hut has a global presence and has been around for much longer than many of its competitors, the brand has nevertheless introduced a number of new products to its menu over the years in an attempt to compete with its more gourmet counterparts. More recently, the brand has introduced its Signature range, which includes 11 pizza varieties such as chicken and feta garlic prawn, Italian chicken and steakhouse. Here the emphasis is on quality ingredients such as crumbled feta, garlic oil,

sundried tomatoes, baby spinach, balsamic glaze and strips of meat. Andy Masood, head of development, Pizza Hut says the range reflects consumers increasing desire for gourmet pizza options. “The signature range is more of a gourmet offering for the customers - because in the marketplace there is definitely a demand for gourmet options as far as pizzas are concerned. “For several years now many pizza chains have emerged in the pizza marketplace such as Crust, whose whole menu is developed around gourmet offerings. We have always had a segment of the gourmet range in our menu mix, but we have made it a little more specialised with more varieties,” he explains. To mix it up a little, the company also offers limited edition items, such as the hot dog pizza and $10 meal deal. “We release limited edition products four or five times per year, and if a particular product becomes very popular we introduce it into our permanent menu. If the consumer requirement is there and it goes very well then absolutely we keep it alive and

Franchising Magazine May / June 2013  

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