Papa Murphy’s Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: FRSH), the originator of the take-and-bake pizza franchise concept, is enjoying consistent and steady growth, capturing future multi-unit operators who crave the lure of restaurant ownership but want to avoid the stress and complexity of restaurant operations. The brand plans to open 115-120 new stores in 2016 and has a long-term goal of opening six to eight percent net new stores per year.
Simple is the secret to success for Papa Murphy’s, as the brand has positioned itself as the first “non-restaurant/restaurant” business opportunity. With no baking required in-store and no freezers on site, the initial investment is significantly lower than traditional restaurant concepts while clutter is cut and complexity lowered in the kitchen. Because the brand doesn’t deliver, shorter hours keep labor costs down and that low overhead allows Papa Murphy’s to offer its signature, freshly made products at prices significantly lower than competitors’ straight-out-of-the-oven pizza. From an investment standpoint, simplicity wins, as store footprints are small in space, but efficient, maximizing return for franchise owners, with square footage primarily dedicated to pizza creation.
“Prospective franchise investors are flooded with complex restaurant investment opportunities that have limited scalability,” said Jayson Tipp, Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President of Technology for Papa Murphy’s. “We have eliminated the complexity of restaurant ownership by focusing on the simplicity of business operations, offering a focused, easy to operate take-and-bake pizza concept.”
Papa Murphy’s unique simplicity positioning has helped the brand garner the attention of prospective investors. Because the brand has worked to differentiate itself from the crowded pizza space, it stands apart from other restaurant concepts in a distinct and clear way. With more than 1,500 locations across 38 states, the brand is continuing to expand its presence in new and existing markets.
“We realize that there is a strong correlation between average weekly sales and annual volumes when compared to the number of stores in a market,” Tipp said. “The more we penetrate a territory, the more our sales accelerate, so we’re building new success around our existing market share.”
Papa Murphy’s practical concept is one proven to work. Already the largest take-and-bake pizza chain in the United States, and the fifth-largest pizza chain overall, the brand’s success goes far beyond impressive growth. For five straight years, Papa Murphy’s has been ranked among the nation’s favorite pizza by Nation’s Restaurant News’ Consumer Picks, with customers consistently lauding the brand’s fresh ingredients and commitment to quality. Market Force Information’s annual quick-service-restaurant study also recently ranked the brand as America’s favorite pizza chain, outperforming all other major pizza giants, including Papa John’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut.
“Papa Murphy’s has crafted a competitive edge by offering franchise owners a better opportunity in a brand new segment in pizza,” said Tipp. “Because we operate more like a small-scale specialty grocery store, our franchise owners don’t need extensive restaurant operating experience. There are no fryers or ovens and very limited clean up. This means a lower investment, a lower break-even point and lower complexity. Ultimately, all of that translates into a much more attractive franchise investment option.”
After anchoring the brand around the simplicity of non-restaurant operations, but still offering competitive restaurant scalability, Papa Murphy’s has now turned its focus toward upgrading its technology to enable precision marketing and increased sales, including the recent launch of an online ordering and e-commerce website. The brand’s primary goal is to migrate orders from call-in and push them online as a growth lever. Since introducing its first digital commerce platform in early 2016, Papa Murphy’s has already seen 20-25 percent larger orders, on average, from consumers who order online.
“We are focused on intelligent growth for our franchisees and technology is another place we can help them leverage our distinctive product that consumers come back to time and time again,” said Papa Murphy’s chief executive officer Ken Calwell. “Using our simple, proven business model, our highly differentiated product and our strong value proposition, we are poised for a time of historic growth that will ensure Papa Murphy’s is America’s favorite pizza for decades to come.”
Papa Murphy’s Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRSH) is a franchisor and operator of the largest Take ‘N’ Bake pizza chain in the United States, selling fresh, hand-crafted pizzas ready for customers to bake at home. The company was founded in 1981 and currently operates over 1,500 franchised and corporate-owned fresh pizza stores in 38 States, Canada and United Arab Emirates. Papa Murphy’s core purpose is to bring all families together through food people love with a goal to create fun, convenient and fulfilling family dinners. In addition to scratch-made pizzas, the company offers a growing menu of grab ‘n’ go items, including salads, sides and desserts. For more information, visit www.papamurphys.com.