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Food and Beverage 2009-11-20

A hot and cheesy business opportunity

In India, with upcoming numerous national and international pizza players in the market, the craze for this particular Italian dish has gained a huge popularity recently. The fever is soon catching up with all the ages in the society. Pizza culture is

By Abha Garyali Sub Editor

Pizza has become an instant hit despite cultural boundaries. Changing, lifestyles, demographics, and growth in disposable income group have played a significant role in shaping the pizza concept in India. It has become one of the most sort after food option for food loving people. The rising corporate culture has also encouraged the pizza trend in the country. Taking up a pizza franchise can fetch the aspiring franchisees with lucrative results. Due to large number of players in this field, there is less chance of experiencing problem in looking for a franchise of one’s choice.

Key players

With the increasing popularity of pizza culture, many players have started investing in the franchising arena. The growth of big players like Domino’s, Pizza Hut etc. has encouraged many other national and international brands to franchise. US Pizza, Smokin’ Joes, Slice of Italy, Pizza Corner, Pizza Company, California, Pizza Kitchen are few of the prominent brands in franchising.  The popularity of this Italian dish has made these brands to come up with many other Italian dishes like pasta which has also been well accepted by the Indians. Many pizza players have come with a wide variety of pastas in their outlets to increase the footfall.

Unique marketing strategy

Pizza players in the country have employed unique strategies to win over their competitors. In the recent times, these players have started a new trend of delivering pizza. The trend is to deliver within 30 minutes of the order or the delivery will be treated as free has added to the popularity in the home delivery format. As an aspiring franchisee you can also come up with such innovative techniques to gain popularity in the market.

Localisation – most favourable

The national and international pizza brands have gained tremendous growth because they had the facility to change the pizza toppings according to the tastes of the consumers. Aspiring franchisees can also think of this appealing prospect. They can take a franchise of any good pizza brand and introduce new toppings according to the taste of the regional people after a detailed research. Looking at the menu cards of these restaurants one can choose from the different pizza toppings offered for both the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians. The customised menu options adopted by a few brands as per the local demand includes toppings like tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, paneer tikka, spicy panner and many others. For example a franchisee considers taking a franchise of Pizza Hut or US pizza etc and opening an outlet in north India. He can ask the franchisor for topping recipes which are preferred by the people of north.

Requisites to own a pizza franchise

Running a food franchise is not really a tough job as the franchisor provides training to the chefs of the franchisee in most cases while some send their experienced staff to the new outlet. As said by Sunil Kumar, CEO, US Pizza, “The franchisee needs to have a clear understanding of quality delivery of customer services, ability to manage outlet level finances and should be financially stable and capable of taking business related risks.” He further informed, “The company provides various kinds of trainings to the franchisees like start-up, consultancy in designing and construction, logistics and ingredients supply chain management, development, training and audit, restaurant operating systems etc.” Therefore a novice can also take up a pizza franchise.

As for the investment it can range from five lakh to One crore, as per the brand name and requirements. Joseph Cherian, CEO GFA India said, “The investment can range from Rs 60 lakh to 70 lakh for a fine dine restaurant of Pizza Corner. For a restaurant to succeed one needs 100 per cent commitment to ensure product quality and high level of service.”

Challenges faced

Having a pizza franchise is a highly lucrative career option for aspiring entrepreneurs but as always there are some hurdles to overcome.

Target cities: The franchisees are limited to set up their outlets in target cities only. This is because; pizzas are popular among the metro and city dwellers. There is less scope of starting an outlet in tier II and tier III towns because the trend of eating pizzas does not exist there.

Location: Location can be another hurdle. Pizza restaurants are popular in malls and high streets. Setting up an outlet in such posh areas demand high rents. Many aspiring franchisees may find it difficult to pay such high rents.

If the franchisee is ready to experience the tasteful journey of pizza franchising   then the aspirant is encouraged to head on to gain instant success.

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