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Pizza Franchise

Pizza franchises often rank among the most successful restaurant businesses.

Putting the power of an established brand behind a product makes partaking in a pizza franchise quite appealing. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Putting the power of an established brand behind a product makes partaking in a pizza franchise quite appealing.

Pizza Franchise

Many people are attracted to the idea of starting up their own restaurant and may be interested in doing so in the form of a pizza franchise. This option allows the business owner to start small with a common restaurant that is relatively cheap when it comes to ingredients and with a product appealing to many. It is also helpful to have a bigger chain name to boost credentials and popularity. The most common way to do this is to own a restaurant within a franchise chain. This is how many eventually achieve their dreams of starting a pizza joint, under the label of nationwide chains.

Purchasing a pizza franchise allows people to own a business yet not be completely in charge or on their own. The agreement allows the franchise storeowner (or franchisee) to buy into the company (franchisor) and likewise allows the owner the rights to use any licenses, slogans and/or logos of the national chain. An example of a typical franchise operation is Little Caesars Pizza.

Researching Pizza Franchise Opportunities

One great resource for the potential owner is the Internet. The World Wide Web provides ways to do background research and comparable shopping. It also allows the owner to find out any restrictions or any past issues with a particular franchise.

There is an online directory of pizza franchises, and this list has produced a highly reputable organization - the International Franchise Association (IFA). This list includes both large-scale franchise chains most Americans would recognize by name (e.g., Little Caesars) in addition to more regional-based chains, and provides a way to contact the corporation directly about franchise opportunities.

The IFA site includes a Frequently Asked Questions. This provides the potential owner insight into the logistics, things to consider and the responsibilities franchise restaurant work requires.

Another excellent resource is to talk with other franchise owners about their experiences. What did they like? What did others have trouble with in the process? What things do they wish they had done differently?

Lastly, an obvious resource is talking with franchise owners and reading the Web sites of franchises the owner knows best and feels the most confident in owning a piece of.

Once a potential owner decides, there is often training for franchise owners as well as continual support. This training covers both managerial and business operations training.

Most Popular Pizza Franchises

Most Americans can readily rattle off a list of popular pizza joints and come up with several that offer the option of franchisee ownership. While some of them may have companies owning most of the restaurants, there are still many chain restaurants independently run by franchisee owners rather than the franchisor corporation.

Some of the more popular chains like Dominos, Papa John's, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars all have the option to independently operate a single restaurant or collaboratively run several restaurants under the corporate name. Additional franchises can be found in the IFA database if one desires to buy into one of the most popular pizza franchises as a franchisee.

How Successful Are They?

Because success is relative to specific features of a business, it is hard to discern which franchise is the most successful. Overall, the aforementioned pizza franchises (Dominos, Papa John's, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars) are very successful. Each chain's Web site is only going to give the strongest credentials and most positive feedback, so it is important to do research independently with the IFA and other franchisee owners to obtain a comprehensive picture of each franchisors success.

Little Caesars has been signing on franchisees since the early 1960s and has had growth and satisfied franchisees in recent surveys and business trends. Their company has a very detailed franchisee Web site for those who desire to sign with Little Caesars.

Dominos has won several magazine and industry awards for their franchisor model, including the No. 1 ranking in America's Top Global Franchise - Pizza Category, from Entrepreneur Magazine. They too have a detailed Web site, which includes pod cast interviews with current franchisees.

Papa John's is so eager to get ahead that in some geographic areas in which they desire to gain an edge, they are actually waiving franchise fees. In comparison to several of the larger franchise chains, Papa Johns is a more recent business venture, opening in the early 1980s and not starting franchise ventures until the mid-1980s, so this may help explain the push for more franchisees to sign with them. Their company milestones page shows how restaurant ventures have expanded internationally, as well, demonstrating that the company is not only expanding across the United States but also around the world with its successful business model.

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