In its PizzaRev case study series, CSA Online offers an insider’s look at the conception, initial rollout and growth of the southern Calif.-based fast-casual concept PizzaRev. Likened to “the Chipotle of pizza,” this innovative chain lets customers choose from an artisanal array of toppings to craft their own pizzas very quickly in a high-end stone hearth oven. A test kitchen in Northridge, Calif. was launched in April 2012 and two additional locations quickly followed.
In part four of our series, PizzaRev’s senior management team and exclusive broker and X Team International Partner Bob Haas discuss how they are doing things differently to thrive in an increasingly competitive and active market.
Quick Facts about PizzaRev:
What: Fast-casual, “craft your own” artisanal pizza restaurant
Who: Partners and Co-CEOs Rodney Eckerman and Irv Zuckerman, Partner and COO Nicholas Eckerman, Partner and CMO Jeff Zuckerman, Exclusive Broker Bob Haas, X Team International Partner and Co-Founder of L.A.-based Cypress Retail Group
Current number of stores: 3
Average size: 2,000-3,000 sq. ft.
PizzaRev has had some exciting news break since its last installment in CSA. The announcement of a partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) and the anticipated opening of its fourth and fifth stores in El Segundo, Calif. and Oxnard, Calif. The relationship with BWW has already proven to be extremely beneficial towards the company’s growth and, as one of the most respected restaurant groups in the United States, PizzaRev expects it to continue to play a role in its exciting future.
All of these successes can be attributed to PizzaRev’s unique strategy for growth and execution of the plan. In what can only be defined by some as a "race for space," securing a large number of venues seems to be the strategy for brands establishing a presence in the fast-casual pizza space. Others in this space are franchising exclusively or almost exclusively – some have offered that method prior to opening stores and selling on model only. Although PizzaRev believes in growing its brand outside Southern California, utilizing best practices in all phases is where they believe their true success will derive. That has meant completing and operating a growing group of PizzaRev stores and honing in on the critical elements with open stores in a wide variety and type of locations.
Franchise opportunities are in Pizza Rev’s near term future, but with the skill set and positive history of its partners, the company feels its thorough vetting process will yield the best results in this marathon – with the ultimate goal of creating a "You Win, We Win” franchise system. The company has waited to complete at least one-year of operational experience before beginning the franchise opportunity process – a point of difference that bodes well in securing the best franchise partners. That doesn’t mean the company hasn’t begun prospecting. With solid history in franchise partnering, BWW is an obvious choice that will be explored, as well as many other great restaurant operators outside of the BWW restaurant group.
PizzaRev is also looking at a variety of real estate options and markets as it continues to expand, which includes; stand alone pads, end caps and in line with great co-tenancy. Its model has flexibility in size of space, so having the ability to adjust to almost any variable has made it much easier to locate and secure good opportunities. PizzaRev is not only after a better product, but a more complete and totally synchronized operation. There are 73,000 pizza restaurants in the US, so it becomes paramount to be correct in all phases of growth. PizzaRev believes there is plenty of time to achieve its goals, and great associates and partners will enhance operations to that end.
To follow the story of PizzaRev, please stay tuned to ChainStoreAge.com and click here for past case study entries.