Before joining Papa John’s as a franchisee in 2013, I previously ran the store as another branded pizza outlet, reports Jo Boland, a Papa John’s franchisee.
Myself and my husband Austin have a young family and so were looking for more financial security, so thought joining forces with a well-known brand such as Papa John’s would help our long-term future and we were right!
The Papa John’s concept of ‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza’ means the company only uses 100% fresh dough and fresh ingredients which give a great natural flavour. The pizzas simply taste better than the competition, so we thought choosing Papa John’s might just ‘turn up the heat’ on trade!
As franchisees previously, we recognised the support being part of a franchise can offer. Papa John’s is one of the largest pizza companies in the world and we were keen to become part of that success.
The decision to join Papa John’s certainly turned out to be a good one, as following the store re-fit and launch, it was so busy people were queuing to the corner of the street to try out the pizzas! Because the Papa John’s pizzas taste so great people were quickly coming back for more. The store was twice as busy as expected.
Trade has continued to be great over the past few years and we were even named as the record holder, for the highest ‘pizza sales during one week’ in 2017!
At the end of last year, we opened our second Plymouth store. Some of this area we previously covered from our exiting store but now we can offer better, faster and more efficient service as our delivery drivers spend less time on the road.
Throughout our Papa John’s journey, the marketing support and training has been second to none. Although I have a background in the industry, the training, including computer training for example, covered every angle.
The head office staff were also really helpful. I needed to work with the Papa John’s team to completely re-fit the first store and they were always there to help and would answer any questions at the drop of a hat. The team is genuinely invested in our success and I would certainly recommend Papa John’s to other potential franchisees.
The role of a Papa John’s franchisee itself is varied. Austin is heavily involved in the franchise on a daily basis. From my point of view, because of our two young children, I need to be flexible and work in the store when I can. I also help with the paperwork and phone calls.
We are lucky to have found a good manager who takes care of a lot of the staff management but still it’s a 24/7 operation. You may get a call if someone’s called in sick or even at 3am if the alarm has gone off! However, the advantage is that we run a thriving franchise business which gives us the flexibility to take time off if we need it too.
That’s important as being a mum, life is always a balancing act! Before the children I used to work full-time in the pizza store, however, now, I’m sure like many mums, it can be hard to find enough hours in the day! However, I like to keep in-touch with ‘what’s going on’ so spend as much time as I can in-store. I think the staff find it motivating that the owners of the business are as hands on as they can be.
Becoming Papa John’s franchisees has definitely changed our lives for the better. We know if we have any issues we can call head office for help. Even though Plymouth is a long way from Papa John’s HQ in Milton Keynes, someone will always be here to help if we need it. That kind of support is invaluable.