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Hottest Food Franchise Business Opportunities: Pizza

Sep 8, 2008
Some estimates claim that Americans eat a whopping 100 acres of pizza a day. To give you an idea of what that means, imagine the entire landscape of Disneyland covered in tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. But it doesn't stop at the fences, because Disneyland is only 85 acres; this pizza hangs over into the surrounding neighborhoods. That is how much pizza America eats every single day.

With so many people eating pizza, it's no wonder so many people are trying to sell it. Drive down virtually any street, and you're likely to run into a pizza restaurant before too long,. The fact is that pizza profits are huge, and anyone with the desire can easily get in on it, making their dough by tossing dough.

Of all the business opportunities available in this tasty industry, at least two are going to stand out to anyone who has ever turned on a TV; these are the dominant masters of the mass-pizza world. We all know them, and we've all had their product time and again and are quite aware that everyone else has too, giving them a heavy-duty staying power in the market. Who are these dough-tossing, sauce-spreading moguls? You know them by the names Pizza Hut and Domino's, and anyone with the financial backing and a desire to sell low-cost pizzas by the truckload can easily get into business with them, instantly profiting from their universal brand recognition and mass marketing capability. There isn't a whole lot of wiggle room for franchisees to make up their own rules here, but that's a small price to pay for the selling power that comes with joining one of the dominant forces in the pizza industry.

Not everyone is content to wear the same red uniform, cook the same discount pizza, and accept the same little coupons that half of the rest of the pizza market does. If all you want is to not be "the man" of the pizza world, there are a host of selections for you as well, and here are a few of them.

Not necessarily a far cry from Pizza Hut or Domino's but far enough apart that it still carries some intrigue and homestyle charm, Hungry Howie's Pizza is a rising star in the industry. Now with 575 locations in 24 states, they have proven in their 35 year run that they have the product quality to last and the business know-how to expand. The secret to their success is that they have uniquely flavored crusts (eight of them, in fact); not only do the toppings change, but so does the dough itself. Nearly every aspect of Hungry Howie's Pizza has been tested and perfected within its own walls, so you know that it works.

Some people are very particular about the style of pizza that they eat--and thus the kind that they make--and few styles are more distinct or popular than New York style pizza, which is what makes NYPD Pizza such a hit Although the name might imply that you'll be getting a New York pizza served by a retired police officer, the idea behind NYPD Pizza is a bit different . They do use a police theme (you can open either a "metro unit" or a "precinct" depending on the needs of your area) but the name is primarily to denote that their pizza is 100% Brooklyn-style, regardless of where in the country a franchise pops up, and it is popping up everywhere.

Maybe you're interested in a more novel idea for your own food franchise, like take-and-bake. This concept works exactly as it sounds: you buy it, take it home, and bake it yourself. Papa Murphy's Pizza is front-runner in the take and bake pizza industry and this non-traditional pizza concept makes smart business sense as well as tasty pizza. Because the pizzas aren't cooked or served on-site, less labor and space are required, and purchase and upkeep costs are much lower than a traditional pizza place. To make matters better, customer loyalty is through the roof wherever a location pops up. Whether it's the control over how long your pizza cooks or being able to eat hot pizza fresh out of the oven in the comfort of their own home, Papa Murphy's Pizza has developed a strong brand with more customer loyalty than just about any other pizza chain.

Finally, for the true connoisseur who is not content with an ordinary pizza, allow me to recommend two other companies that are making a splash in the industry. Pizza Fusion is a sprouting miracle of a restaurant that combines first-rate pizza-making with a healthy, environmentally friendly approach to the pizza industry. How does a pizza place go green? Simple, they follow all conceivable energy-saving guidelines, which both saves the planet and saves up to 30% on energy bills for the operation. Another unique pizza choice is zpizza, a franchise operation quickly scaling the ladder of success, opening franchises all over the nation, and abroad. What they really excel at is mixing non-standard flavors to concoct pizzas that wow the taste buds and continuously bring back customers who are looking for more than sausage and pepperoni. And yet, they don't miss the basics either, as noted by the LA Times, announcing confidently that they have "the best crust on the planet." Both of these businesses make for happy owners and happier customers.

When looking for a food business opportunity, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not the business and its product have a future. With pizza, there's no doubt about the future. I don't know anyone who expects to never eat pizza again, and it might serve you well to be the one selling it, because we've got quite a few more acres to go before we're done.
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