If The Pizza Press has its way, the company will be building a franchise empire across the country, just like its customers build their own customized pizza.
A fast-casual build-your-own pizza restaurant, The Pizza Press started in 2012, opening its first location in Anaheim, CA. They’ve just opened another corporate store in Orange, CA and have two franchisees in Pasadena, CA and Fullerton, CA set to open later in 2015.
The company, which also features a curated selection of local craft beer, started actively looking for franchisees in 2013 and officially started selling franchises in October 2014.
The Pizza Press owner Dara Maleki said there is a need for places like The Pizza Press where customers can create their own pizza (although the pizzas are actually assembled by employees) because not only is it a hot trend at the moment, but there are many different food allergies to accommodate for and people have strong beliefs about how they want to eat nowadays.
With The Pizza Press, they get one size of pizza with unlimited toppings to create whatever their taste buds desire. “It’s that simple,” Maleki stated during a recent interview from the company’s headquarters in Anaheim.
Although not the only player in the customizable pizza game, Maleki said, he believes The Pizza Press sets itself apart from the competition with its dedication to customer service and beer, craft beer, specifically. Another hot trend, The Pizza Press owner said, the company encourages franchisees to engage their local craft breweries so they can work together with them.
Maleki described his ultimate franchisee as someone with entrepreneurial spirit who is motivated, exhibits a great attitude and is a team player who is eager to own their own business. Food experience is not required, he said, as it’s a simple format for a restaurant, but it’s a bonus if potential franchisees do have food experience.
With territories available nationwide, the company is busy meeting with a calendar full of prospects, doing multiple discovery days every week.
“We’re looking at a huge year for growth, so we’re really excited about it,” Maleki said.
As far as support and training for their franchisees, Maleki said, the business can help franchisees secure financing, plus they provide assistance with preopening procedures. Franchisees are given classroom and in-store training along with ongoing marketing support.
The Pizza Press has also negotiated competitive nationwide pricing with select vendors so franchisees can always get the best deal on their supplies. “We make it as simple as possible so they can concentrate on the customer,” Maleki explained.
If franchisees need help selecting a site, The Pizza Press has an agent to help them with that, using the company’s criteria for site selection. Most franchisees tend to know their own area and will tend to have a site in mind, Maleki noted.
With a calendar full of prospects and a menu full of craft beers, building a successful franchise should be even easier than deciding on pizza toppings.
The Pizza Press gets serious about craft beer
While pizza is obviously The Pizza Press’ main fare, the restaurant franchise is dedicated to local craft beer, too. As owner Dara Maleki says, the franchise encourages all new franchisees to engage local craft breweries so both The Pizza Press and the breweries benefit from the beers being available on tap or in bottles at the fast-casual restaurant.
Currently, in its Anaheim location, The Pizza Press has nine beers on tap, descriptions of which are available to peruse on its website at thepizzapress.com.
The craft beers on tap include:
• Speakeasy Black Hand – 6.9% – a fullbodied chocolate milk stout
• Refuge Blood Orange Wit – 5.0% – featuring a bold citrus aroma and a cloudy peach colored pour with a white head
• Golden Road 2020 IPA – 7.4% – a dark red IPA, with a rich pine aroma, light roast, all balanced by a hearty hop bitterness
• Valiant & Black Market Chernyy Medved – 13.0% – A powerful and fearless Russian Imperial Stout
• Stone Delicious IPA – 7.7% – an intensely citrus, beautifully bitter beer
• Anaheim Dark Scotch Ale – 6.1% – a traditional top-fermented beer with dark color, a full body and deep, malty flavor
• Weins Far Post – 6.0% – an American Brown Ale that is roasty, chocolate, and nutty with hints of Cola
• Devils Backbone & Coronado Devil’s Tale – 7.5% – bright citrus and tropical fruit character plus a burst of woody rusticity
• Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter – 8.0% – rich and decadent with intense, roasty flavor that comes from two types of chocolate malt and raw cocoa nibs.
The Pizza Press also features a dozen different bottled craft beers and a Beer 101 blog on its website for people who want to learn to be connoisseurs of craft beer. The blog features different types of beer like Pilsners or American Brown Ales, their history, what you can expect from them in regards to taste and alcohol content and much more. The blog also covers other facets of beer, like how differently shaped glasses affect beer.
For a restaurant called The Pizza Press, it certainly does devote a lot of effort to the promotion of local craft breweries, much to their delight and the delight of craft beer enthusiasts.