So many pizza places, but what is so different about The Fat Pizza you might think. At The Fat Pizza, their approach stands apart. With decades of industry experience, they questioned the conventional pizza delivery model. Unlike others, they don’t rely on ever-changing deals to entice customers; instead, they offer consistently great prices for fresh, quality pizza. Opting for lower profits per order, some may call it risky, but they call it a commitment to their customers. Their business thrives when you choose them more frequently, not by charging inflated prices. It’s a simple philosophy – fair prices for exceptional pizza, ensuring you get genuine value with every order.
In this interview with Sunny Chhina – Founder of The Fat Pizza, we find out about the authentic and tasteful experience prepared for you by them.
1. How did you enter in the franchise business?
I owned a Perfect Pizza and Papa John’s franchise from when I was 18 years old so always knew and liked how the franchise system worked. Having been the “Franchisee of the Year” multiple times and held “Highest Sales” awards throughout I decided that franchising was the way to go to grow The Fat Pizza brand.
2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?
The Fat Pizza started off as a project on Boxing Day. I had been given a new laptop as a present from my American sister – after getting bored of setting it up I decided to play in Excel with menu costing sheets I had just found.
The initial concept of Fat Pizza was with fixed prices for any pizza. The concept has moved on since then due to the increasing use of digital media to advertise allowing us to profit maximise to a great extent.
3. What inspired the brand name?
The name is memorable and catchy, though the brand name has been the cause of much controversy in my family. When I first mooted the idea of “The Fat Pizza” everyone was terrified as it goes against the healthy lifestyle that we are looking to move the world to. That being said, it was my brother in law who said “Once you have decided on having a pizza, you are already giving yourself a treat, might as well make it the best one you can have!” I do, however, make sure that our pizzas are relatively healthy as I still have one daily – luckily the Thin Crust Regular Cheese and Tomato is only 550 calories!
4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?
Initially, we needed something that was impactful and easy to remember. We weren’t in a position to have an abstract image as no one knew who we were. This has evolved now and the coloured pizza boxes are easily described and the only logo customers use when going to the App.
The colours are a red for Fat Pizza branding, Yellow representing the pizza dough and cheese (the core of our product) and green for healthiness and sustainability
5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?
I often forget as I assume people know – but our pizza is the Best Delivered Pizza on the market. We are experts in a Deep Pan crust, though our thin crust is pretty legendary, too. Everything we do with the pizza, made using our own secret dough recipe, is designed to be at its best even when in a closed box and opened 15 minutes after being cooked.
We join our leading edge product with the best tech in the industry. We have had live driver tracking for years. Our marketing has been digital only for years too and I used to be the king of leaflet distribution!!
We are always looking to see how newly formed technology in other sectors can help us deliver either greater efficiency or more sales – I believe we actually struggle to determine whether we are a tech company that sells food or a pizza company with good technology – but I know it doesn’t really matter!!
6. How long does it take, in an average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?
This will always vary according to how much the initial investment is and most importantly how good the service levels in the store are. The Fat Pizza is for regular customers to be able to order weekly or more – not once a month.
We have had franchisees have recouped all of their investment within 6 months of opening and some have managed to do it even sooner. On average, it will be between 1 and 2 years.
7. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
This one is easy, Imposter Syndrome – and I do believe I may not get over it. In hindsight, we were ready to franchise 5 years before we did. It was only when senior board members asked me why I hadn’t expanded that I realised I did not have a coherent answer.
I also believe we could have gone international 3 years ago with our offering. I do not regret it, as I believe that the focus on making sure that the brand is ready, the technology used to support franchisees is on point means that we have the ability to beat any rival in any market.
8. What is your best achievement?
I believe its being able to count on my sons to be able to talk and sell the franchise at a very young age. Whilst, like all young teenagers, prefer to be on their phones or playing online with friends – they are both able to run the busiest Fat Pizza store in our network and also able to talk to prospective franchisees decades older with knowledge and expertise.
Second to that – Maybe we can sell The Fat Pizza to Italians in the future 🙂
9. How does your business day start?
I am an early riser so I am usually up at around 5am and then decide whether Peloton will be a part of my day or not! I usually look at the last day’s sales and then after dropping the boys to the train station, I am usually found in our Southend Delivery Kitchen ( a company store) by 7am where I will take web meetings and review sales and marketing especially.
I am still the fastest Fat Pizza maker around so I do normally make my own pizza for lunch unless I am testing a staff member by doing a “mystery shop” and the rest of the day is spent optimising marketing, operations whilst listening out at the Call Centre (also in Southend) to see if there are any issues with any of the stores.
My favourite question is normally “Who do you hate today?” to the guys on the phones as it will inevitably be a store that has had a number of irate customers. I can then easily help rectify any issues that they may be having.
I have all the stores and all the drivers in real time on my phone and laptop, so I am always checking continuously to see how things are going. It becomes almost a real life video game!
Fat Pizza is not only work, it has always been a hobby as well as something that is genuinely enjoyable.
10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?
I get goosebumps with my franchise’s success stories. I would say it was when a franchisee came to me and said that he had paid for his store within 6 months of opening. I remember when he was growing and seeing the figures and his service that now was the time to hire drivers and instore staff and forget about labour costs for a few weeks.
He listened and was able to ride the wave to double his sales in a few weeks! He still jokes about how I apparently told him to stop interviewing and just hire anyone with either a pulse to help you instore or with a car to help you deliver food!
11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
This is a catch-22. I love being an underdog, I really love how nimble we can be and really take sales away from established competitors in any market that we enter. At the same time, I know we are growing rapidly and the hand brake is coming off our growth.
I believe we will be open throughout the world and definitely will have a foothold in USA, Australia, India and throughout the Middle East whilst being the 4th largest in the UK at least.
Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?
Franchising is a good way to get insights into how to run a store and to make sure that you are able to learn from experience at all stages.
A good franchisor will be able to help you at all stages of your growth and give you the best platform to be successful.
I believe fundamentally, that you must believe in the product that you are selling whether it be a service or a Fat Pizza, we are always trying to justify or allow family and friends to critique our choices to get better – if you don’t believe in it, they won’t!
Source: The Franchise Talk