One-Liners Mark Pizza Schmizza’s Pitch to Operators
Ron Berger, CEO of Pizza Schmizza, described three concepts under the Schmizza umbrella.
A garlic-infused pizza called “No Kiss Tonight” is just one of many clever names at Pizza Schmizza, the 23-unit brand founded in Portland, Oregon, that now has three separate concepts as described by Ron Berger, CEO, at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in Las Vegas last week.
Schmizza Pub & Grub is the second concept, a restaurant with a full bar, and Schmizza Public House is the third, with about half the system following that full-service, white-tablecloth model with 4,000 to 6,000 square feet and a party room for private events.
An ad campaign urges people to “be the office hero. Have Schmizza cater your next event.” Said Berger: “To give you an idea for how big catering can be for our business, the largest order so far required 4,000 large 18-inch pizzas. That’s a lot of pizzas.”
Berger acquired the brand in 2008 when it had 30 units generating under $10 million. “Today we have 23 units and doing $17 million,” he said, a modest growth trajectory but reflecting higher average unit volumes at concepts two and three. In an attempt to secure faster growth, he offered franchisees who bought through the end of August no royalties until January 1, 2021.
Berger ended with a slogan perfectly in line with its irreverent marketing: “Keep pizza weird,” it says. “One planet. One people. One Schmizza.”
For full coverage and all presentations at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference May 6-8, see the special digital edition that will publish July 1.