Operations | February 2013 | By Mary Avant

In the Navy Now

Pita Pit teams up with the Navy for its first mobile unit.

Pita Pit landed on the Naval Station Norfolk with its first mobile unit.
Pita Pit landed on the Naval Station Norfolk with its first mobile unit. ThinkStock.com
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When opportunity knocked, Pita Pit answered. The pita chain was recently approached by the Navy Exchange to deliver its healthy offerings to the Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia.

But because there were no brick-and-mortar spaces available on base, the Navy and Pita Pit franchisee Samuel Crown came up with the idea of opening a food truck—and both the brand and the base’s inhabitants ate it up.

As the brand’s first mobile unit, it took almost four months to get up and running. Crown and the brand had to create a truck that contained everything necessary to deliver fresh products, like refrigeration and freezer space, grills, sandwich counters, and storage.

To properly prep and supply the truck, Crown opened a warehouse depot that contains a prep kitchen and walk-in freezers. “We opened essentially a kitchen to serve the kitchen,” he says.

Corey Bowman, vice president of development for the brand, says the sheer economics of operating a food truck makes it attractive to both the brand and its franchisees. “For the right franchisee in the right location, it’s actually more attractive” than a standard unit, he says.

Bowman also says the unit is the first of many for Pita Pit, and the brand plans to continue partnering with the Navy in years to come. “This is our first crack at it, and we’ve experienced a lot of success,” Bowman says. “Now that we have that arrow in our quiver, we do expect to see much more of this in the future.”