Pizza Patrón announced the brand achieved its highest overall yearly sales in the company’s history despite closing nearly 20 percent of its stores in 2013.
Pizza Patrón opened seven new restaurants and closed 20 locations in multiple markets in 2013. Although the company is forecasting that a handful of additional locations will close in 2014, executives say the company expects to finish this year with 25 new stores—over 30 percent growth above the current store count.
“Suspending our franchise sales program has allowed us to become a restaurant company again. We are focused on two things: food and people,” says Antonio Swad, founder of Pizza Patrón. “By closing some of our most poorly operated stores and purging the system of our least engaged operators, we are now able to concentrate our focus on the fundamentals of our restaurant business.”
Swad, founder and CEO of the Mexican pizza chain, recently took over the role of company president. Since taking the helm, Pizza Patrón’s staff has been reduced by more than 30 percent, a new store development model has been initiated, and a narrowed brand focus has been triggered.
“I believe Pizza Patrón is more relevant now than ever,” Swad says. “We have a very focused brand that also has extremely broad appeal. It's a great position to be in only if you can execute at a high level. We are moving forward with a great group of talented and committed franchisees. In addition, we are building company-owned stores for the first time in our history. I am confident that this will be a huge year for Patrón.”
Swad is encouraging remaining franchisees and managers to focus on the company's efforts to strengthen its business for the long term. "We believe all the steps we are taking will pay off in the long run," Swad says. “And we feel very good about the progress we have made so far."
Swad also acknowledged that as part of its new efforts to grow the brand, Pizza Patrón Inc. will entertain licensing agreements with companies who have access to special outlets like national grocery chains, major food services corporations, airport locations, college and university campuses, and hospitals.