Hungry Howie’s Pizza’s mission statement is to serve customers delicious Flavored Crust Pizza at an amazing value.
“We originated the Flavored Crust Pizza,” says Jennifer Jackson, director of development at Hungry Howie’s. “We bake seasonings into the edge of our pizzas, letting customers choose their flavors and ‘crustomize’ their pizzas. This approach has set us apart in the pizza marketplace throughout the years.”
The 40-year-old company operates more than 500 locations in 21 states and continues to grow.
“We’ve built a strong infrastructure,” Jackson says. “We are positioned for rapid growth nationwide through single and multi-store owners.”
Hungry Howie’s is targeting Ohio, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Georgia—where they already have a significant presence—for growth.
Hungry Howie’s is investor friendly. It takes $100,000 of liquid capital and a net worth of $300,000 with a credit score of at least 700 to open a Hungry Howie’s restaurant, relatively affordable in the franchise arena.
“It's really an exciting time to jump on board. New franchisees can get in on the ground floor in so many markets.”
“Quick-service restaurant experience is great, but not necessary,” Jackson says. “Hungry Howie’s is a great business opportunity, and our franchisees have come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The thing they all have in common is a passion for our brand.”
The company goes through a six- to eight-week qualifying process with its franchisee candidates, making sure it is a good fit on both sides. Once on board, franchisees spend four weeks in a training program at the corporate offices in Michigan—three weeks in-store and one week in class.
“It’s very hands-on,” Jackson says. “They work with training managers and learn everything they will need to know to be successful.”
Ongoing support from Hungry Howie’s corporate office includes operations support and a franchise consultant, who will make regular visits, assigned to each location. The corporate marketing team helps franchisees lay out the grand opening of a store and works with operators to lay out yearly marketing plans.
“We want our franchisees to focus on running the store,” Jackson says. “We even do site selection for them with their assistance. This lets them concentrate on running the business.”
The company is 100 percent franchised; operators in the system own anywhere from one to 60 stores. Hungry Howie’s has its own distribution network, which delivers the product to all stores east of the Mississippi River. They partnered with Roma Foods to distribute the Hungry Howie’s product to stores on the other side of the country.
“This ensures consistency and gives franchisees the buying power of all our locations,” Jackson says. “We are able to keep prices low and pass the savings on to our franchisees.”
Hungry Howie’s also has a philanthropic side, reaching into communities with its Love, Hope & Pizza Campaign every October. The campaign raises money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“In October, we serve our pizzas in bright pink boxes, and we run a huge social media campaign where we donate money for new Facebook fans and more,” Jackson says. “Since we started Love, Hope & Pizza, we’ve raised almost $750,000.”
Hungry Howie’s is set for growth in 2013. The company plans to sign 30 agreements and open 25 locations this year.
“The biggest draw for candidates as they explore investment opportunities with Hungry Howie’s is that we have such a strong commitment to the concept, to our product and to our franchisees,” Jackson says. “It’s really an exciting time to jump on board. New franchisees can get in on the ground floor in so many markets, and for people looking to get into franchising, a single unit is really reasonable.
“This is our year for development. We have things in order.”
For more information about franchising opportunities with Hungry Howie's, visit www.hungryhowies.com