Papa Murphy’s

Unique in the Industry: With its bake-at-home pizza, Papa Murphy's offers a streamlined operating model

In the pizza category, Papa Murphy’s consistently leads the way in consumer preference. “One of our key differentiators is our consumer audience,” says Gary Payne, vice president of franchise recruitment at Papa Murphy’s. “We’re targeting moms, we’re targeting families, and this has led to reaching a customer who’s far more loyal than others in the pizza space. Papa Murphy’s is consistently rated by consumers as their favorite pizza, including recognition from Technomic, NPD Group, Nation’s Restaurant News, and QSR.

Papa Murphy’s now has over 1,500 stores across 38 states in the U.S., as well as in Canada and Dubai. The company plans to grow within its existing markets this year, concentrating especially on the southeastern and southwestern U.S., raising brand awareness in underpenetrated markets by investing in advertising and building stores.

There are development opportunities for single-unit as well as multi-unit franchise owners across the country. For single-unit owner-operators, there are in-fill opportunities in well-developed markets. For multi-unit operators, there are opportunities to grow entire markets from ground-up or develop territories in existing markets experiencing rapid growth. “We’re looking for highly motivated people who value the opportunity to be part of a unique, differentiated brand that has the opportunity to triple its current footprint and have the resources to be successful,” says Jayson Tipp, chief development officer at Papa Murphy’s.

Papa Murphy’s is competitive in terms of franchise startup costs, and the operating model is less complex than many quick-service brands. There are no ovens, no delivery, no dining room, and no late hours. “We have one of the lowest investments in the quick-service industry,” says Tipp. “Not only does our model have a lower cost, it’s easier to operate, and it’s family-friendly in terms of hours.”

New franchise owners experience five weeks of training, which ranges from owner and manager training in a classroom to on-site, practical application in an existing Papa Murphy’s store. “Our training process takes a person who’s never owned and operated a Papa Murphy’s before and really equips them to own and operate a store,” Payne says. A specialized grand-opening team also supports the opening of each new store to build excitement within the community and help increase awareness of the new location. In some markets, Papa Murphy’s offers a turn-key development program that accelerates the process of getting a store open and minimizes the stress of opening a new store. Papa Murphy’s also co-funds advertising in a subset of developing markets that helps accelerate brand awareness.

Franchise owners receive support from the corporate team through regular store visits and evaluations, as well as ongoing training programs. Prior to the store opening, Papa Murphy’s offers aid in real estate development and construction, and for the grand opening and beyond, it provides full marketing support, including ad materials and strategic direction.

Papa Murphy’s also differentiates itself from other pizza brands through its fresh ingredients. “As consumers become more educated about what they’re eating, they’re looking for scratch-made dough, whole-milk mozzarella, fresh vegetables, and 100-percent premium meat with no fillers—all of which we offer,” Payne says. Its distinctive preparation system, unique to the industry, involves assembling those ingredients into fresh pizzas for customers to bake at their convenience in their own homes.

The company recently launched a new ecommerce platform and revamped website which allows customers to create their own fresh pizza online and the convenience to then pick up their order in-store when they want. The improved online ordering platform, which is expected to create new sales opportunities, is available to all Papa Murphy’s locations nationwide.

Papa Murphy’s pioneered the Take ‘N’ Bake pizza business more than 30 years ago and since that time has helped hundreds achieve their entrepreneurial dreams through franchise business ownership. The company offers a standout choice for those looking to invest in the pizza space, and it’s positioned to grow in 2016.

For more information about franchising opportunities with Papa Murphy’s, visit