Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, founded by the originators of Moe’s Southwest Grill, is a pioneer in the fast-casual pizza business. The restaurant is a proven brand and has been running stores for over six years. It is now growing nationwide using the restaurant’s tried-and-true operating systems. Currently, the company has 32 stores open with another 240 in development, and plans to have 60 to 75 units open by the end of the year. Roger Wagerman, Vice President of Franchise Development at Uncle Maddio’s, says, “We invented the ‘create your own’ pizza space and are leading the category.”
With a veteran leadership team drawing experience from their tenure with Five Guys, Tropical Smoothie Café, and Chick-Fil-A, to name a few, Uncle Maddio’s is looking to expand nationwide. The company is now open in 13 states and has seen a tremendous degree of success. This year, it is focusing its efforts on franchise opportunities in the lower Midwest, the Western U.S., and the mid-Atlantic region.
The secret, Wagerman says, has to do with the unique craveability of Uncle Maddio’s recipes, the high throughput of its restaurants, and the company culture, called “Served With Love™.”
If you look at it from a global perspective, the way pizza has been ordered for 100 years is outdated. Now, the customer has control of their order. The customer experience leans more toward the “casual” part of the equation rather than the “fast,” although Uncle Maddio’s pizza is still delivered to tables by pizza makers within minutes. “You’ve got to be able to turn customers while still having that fast-casual experience,” Wagerman continues. “We produce 200 pizzas per hour at the busiest hours.” The throughput makes the investment model very attractive to franchisees.
Uncle Maddio’s serves freshly-crafted New York-style pizza, which has a broad appeal. “Half of Americans prefer New York-style pizza,” says Wagerman. The dough and sauce is a secret recipe, the meats are grilled in-house, and produce is fresh and obtained locally when available. “Our customers tell us over and over, our food is just hands-down fantastic,” Wagerman says.
Uncle Maddio’s is looking for partners who wants to “Serve with Love.” Successful candidates are often multi-unit operators with other food brands. Otherwise, they are people who may not have prior restaurant experience, but who are “already successful in life, and are passionate, and believe in what we’re doing,” Wagerman says.
The “Served With Love™” mentality includes a willingness to coach and mentor employees and to be active in the local community. “It’s just the golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated,” Wagerman says. “Giving back and helping others is part of our corporate mission.”
Training includes four weeks at the company’s boot camp, as well as two weeks assisting in the process of opening a store before the franchisee opens his or her own location. The Uncle Maddio’s corporate team is also on-site for another two weeks surrounding the opening of each store to make sure the franchisee, managers, and employees are comfortable with the operations.
Wagerman says, “We’re looking to build long-term partnerships. When franchise partners open a store with us, they are a part of our family, and our family is growing.” RF
For more information about franchising opportunities with Uncle Maddio's, visit www.unclemaddios.com