At his core, Reynolds wants to be an analyst and a strategist, and what better opportunity than a brand eyeing rapid development and trying to revolutionize the fast-casual pizza space.
“If we're going to hit all of our growth targets, we have to have a really healthy robust franchise system. And my job is to help lead by example and be a good partner both in the restaurants we own and operate, but specifically in our franchise community,” Reynolds says. “And so my background being from both the financing strategy world and having an operational background running everything from new restaurant development, supply chain, construction design, having a deep footprint into operations and also the strategy, FP&A, and restaurant unit level economic model focus, that's a holistic background that I have that I'm bringing here to hopefully drive all of our success going forward.”
Much of the on-premises business is returning, and demand is “off the charts,” Reynolds says. Even with those dine-in sales rising, the pizza company is maintaining a significant portion of the 130 percent increase in digital channels it saw during the peak of COVID. That’s really the focus now—innovating and evolving both inside and outside the four walls.
What’s the source of this resurgence? Reynolds acknowledges the $1,400 stimulus checks played a role. However, that’s not the biggest contributing factor. To Reynolds, it’s restaurants reopening and customers craving an experiential setting to enjoy quality food. Now of course, people are more motivated to leave the house or order online when they have more money in their pocket, but the CFO says it’s hard to deny that individuals weren’t already itching to return to their normal routines.
“We're seeing similar volumes in terms of digital ordering, and then you combine that with an in-restaurant on-premise mix, that's hopefully—in all markets—getting close to where it was in 2019, and you have a pretty robust restaurant profile or economic profile per restaurant,” Reynolds says. “So that's really what we're focused on right now. I think honestly it's really just guest demand. Our food eats great at home, but it also eats incredibly well in the restaurant. It’s pizza, right? It’s a cuisine for all occasions, and people just want to experience it in the restaurant more than they have been able to in the last year and a half. So I think it's all of the above. We're really just seeing a combination of an incredible amount of desire and demand [to eat out] combined with the ability to do so with restaurants reopening.”