As the originator of flavored crust pizza, Hungry Howie’s Pizza has built a strong name for itself over its 42 years in the quick-service pizza market—which is well-known for being one of the most competitive in the industry. Entrepreneur Magazine named Hungry Howie’s Pizza to its Hot Franchise to Own list in 2014, and in 2015, it was listed as one of the best choices for those looking to own and operate a pizza franchise.
“We’ve positioned ourselves for rapid growth, giving the option of being a single or multi-unit operator,” says Jennifer Jackson, director of development at Hungry Howie’s Pizza. “The brand also provides opportunities for existing multi-store operators to purchase an entire territory.”
Growth and development at Hungry Howie’s Pizza is taking place nationwide, with special focus going to Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Salt Lake City, Utah. As an established brand, Jackson says Hungry Howie’s Pizza is aiming for “steady but conservative” additions of new stores and territories.
The best candidates for Hungry Howie’s Pizza franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but the company is especially interested in those who care deeply about the industry. “We’re looking for people who are passionate about foodservice,” Jackson says. “We require single-store owners to be hands-on and in the store on a daily basis. It requires many hours, hard work, and dedication. If an owner gets in and that hard work comes as a surprise, everything is harder.” Multi-store operators, she says, are already familiar with the industry, so they generally have teams in place and know what it takes to run a successful store.
Once a potential franchisee shows interest, he or she goes through a six- to eight-week qualification process, in which the Hungry Howie’s Pizza team ensures they are the correct fit for that individual. After the papers are signed, it may take six to eight months for the first store to open—a time frame that includes the process of site selection, as well as a four-week training course at the Michigan headquarters. Trainees spend three of those weeks in-store and one week in a classroom. “During these four weeks, they are shift runners, managers, and supervisors,” says Jackson. “In order to run an efficient business, a restaurant owner must know every component of their business. Our goal is that when they return home, they are fully prepared to run their store.”
Once the store opens, the Hungry Howie’s Pizza corporate team assigns a franchise consultant to each location, from whom franchisees can get help on issues regarding day-to-day operations. Franchisees also receive full marketing support, which they can take advantage of for the store opening and beyond.
Hungry Howie’s Pizza is approaching 600 locations this year, and all of them are franchised. The company has also experienced 19 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases, making 2015 a great year for foodservice operators to consider adding Hungry Howie’s Pizza to their portfolios.
For more information about franchising opportunities with Hungry Howie’s Pizza, visit www.hungryhowies.com