Even amid the pandemic, PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans continues to innovate and grow. Most notably, PJ’s Coffee ranked #437 on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list, improving its position by 41 slots. The franchise was also ranked as a Top Franchise Opportunity by Franchise Business Review.

The aforementioned rankings are dependent on factors like franchise recruitment, unit growth, franchisee satisfaction surveys and more. Franchise Business Review rankings are based solely upon feedback from the franchise system, with PJ’s Coffee ranking 3.8 on a 5.0 scale for overall franchisee satisfaction. Franchisors are ranked on every aspect of the business – from the leadership team, core values, employee health + wellbeing, to training + support and financial opportunities – all of which were tested this last year as the franchise navigated the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The food + beverage industry at-large has largely been impacted by COVID-19, having to close indoor dining and quickly enhance digital operations to meet consumer behavior. The pivot allowed PJ’s Coffee to focus on their drive-thru operations and pilot new programs, such as the roll out of a beignet program in certain locations, all while sustaining a steady pipeline of openings for the brand throughout 2020, resulting in a total of 20 new locations and an even more impressive 45 locations projected to open in 2021.

“We’re thrilled to receive this recognition from the industry and our franchisees after a tough year, proving that selective recruitment of franchisees who are a great fit, emphasis on store level performance, and a strategic franchise expansion plan are all important pieces of the puzzle for PJ’s Coffee,” says Vice President of Franchise Development, Ryan Stansbury. “What it boils down to, though, is our brand culture. That Southern hospitality flare is part of the reason we’ve continued to attract franchise candidates, break into new markets, and open new businesses despite the current economic climate.”

Currently, PJ’s has 126 open stores throughout the continental United States, Vietnam, and Kuwait and anticipates that total to climb to more than 170 by year-end with much of its expansion taking place in the southeastern quadrant of the U.S.

“Opening a food and beverage concept during the height of COVID doesn’t come without its challenges, but I felt nothing but support and proper guidance from the corporate office to get us up and running successfully,” adds Harry Dodich, who opened his PJ’s location in 2020. “Similarly, the franchisee support system is unmatched. During a time where everyone was working to understand their own statewide mandates and obstacles due to COVID-19, they too, were available to help work through onboarding and make our opening in the community as seamless as possible – showing us day in and day out that this franchise system really cares about its people.”

As a result of COVID-19, all PJ’s Coffee locations are operating in compliance with and staying up-to-date on local and state guidelines.

PJ’s Coffee serves a wide variety of iced, hot, frozen, espresso-based and nitro-infused coffees using only the top one percent of Arabica beans. Pioneered by Founder Phyllis Jordan, PJ’s famous iced coffees are brewed daily using a unique, cold-drip process that protects the flavor and strength of the high-quality beans while producing a coffee that is two thirds less acidic. The coffeehouse also serves organic tea and fresh breakfast pastries.

A prospective franchisee can expect a total investment range between $190,775 – $391,000 for non-traditional franchise units and $200,775 – $582,000 for traditional units. The operating model and menu are adaptable to any environment with different options including kiosks and free-standing locations with a drive-thru, ranging from a few hundred square feet up to 1800 square feet.

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