Romeo’s Pizza has refined every level of its business operations strategy and set the stage for an aggressive expansion plan in the midst of a pandemic. Based upon a franchise-first focus, Romeo’s Pizza found opportunity during trying times and rose to the challenge as a unified team.
Romeo’s Pizza, matching trends in the pizza industry, found renewed customer interest and elevated popularity of pickup and delivery formats during the onset of the pandemic. In the first six months of 2020, Romeo’s Pizza experienced same store-sales growth of 18.4 percent and total company sales growth of 23.1 percent. The skyrocketing success of Romeo’s Pizza started in 2018, when the franchise began seeing record sales system-wide. Rather than resting on its laurels, and its 12 consecutive quarters of same store-sales growth the company looked to the future.
Taking the sustained sales growth in stride, Romeo’s Pizza has opened six new locations during the pandemic and aims to have 60 total locations open by the end of 2021. The lynchpin in the company’s newly solidified strategy, however, is the longer-term goal of reaching 250 franchise locations in the next five years. With 90 units recently sold across the United States and internationally, Romeo’s longer-term goal is anything but a pie-in-the-sky idea.
Romeo’s Pizza CEO, Ryan Rose, views the brand’s recent record-breaking years as further motivation for the company to reassess and recalibrate its operating best practices, brand identity, and commitment to teamwork and community engagement.
“Instead of making our team complacent, our record sales have only reaffirmed that our franchisee-first focus is the right path forward,” says Rose. “With our local Pizza Champions and unified corporate team, Romeo’s Pizza has never had a clearer path forward.”
Romeo’s Pizza has realigned its operating procedures from top to bottom to focus on teamwork, enhanced communication, and on making every decision and product with purpose and passion. Along with Pizza Champions, the owners of Romeo’s Pizza locations spread across the globe, the team has worked together to reaffirm their dedication to providing pizza that connects friends, families, and communities. Especially considering the isolation felt by many during the pandemic, Romeo’s was grateful to be able to deliver sweet smiles, one slice at a time.
“Romeo’s Pizza is recession-resistant,” says Rose. “But it is our commitment to serving purpose-driven, handcrafted excellence that has differentiated us in the minds of consumers and our industry peers. Our aim isn’t to simply provide a product, it’s to make a positive impact on our community and environment.”
As part of their purpose to give back, local Pizza Champions are encouraged and empowered to engage in outreach efforts in their local communities, ranging from youth athletic programs to supporting first responders in their fight against the pandemic. From a higher level, Romeo’s Pizza has long-supported environmental and employment assistance cause organizations, as well.
Pre-COVID, pizza was an industry that generated around $46 billion in sales per year in the United States. Thanks to the popularity of pizza and ease-of-access dining during the pandemic, those numbers are expected to skyrocket. As of August 2020, the average person spent 24 percent more on pizza compared to last year. With nearly 20 percent of Americans eating pizza on any given day, it has been solidified as a staple of many diets across the country.
The growth in the pizza industry can be largely attributed to a shift in consumer behavior, stemming from the need for accessibility and consistency in the on-the-go and easily deliverable product. Romeo’s strong digital backbone and established format of solely providing delivery and carryout options meant that they were perfectly positioned to rise to the occasion when the industry, and the country, needed it most.
Facing the future, businesses in the pizza industry can’t only rely on the popularity of the product for solidifying meaningful, sustained growth. What sets Romeo’s Pizza apart from the rest is not only their award-winning pizza, but the responsibility they fulfill in positively impacting people and communities across the United States.
Offering consumers a wide range of subs, salads, wings, desserts and pizza for delivery or takeout, Romeo’s Pizza serves more than one million friends and families each year. Guided by the new five core values; We are handcrafted excellence, We believe pizza is always the answer, We deliver sweet smiles one slice at a time, We will positively impact our communities and environment, and we win as a team, Romeo’s Pizza operates with a franchisee-first focus that has driven their success and growth to date.
“The entire Romeo’s Pizza team was involved in the realignment of our purpose and values,” said Ryan Rose. “From our corporate team and local Pizza Champions, to feedback from our customers, we took input from all aspects of our business. We needed to ensure that our preparation in tackling our goal of 250 locations within five years was consistent, well-positioned, and easily applicable across our franchise system.” Rose continues, “The future looks very bright for Romeo’s Pizza, and we’re excited to face the future with our friends, families, and communities by our side.”
Romeo’s Pizza accolades include being named the Best Pizza in North America, Best Gourmet Pizza in North America, Best Pizza in the Midwest, and a third-place finish in the Food Network Pizza Challenge. Romeo’s Pizza is recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a Top Food Franchise and by Pizza Today as one of the Top 100 Pizza Companies in the United States.