While most growing brands get giddy about their sales potential when opening new stores, leaders at Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint are excited about the number of jobs they’re helping to create with the brand’s ongoing growth.
Matt Andrew, founder and chief pizza maker for Uncle Maddio’s, says the company is opening 17 new stores in 2012. With 25 new hires per store, he says, the company will be creating more than 400 new positions next year.
The positive numbers don’t end there. Andrew says that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, another seven jobs are created in the economy for every new hire, which means Uncle Maddio’s could be helping to create a total of 3,000 new jobs in 2012.
Further, with $250,000 in annual payroll and $400,000 in annual purchasing per unit, the company is pouring millions of dollars into local economies.
Andrew says this kind of economic stimulation is not something everyday customers realize they’re helping to fuel when dining out.
“I think the average consumer isn’t aware of it because we haven’t done a good job as an industry of putting the dots together for them,” he says. “Because we take these things for granted as a part of our daily lives, I don’t think anybody is giving any credit to how important that really is, especially today, in an economy that’s teetering on recovery.”
But the team at Uncle Maddio’s, which has two units in Atlanta and one in Louisville, Kentucky, is planning on changing that. Andrew says he wants to get the message to customers that “for every slice of pizza they eat, they’re helping to create jobs.”
“I think people want to hear stories about companies that made it through the trying times, the challenged economy, and are coming out the other end of that now,” he says. “Everybody wants to feel hope, and I think they need these little stories to keep feeling that hope.”
Andrew isn’t the first quick-serve executive to realize the job-creating potential in the industry. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz helped launch the Create Jobs for USA organization earlier this year in response to the lack of productivity from Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington, D.C. The organization will help fund small businesses.
Andrew says there is an opportunity for the industry to make big changes on the jobs front if it can unite behind the issue.
“We could all come together as friends, even though we might even be in the same business, and promote this idea and maybe take this to Washington,” he says. “We’re not going to wait for the government to create jobs and talk about what they’re going to do in terms of political strategies.”
By Sam Oches