(Salem, OR)—- Figaro’s Pizza Chairman and CEO Ron Berger wants his strongest markets to resemble the pizzas that customers of the nation’s largest chain in the “We Bake or You Bake” segment of the industry enjoy so much.
The 114-store national chain already is recognized as “the best pizza you can have at home.” Now, with Figaro’s Pizza coming off its 25th anniversary in 2006, Berger is looking to further strengthen the company’s position in its strongest markets.
Much like a pizza covered from edge to edge with fresh, piping-hot pepperonis, Berger wants to look at a map and see it filled with successful, thriving Figaro’s Pizza franchises.
To achieve that goal, Berger wants to focus growth in 2007 and for the next several years on states in which Figaro’s Pizza already has strong brand recognition and/or established, successful master franchisees, while also attracting multi-unit, multi-concept operators seeking to diversify the portfolio of brands they manage. Those states include California, Oregon and Wisconsin where Figaro’s wants to develop hundreds of restaurants over the next 10 years.
Since the company was founded in 1981 in Oregon, the state continues to be Figaro’s No. 1 state with 49 locations; 60 more are forecast to open in the next decade.
          Wisconsin seems to be following in the footsteps of Oregon. Figaro’s opened its first store in Wisconsin in 2002 and it quickly became the company’s fastest-growing state with 11 locations opened over the past four years. Cindy Egnarski, owner of a Figaro’s store in Green Bay and also master franchisee for the state, is largely responsible for the chain’s growth there. Plans call for more than 150 restaurants to open by 2016.
          Like Wisconsin, California is a new market for Figaro’s. Dave Binkowski, owner of the Figaro’s that opened in April 2006 in Corona, is also a master franchisee for parts of Southern California.
          “There are many suburban California towns, like those in the Inland Empire area, whose populations are growing tremendously,” said Binkowski. “When 10,000 new homes are built in less than three years, people are very excited when new restaurants with quality menus come to town.” Ten stores are scheduled to open in the Inland Empire region in 2007. Binkowski says that in his territory alone at least 35 locations will open in the next five years.
Berger believes Figaro’s Pizza is well-positioned for continued success, especially since it is believed to be the only national chain offering delivery of both baked and unbaked pizzas. As millions of time-pressed Americans look for convenient options to serve quick, delicious and fresh meals at dinner – witness the rise of curbside pickup at casual restaurants and the fast-growing popularity of do-it-yourself kitchens – Figaro’s Pizza fits nicely into the equation.
“There is a movement in the country today toward freshness and home-meal replacement,” Berger said. “Figaro’s Pizza is perfectly positioned because we are the only chain that delivers both fresh baked as well as unbaked pizzas directly to consumers’ homes. And what could be more convenient than that!”

Archives, Pizza News