Oath Pizza / Facebook

How Oath Pizza Overcomes Supply Chain Problems

The fast-growing franchise’s strategy helps the pizza concept accelerate its post-pandemic comeback and optimize its business for the future.

  • Oath Pizza’s “hub-and-spoke” supply chain model has unlocked opportunities for fast expansion in new markets.
  • Additionally, the chain’s simple menu is “tailored to avoid some of the most common sourcing roadblocks while still delivering elevated offerings,” an Oath Pizza executive says.

Related: Oath Pizza returns to its roots with feel-good brand refresh

Oath Pizza, the fast-growing, better-for-you franchise founded on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in 2015, has enhanced its operating model to address supply chain issues plaguing the industry. The result? An exceptionally efficient and scalable franchise opportunity backed by a relevant brand that has attracted growing interest from potential franchisees nationwide, company executives say.

At the heart of Oath Pizza’s optimized operating model is a supply chain strategy that prevents many challenges foodservice brands are currently contending with.

Pam McMorrow, director of supply chain and product innovation for Oath Pizza, explained the company’s “hub-and-spoke” supply chain model. “The ‘hub’ is made up of the distribution centers in or just outside of most metropolitan areas nationwide,” McMorrow said. “The ‘spokes’ are the distribution routes to the Oath Pizza locations.”

Oath’s first and largest franchise partner, Aramark, recommended this approach initially, which paved the way for the company’s current nationwide distribution network. This approach has since unlocked opportunities for fast expansion in new markets, including Oath’s second franchisee, Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread. The national network has also benefited Oath’s growing group of new franchisees since opening the opportunity up to the public in late 2021.

In the first few months of the year, Oath Pizza signed two new multi-unit franchise agreements in the Seattle and Los Angeles markets. Oath’s leadership says incoming franchisees have cited the brand’s innovative distribution model—and its ability to minimize distribution, labor and retention challenges—as a prime reason why they are investing.

McMorrow says the supply chain strategy is designed specifically to minimize the challenges affecting so many concepts in the foodservice space. “Our supply chain is built to scale and to adapt to changing conditions in the distribution world more easily,” she says. “Our simple menu is tailored to avoid some of the most common sourcing roadblocks while still delivering elevated offerings.”

Related: 4 ways to deal with supply chain shortages in the pandemic era

Oath Pizza / Facebook

Oath helps franchise owners source domestically grown and produced products through three of the largest global suppliers. The chain is bolstered by dedicated corporate oversight, allowing franchisees to focus on day-to-day operations.

Moreover, the brand’s menu is designed to maximize easy-to-source products, unlike other brands that rely heavily on primary menu items that are becoming more challenging to source, such as beef and chicken.

“It’s a one-stop-shop,” McMorrow adds. “We know when [shipments] are coming and how the supply system can adapt if any challenges arise.”

McMorrow brings over 20 years of experience working with restaurant brands in various segments before joining Oath.

A streamlined supply chain process is just one example of how Oath Pizza has developed its business with expedited operations. Additionally, McMorrow says the brand has mastered easy-to-implement training that requires no restaurant experience for owners.

Related: Domino’s is the largest pizza chain, but is it the most popular?

Most pizza concepts make their dough in-house, which requires additional labor, slows throughput, and results in an inconsistent product. Oath Pizza is different. The company supplies franchise owners with a proprietary crust produced by a central commissary that reduces labor costs and streamlines production. “These cost savings can make a big difference for a franchisee looking to expand and can make a difference with an unpredictable global supply chain,” McMorrow explains.

McMorrow says the supply chain and product innovations were born of necessity from a traditional inventory manage-and-replenish system. “Once we figured out the products we wanted to serve and how much we would need, that information started to get uploaded into our system. We had to change our entire way of thinking,” McMorrow says. “The hub-and-spoke model is set up to help ensure new delays are not a challenge for Oath’s growing roster of franchise owners.”

David Jamieson, Oath Pizza’s vice president of operations, says the supply chain efficiencies have also directly benefited the restaurant’s operations. “The commissary-produced crust, simplicity of the menu, additional oversight and flexible replacement products have helped simplify the operation,” Jamieson explains. “That is one of the key components to our continued success in staffing our restaurants and retaining our employees—even during these challenging times for other operators.”

Jamieson, Stacie Colburn Hayes, Oath’s chief marketing officer, and Drew Kellogg, Oath’s president and CEO, gained critical industry experience in leadership roles at Chipotle Mexican Grill. The team has led the vision for Oath Pizza’s business and brand transformation and is ready to capitalize on the growth opportunity ahead.

“We’re never satisfied with the status quo,” McMorrow says. “We’re always pushing forward, and that’s how we’ve come so far in such a short time. We have no plans to slow down anytime soon.”

For more information on franchising with Oath Pizza, visit oathpizza.com/franchise.