• The Pizza Factory Express model starts at 1,000 square feet and eliminates many of the operating expenses of larger restaurant prototypes.
  • The Oakhurst, California-based chain hopes to make it more affordable for new franchisees to open stores in other western states.

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Small is big—or getting bigger—in the restaurant industry as more pizza chains look at reducing their footprint for new stores with a focus on optimized delivery and carryout. Case in point: Pizza Factory, headquartered in Oakhurst, California.

Pizza Factory recently announced a strategic partnership with San Francisco-based Rubber and Road Creative to conceptualize a new Pizza Factory Express design that would capitalize on the growing demand for off-premise dining options. The reimagined design would also make it easier for new franchisees to afford to open their first Pizza Factory store.

Starting at 1,000 square feet, the Pizza Factory Express model’s small footprint allows Pizza Factory to grow into new, untapped markets while also eliminating many of the operating costs and furniture, fixtures and equipment expenses associated with larger restaurant prototypes, the company said in a press release. The format also requires fewer employees to run the operation, ultimately saving on labor costs, while allowing a hyper-effective team to serve at-home guests, who traditionally have higher ticket averages.

Mary Jane Riva

“Off-premise dining is here to stay, but restaurant design still remains more important than ever,” says Pizza Factory CEO Mary Jane Riva. “The Rubber and Road Creative team has a strong understanding of how design directly affects operations, and strategy is at the forefront of their creations. As existing franchisees grow and new multi-unit operators join our family, we’re thrilled to offer another innovative buildout option that best supports the advanced delivery and carryout systems we have in place.”

Dana Zipser, managing director of Rubber and Road Creative, says her company takes a “holistic approach to design—meaning our concepts integrate all aspects of the business and brand goals, whether it’s consumer-facing messaging and imagery or the functional constituents of the building, scalability, flexibility, cost-effective to build, etc.”

“Our goal with Pizza Factory is to create a highly efficient space for franchisees and staff to serve their guests in the most productive format,” Zipser adds.

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Pizza Factory also offers multi-unit operators flexible new-build or conversion options with traditional dine-in prototypes ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 square feet. The largest option typically features multiple dining sections, an arcade area for the kids, banquet rooms for parties and social gatherings, and big-screen TVs throughout the restaurant.

The company wants to add new stores beyond California, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming and Washington. As it enters this new era of growth, Pizza Factory is offering a limited development incentive program that includes a reduced franchise fee, waived royalties for three months and more.

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