Westshore Pizza and Cheesesteaks, Tampa Bay’s Popular Philadelphia-Style Italian Restaurant Chain, Launches National Franchise Campaign

TAMPA, FL, March 25, 2009 – A Tampa Bay restaurateur has recruited a veteran franchise team to expand his Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks restaurant brand across the United States by marketing to business people who are facing a troubled economy.

 

“Recent history proves that if you’re employed in middle or even upper management and your company hits hard times, you could be expendable,”

said Bob Vasaturo, the affable founder of Tampa-based Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks. “We want to offer an alternative to that scenario. Take our proven systems, our high quality ingredients, our popular menu and atmosphere, and build your own path to success.”

 

With 40 units in the Tampa Bay market, Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks is an authentic neighborhood Italian gathering place that specializes in Philadelphia-style pizzas that you “fold over” to eat and sandwiches like the famed Philly Cheesesteak. Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks restaurants are distinguished by their neighborhood feel and comfortable, sports theme. Each restaurant makes its family recipe sauces daily from California tomatoes and fresh spices. Westshore grates its rich cheese blend by hand. Pizza dough is made fresh twice a day, and Italian bread is baked fresh daily from an authentic Philly recipe.

Large-screen TVs and neighborhood team memorabilia attract sports enthusiasts. Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks extends this sports heritage by providing fresh baked pizzas and grilled Cheesesteaks at such popular sports venues as the New York Yankees George M. Steinbrenner Field; the Phillies’ Bright House Field; and the St. Pete Times Forum, the sports and entertainment home to Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.

 

“Bobby V,” as Vasaturo likes to be called, describes his restaurant as “great value for limited budgets” because, while the quality is high, the cost to consumers to dine there is relatively low. “People want entertainment even more when times are tough,” said Bobby V. “We can offer a couple or family a reasonably priced evening out with plenty left over to take home. Sales at our restaurants haven’t suffered even in these tough times.”

 

Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks locations vary in size from take-home only stores to larger restaurants featuring several flat screen TVs playing current sporting events. According to Bobby V, “We keep the cost of developing our restaurants low by using existing restaurant locations that are convertible to the Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks concept, which applies common sense to rein in the up-front spending. Our franchisees can enter our system with a start up investment that is well below what is required for many Quick Service and Quick Casual concepts.”

 

Each franchisee receives step-by-step guidance on development, startup and operations, intensive training, standardized sourcing plus ongoing support that is complemented by professionally prepared marketing and advertising materials.

 

“We started the restaurant in Tampa in 1994 to bring to Florida the same kind of pizzas, pastas and cheesesteaks that have been made famous as the ‘Taste of Philly’,” said Bobby V, who grew up working in several of the more famous Philadelphia restaurants. “We expanded one store at a time over the past 17 years perfecting our delicious recipes and systems. Now, we are ready to branch out and offer this entrepreneurial opportunity to other neighborhoods across the nation. We believe people who are ready to be their own boss will see the value in our brand and our systems.”

 

To facilitate the franchise expansion, Vasaturo recruited franchise industry expert Gary Hoyle, who is assisted by Graydon D. Webb. Hoyle was co-founder and CEO of Rise & Dine Restaurants, a Columbus, Ohio-based breakfast and lunch restaurant franchisor. Hoyle also previously served as business development consultant for InFrasys Inc., a franchisor of Sealmaster, the largest manufacturer of pavement maintenance products in the United States. He has also spearheaded a number of startup ventures.

 

Webb has more than 35 years of experience in restaurant operations and franchising and has consulted with brands such as Long John Silver’s, Rally’s, St. Louis Bread/Panera, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt. In the 1980s, he founded G.D. Ritzy’s Inc.

Previously, he was Vice President of Franchise Sales for Wendy’

International, Inc. In this capacity, he guided the franchise growth of the Wendy’s system from its first two Columbus, Ohio-based restaurants to over 2,000 locations throughout the United States, Canada and the Carribean.

 

For more information, visit www.WestshorePizza.com <http://www.westshorepizza.com/> .