Having worked in the food industry for 12 years, Gurnek Singh made the move to Papa John’s and running his own business in 2011. He now runs 14 Papa John’s stores across the Yorkshire region.
“Papa John’s is focused on expansion and this is exciting. It means there are many opportunities to grow. My goal is to have 20 stores within the next year.”
How long have you been running your franchise?
“I joined Papa John’s in 2011. I now run 14 Papa John’s stores in cities like Sheffield, Leeds, Doncaster and Rotherham.”
What led you to invest in a franchise?
“I worked in the food industry for 12 years before joining Papa John’s, but I was always hungry to run my own business.
“I was first recommended to the Papa John’s franchise opportunity by my cousin who is also a franchisee. I knew the brand was popular and so in 2011, I decided to open my first outlet. Sure, it’s been hard work over the years, but I’m delighted and proud to be continuing to serve up the very best pizza to my local community.
“Since I started with Papa John’s the company has grown significantly. There is a whole new and extended team at the Quality Control Centre (QCC) in Milton Keynes. They are hot on marketing and TV advertising has worked to strengthen and grow the brand, widening our customer base.
“The ambition of the QCC team and their ongoing support has helped me become a multi-store operator.”
Why did you choose the food sector, and why Papa John’s in particular?
“I was familiar with the food sector as I worked in the industry for many years. I liked Papa John’s as I loved the pizza! I chose Papa John’s as it was quite simply better than the competition. Papa John’s is now one of the largest pizza companies in the world.
“There are well over 450 stores across the UK and over 5,000 stores in more than 40 international markets and territories and for good reason! The product’s freshness, quality ingredients and our focus on good service and value for money is a recipe for success.
“Papa John’s is focused on expansion and this is exciting. It means there are many opportunities to grow. My goal is to have 20 stores within the next year.
“Running multiple stores offers many advantages. Economies of scale when it comes to ordering, marketing and also recruitment can offer a competitive advantage. The more stores we open the simpler the process becomes.
“Papa John’s training is also excellent, and the central team provides all the support necessary to ensure the franchise is off to a good start but this goes for staff training too. Induction training and ongoing staff training all happens online so no stone is left unturned.”
How do you ensure that you are one step ahead of the competition?
“Papa John’s concept of ‘BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.” means we only use the finest, freshest ingredients for a better flavour. We combine our great pizza with excellent customer service, delivery times and always offer good value to keep our customers coming back for more!
“Marketing is also important. However good your product and service are, if people don’t know about it, they will never become great customers! We regularly run store promotions to tempt new customers as well as rewarding our existing client base.”
Do you find it a challenging industry to work in?
“My role has changed over the years. Although I’m still hands-on, visiting each store every fortnight or so, I now have store managers and three area managers. This means my time is mainly occupied with overseeing the whole operation and with new store openings.
“Starting any business has its challenges. Once it’s up and running, developing the franchise is the next hurdle. You need to deliver the results to be able to grow and move the business forward. However, the team at Papa John’s QCC is really helpful. Their experts handle the store location selection, design and shop fit-out, so nothing is left to chance.
“In a way, owning and running multiple stores is easier than running just one, as you have staff to help you. Of course, you need to manage your team, but we all get on well and as well as creating more jobs, opening more stores means increased sales! We work hard to promote the stores with special meal deals and discount tokens.
“Also, Papa John’s offers special incentives to support new store openings. Help is provided with deals on equipment, reduced royalty fees and marketing. Putting these great deals on the table just when you need them most, is just one of the things the QCC team can do to support our new store openings.”
What do you enjoy most about running your franchise?
“I love pizza! However, working with my team, who are good people and a lot of fun is a big part of what makes running the franchise enjoyable. I employ more than 150 people across my stores now. Some of my managers have been with me for seven or eight years. Some started as drivers or in-store and have worked their way up. The trust and respect we have for one another are what make it work. I also like the flexibility the business offers too and love delivering to our communities. We like to support the community where we can and so our stores offer NHS staff 50% off all orders and we also give those in the army and police the same deal. I’m glad we can make just a small contribution in this way. In life and business, it’s so important we all support each other where we can.“
What advice would you offer prospective franchisees?
“Research is key. You need to be thorough before entering into any business opportunity. I would always advise people to ‘try before you buy’! In this way, you know what you are getting into. Good luck!”