Careful and strategic approach to expansion sees franchise grow to 24 outlets
National pizzeria franchise Col’Cacchio pizzeria launched six new stores last year including its first two express outlets, under the name Mio, to complement its existing network of family restaurants. Their express concept stores cater mainly to take away customers through personal collection or delivery.
The successful Col’Cacchio pizzeria chain has grown strategically over the last ten years to 24 stores. There are currently nine franchises in Johannesburg, eleven in Cape Town including Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Hermanus, one in Durban and three in Pretoria. The group has enjoyed turnover of R161-million in the last year.
Launched in 1992 as a stand-alone restaurant in Cape Town run by Michael Terespolsky and Kinga Baranowska, Col’Cacchio pizzeria has become synonymous with traditional Italian food and gourmet pizzas. After operating in partnership for more than 10 years, the two entrepreneurs decided to grow their business, and identified franchising as the most suitable mechanism for the expansion in 2003.
Terespolsky, who is a member of the Cape Town chapter of global business-owners’ network Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), says Col’Cacchio pizzeria has deliberately taken a controlled approach to its roll-out and growth strategy. “We soon realised that in order to achieve our goal of expansion, we would have to create a network of strategically placed Col’Cacchio pizzeria outlets.”
The first franchisees Greg and Roz Mommsen launched Col’Cacchio pizzeria in Bryanston, Johannesburg in April of that year. Terespolsky and Baranowska, along with Johannesburg-based Greg Mommsen who bought into the holding company, have been the three directors of the franchise company since inception.
From the outset the partners determined that the business could fill a very specific niche in the restaurant and food market, but were cautious about expanding too aggressively, explains Terespolsky.
“Before venturing headlong into a significant expansion phase, we made certain that each facet of our existing operations performed at peak efficiency. Consultants across all business disciplines were brought in, and with their help, we finalised our concept and readied our systems to cope with the increase in demand we expected. We also place major emphasis on training to ensure consistency across all outlets and insist on delivering extremely high levels of food and service quality.”
The approach has worked and Col’Cacchio pizzeria has been able to extend its franchise to four cities and three towns over the years, with substantial growth during the heart of the recession. Terespolsky adds that the black market is an area of huge potential that the franchise has not yet fully tapped into, and that this is a focus for the near future.
“Finding previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs who would like to be a Col’Cacchio pizzeria franchisee has been a challenge to date. The barriers to entry are fairly high, yet we know that there must be entrepreneurs out there who fit the profile.”
Alongside its growth strategy, Col’Cacchio pizzeria has focused on giving back to the community in recent years. For the last four years, the franchise has run its Celebrity Chef campaign whereby each year between four and six of South Africa’s top chefs are invited to design a pizza; these are featured on the menu in all Col’Cacchio restaurants countrywide for one month each, with a portion of the sale of each pizza being donated to a charitable cause. Since 2009, the campaign has raised R597,000 for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and R227,000 for the Wildlands Conservation Trust.
For more information about Col’Cacchio pizzeria, visit www.colcacchio.co.za
More about Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Cape Town:
A sister organization to the well-known Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), EO is a global membership organization designed to provide a unique space and networking environment in which leading entrepreneurs can engage, learn and grow. Every member of EO must be the founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a company grossing a minimum of R8-million (US$1- million) annually.
The 55 members of EO Cape Town jointly run businesses grossing R1.7-billion annually, and employing more than 3,000 people. The average age of the Cape Town membership base is just 34.
For more information about Entrepreneurs’ Organization, visit www.eonetwork.org or contact Cape Town chapter administrator Tamarin Morrell at email@example.com.