Multi-Location Pizzerias: 7 Business Management Tips

Running a franchise is a different ball game and franchises bounced back quickly following the pandemic: In 2022, franchises rebounded by 16%.

The hospitality industry is in full recovery – and the competition is as fierce as ever. Managing a single pizzeria is already a lot of work, and you’re managing several.

Staying on top of business and knowing when and how to let go of the small things is vital if you’re going to keep growing.

Read on to learn how to take your business management skills to the next level.

Handle Your Business Management From a Single Location

The list of startup tips below covers delegation, marketing, managers, and priorities. But you need a base of operations to do that.

While it’s normal to visit your restaurants from time to time, having an established workspace to manage your businesses saves you time.

Hire Managers You Can Trust

Every establishment needs an on-site manager in the restaurant business. The on-site managers handle the day-to-day running of the business – sometimes menial tasks that keep the pizzeria ticking over smoothly.

Building a team of capable and trustworthy on-site managers means you can focus on the big picture: Growing your franchise, growing your brand, and growing your base of loyal customers.

Undoubtedly, your restaurant managers are the most important link in the chain for running a successful franchise.

Qualities To Look For in Managers

Your restaurant managers are the halfway point between you and the rest of your staff, and their job isn’t easy. They need to strike a balance between meeting the needs of your business and of your employees.

Staff call in sick.

They require vacation days. Sometimes they can’t give 100%, and sometimes they let their standards slip. And sometimes, your newest star employee turns out to be a dud.

Morale and motivation drive employee retention and commitment. A good manager will know how to keep employee morale high without compromising on quality.

In other words, they’ll possess soft, interpersonal skills as well as a head for business. The key aspects to look for are:

  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  • Cultural fit

Managers who act with integrity won’t have any qualms about disciplining employees who perform badly. Crucially, they will never compromise on the quality of your products and will pass health inspections with flying colors.

It’s a manager’s empathy and cultural fit with your business philosophies that make it work. A culturally appropriate manager is able to connect with your employees on a personal level.

If a lack of integrity means a poorly performing restaurant, then a poor cultural fit will mean high employee turnover.

Learn How To Delegate

A team of capable managers won’t help you if you’re constantly looking over their shoulders. Micromanagement can be a difficult habit to kick – but it’s toxic to the health of your business.

Think of it this way: There’s no sense in hiring skilled managers if you aren’t willing to let them manage your restaurants.

Effective delegation can be broken down into three elements:

  • Knowing when to delegate
  • Communicating regularly and effectively
  • Providing feedback

In general, the work to consider delegating will reoccur in the future and be required in multiple locations. This might include localized marketing campaigns, such as one-time deals and discounts, hiring for low-level positions, health inspection preparations, and inventory management.

Delegation might require additional effort to train your managers – but in the long run, the time you invest pays for itself in efficiency.

Regular communication with your managers is important. Arrange regular check-in dates and times and make it clear how they’re expected to update you.

Set the Right Priorities

Your goals are different, and your main priority ultimately lies in building a sustainable business model with room to grow. You’re no longer thinking about starting a pizzeria – you’re at the stage of managing a franchise.

That might mean investing in new locations.

It might mean offering home-delivery services or upgrading your restaurants to accommodate drive-thru patrons.

Your priorities and wants are your own, but in general, you need to be thinking about:

  • Building brand loyalty
  • Analyzing your competition
  • Opening new, accessible restaurants

Employ Efficient Digital Ecosystems

The days of hand-written order slips and traditional cash registers are over.

They’re cheaper to get started with and it’s common for small businesses to use traditional ordering systems. But modern business is about efficiency and speed, and modernized POS systems drive up your business.

Customers are served faster, stock shrinkage is reduced, and your employees’ jobs are easier.

Digital ecosystems achieve this by a number of means:

  • Wireless ordering tablets for staff
  • Digital kitchen display systems
  • Real-time inventory tracking
  • Online loyalty programs
  • Online takeout and delivery management

Picture this: A member of staff uses a pen and pad to write down customer orders. Their writing is rushed, the paper can get lost, and when it’s written they have to punch the order into a register.

With a digital POS, that same member of staff can send an order straight from a tablet to the kitchen – and then serve the next table in the queue. It’s a vastly more efficient system that keeps everybody happy.

Customers spend less time waiting to be served, employees have a better overview of their tables, and kitchen staff don’t need to clarify bad handwriting.

Devise an Effective Marketing Strategy

Growing a business only happens if you attract new customers.

In the restaurant business, marketing happens in two ways:

  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Online Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is a direct result of your product. Good pizza makes happy customers come back, and happy customers leave good online reviews. Think of word-of-mouth as your “passive” marketing strategy. You can still improve your odds with coupons and vouchers for repeat business and loyalty cards for recurring visits.

But your main source of new customers is your “active” strategy – that is, how you approach the digital sector. Your business needs to rank in Google searches and customers need to find it on delivery apps.

Know When To Take a Break

Take breaks.

Your business is riding on you, and you built it from the ground up. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need time off, too.

Burnout will only drive a wedge between you and your team – and with a healthy selection of managers running the show, you’ve more than earned a break and you can rest easy that they know what they’re doing in your absence.

Supercharge Your POS Systems

For many franchisees, effective business management requires you to wear a lot of hats. You’re the CEO, the marketing lead, the head of HR, and quite possibly, you’re a stellar pizza chef on top.

Surrounding yourself with capable managers lets you focus on the bigger picture, and modernizing your ecosystem the key ingredient to staying competitive.

At Truffle Systems, we help businesses grow, increase brand loyalty, and revolutionize ecosystems with smart, sustainable solutions. Click here to book a demo to see Truffle in action.