Q+A with Papa Murphy’s Multi Unit Franchise Owner: Kyle McPhee

Starting out as an employee for his local Papa Murphy’s store, ambitious and passionate Kyle McPhee climbed the ladder to franchise owner in Salt Lake City, Utah, bringing a store with a thirty minute average wait time to a local institution for reliable and quick Friday night dinner. Today, his impressive store lineup includes 14 units with more on the way. This is Kyle’s story, and his secret recipe for scaling a fulfilling business.

Multi Unit Franchise Owner

How did you become a franchise owner with Papa Murphy’s?

I got a job at the local Papa Murphy’s down the street from my parents’ house. I worked there for about seven years, and then had the opportunity to partner on my first location. I always wanted to own my own business. I got my degree from the University of Phoenix in business management, so it was always a goal of mine to own my own business. And frankly, I was good at pizza, so I figured why not make something happen with it.

What was the journey like to scale 1 location into 14?

I took over my first store in Holiday, Utah from a struggling owner ready to retire. We jumped in and focused on customer service. Customers were always coming into this store, but their average wait time was really long. They were bringing books to read while waiting for their pizzas. Because of the wait, most customers would call in their order, and there wasn’t the staff to keep answering the phone. So we overstaffed the store, and then people were getting in and out as quickly as possible. It was amazing how many people were shocked.

After working on fixing this store for six months, I continued to partner for more and more stores. Eventually, my partner and I went our separate ways, and I started over from there and grew to 14. One day I’d like to own all stores in Utah!

When I first started, my first store was ranked 26th out of 32 stores in the state. After I took it over, it rose up to 10th in the rankings. A lot of people ask how I did that, and the answer is always the same: focus on customer service.

What is the franchise support like as a franchise owner?

The store I first worked at was a training store, so I had the opportunity to help with training many times before I actually completed training as a franchise owner myself. You go through about four weeks of hands-on training to get the knowledge of how to run the store, how to make the pizzas, etc.

We’ve got a lot of local support. We have a Franchise Business Consultant that lives locally, who inspects stores regularly and works with us. We also have a marketing support representative that is local as well, so she knows the ins and outs to marketing for our Utah area specifically.

What advice would you give to prospective Papa Murphy’s franchise owners?

Papa Murphy’s is a great brand. It’s a strong brand that’s growing. It’s a brand a lot of people can get behind because of the ease of operations compared to most restaurants. We’re not dealing with ovens and fryers and late nights. It’s a fun concept. You talk to customers and make their pizza right in front of them. It’s fun to get to know people in your community, and impress them with quick, friendly service.

To be successful with this business, you need to have a strong work ethic. The owners that are successful are involved in their business. You want to be involved. Your crew is going to care less than you do. So the more they see you care, the more you’re putting effort into your stores, the more they’re going to care, which is going to help you grow.

My crew would laugh at me, because I could stand at the register and greet customers by name as they walked in every Friday night. They thought I had met these people outside of work, but I had made it my goal to memorize two customers’ names every week. It was a fun thing to be able to do, because it made a huge impact on our customers, as they kept coming back every week.

What are you most proud of in your business with Papa Murphy’s?

I took a minimum wage job at the age of 17 and became the largest owner in Utah. I literally went from the bottom to the top. And it’s been a fun journey to show someone that you can take a minimum wage job, turn it into a career, and provide for lots of people. I have over 170 employees. Some provide for their own families. My little brother works for me. I have multiple family members that work for me. So it’s been fun to take a little job to something big enough to take care of a lot of people.

Multi Unit Franchise Owner

Grow Your Business with Papa Murphy’s Today

Kyle McPhee saw the American Dream play out in reality when he put in the work of rising from employee to store owner to the largest Papa Murphy’s store owner in Utah. If Kyle’s story resonates with you, Papa Murphy’s may be a right fit for your future business aspirations. Learn more about owning a Papa Murphy’s franchise by visiting our research pages here.

If you’re ready to start a conversation about becoming a franchise owner with Papa Murphy’s, we invite you to fill out our form here. We look forward to learning more about your business aspirations and how we can help you reach your goals with a Papa Murphy’s franchise.

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