Meet Papa Murphy’s Franchisee James McArthur

Military veteran turned entrepreneur opens up about what he loves about his take-n-bake pizza business

It’s no secret that veterans make exceptional entrepreneurs. The experience in the military instills many of the key attributes that being successful in business requires: the drive to succeed, the ability to follow systems, and the desire to be a mentor to others.

This is why James McArthur felt confident about going into business for himself. After spending 10 years in the navy, and then another 30 years in a high-level position at an energy company, James knew that he had the skill-set to go into business for himself. After exploring many opportunities, James decided that Papa Murphy’s provided the structure and support that would allow him to leverage his experience and thrive as a franchisee.

“Papa Murphy’s fit really well with my military background,” he says. “I’ve always been a procedure follower. Papa Murphy’s made it easy for me because all I had to do was follow the steps, and I knew that if I did that, I would be successful. This has turned out to be completely true – and it’s also something that so many franchise owners in other brands struggle with. If you follow the recipe and don’t waste time trying to create your own thing, you can do really well.”

James opened the doors to his Papa Murphy’s franchise in 2011 in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. In 10 years of business, James has gotten to know his guests by name, he’s watched their kids grow up, and he’s become a part of their lives in a truly meaningful way.

“We make it a point to get to know everyone that comes through our doors,” James says. “Papa Murphy’s is known for exceptional guest service, and we’re really genuine about trying to make a connection. Being friendly and engaging is such an easy thing to do, and it makes the guest experience so much better. This is what creates guest loyalty, and after 10 years in business, we have so many regulars coming through our doors every day.”

Military experience has helped James train and mentor his young team to take pride in their work and deliver a great experience for their guests.

“Being in the military requires you to train the younger people coming up, and it’s really similar to leading a team of kids who are in their first job,” James says. “My personality is more of a coach. It’s my job to teach them that they need to have pride in everything they do and that success in life comes from taking care to do a job well. Mentoring young people is one of the most enjoyable aspects of owning this business – it’s certainly the most rewarding.”

Papa Murphy’s is also known for being a vital part of the communities it serves – and in Bakersfield, you would be hard-pressed to find a pizza business more connected than James’ business.

“I love this community, it’s very tight-knit,” James says. “My guests know that I live here, and they know we try to hire local kids. We’re the only pizza company that marches in the parade every year, and we do a lot to support the community. It’s something that doesn’t get overlooked by the people that live here. They want to support us because we support them.”

After 10 years in business, James is in a position where he doesn’t have to be in his store every day. His oldest daughter recently welcomed their first grandchildren, and he and his wife took time off to be with them. As a father of six, James makes time to take trips with his family and enjoy life.

“We’re in a position where we can work as much or as little as we want to,” he says. “Papa Murphy’s has given us a great life. If I had started this when I was 40, I would have 10 locations right now, but being older, our one store is plenty. We’ve built a great team in our business, and we have the loyalty of our community. It’s been a great business for us, and we’re looking forward to life getting even better.”

Are You a Veteran? Papa Murphy’s Offers Big Incentives to Help You Realize Your Dream of Small Business Ownership

The Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza franchise is a low-cost investment opportunity offering high growth potential. In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, Papa Murphy’s is offering a 50% discount off the initial franchise fee to all qualified military veterans. Papa Murphy’s is also expanding the incentive to include a marketing spend program equal to the royalty amount of their first 90 days of operation (value of up to $5,000). If you’re passionate about quality, service, integrity, and most of all—pizza, we want to hear from you!

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