Papa Murphy’s Franchise Senior Leadership Team Shares Year-End Accomplishments

Leadership team discusses investment in owners and other factors leading toward positive sales

From improved training to new technology, pizza franchise opportunity, Papa Murphy’s has implemented many great initiatives to grow both in-store and online sales. When the pandemic hit, it meant we would be all the more ready to serve our guests.

head shot of papa murphy's, pizza franchise opportunity, leadership team

We recently sat down with Stephanie Richmond, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and Nik Rupp, Executive Vice President of Finance, to discuss positive changes that are contributing to more cohesive messaging, increased brand recognition, and stronger guest satisfaction and loyalty.

Papa Murphy’s is seeing positive sales, both in-store and online. What explains this and what do you think about the results?

Nik: Sales have been driven by the great initiatives put in place over the last few years. When COVID hit, we saw an initial drop off but moving into late March and early April we rebounded and saw our numbers jump up into the double-digit positives.

As people were easing into the norm of working remotely, we launched our national loyalty program. Prior to that, our technology had been upgraded. So there were things in the background that prepared the brand from new marketing materials to new media so as we came through the beginning of COVID lock down, our sales continued to build. We experienced positive same-store sales then, and as the summer wore on sales continued to be exceptionally strong. We believe that COVID has had a positive impact on our sales over the course of the year and we have equally had a significant boost by the new initiatives.

We had a very strong solid e-commerce platform we had built up coming into 2020 and our marketing team has done a phenomenal job of also moving from a static platform into something that we could use to customize more dynamic messaging to better reach consumers.

Obviously, at the beginning of lockdown, almost everyone in the QSR industry had a dip in sales, but Papa Murphy’s pizza franchise opportunity was able to rebound in a way that many brands were not. Can you talk about numbers specifically?

Nik: Yes, we were above a 20 point gain in the initial period and then went down in the teens but those double-digit sales results were pretty consistent. Our online orders also went up. We’re also highly tied to events, especially sports. We always see sales up when the NFL and NBA are in play. With some games coming back it certainly helped keep our momentum. From a broad perspective, people see pizza franchise opportunity, Papa Murphy’s for what it is…fresh and made to order with limited to minimal interaction thanks to convenient online ordering and in-store pickup.

Will increasing online sales continue to be part of your strategy to increase sales?

Nik: We clearly would like to see more online sales as a mix overall for business so we are doing everything we can to make that consumer experience as seamless and personalized as possible. We’ve launched a new version of our app that is fully integrated with the loyalty program. We are now able to really engage with the consumers in a way that they want to be engaged with. So if someone usually orders veggie pizzas, for example, we won’t promote our meat pizza. We hope this personalized marketing approach will increase brand loyalty.

Speaking of engagement, the engagement our leadership team has with our owners is certainly key to how we move these things so quickly. Having that engagement and true partnership with the franchise owners  makes getting things moved forward much more easily and helps to drive sales because it permeates all the way through the organization.

The owners can see the results for themselves. They have more access to information than they ever have, whether data from the loyalty program or their daily sales, and this allows them to quickly respond and make necessary changes to meet the demands of the guests.

Papa Murphy’s pizza franchise opportuntiy has contributed significantly in the past year to No Kid Hungry and the Red Cross. Tell us a little bit about how the company gives back?

Stephanie: Our owners have a longstanding tradition of being incredibly active in their local communities, whether it’s neighborhood schools or organizations. The local fundraising our franchise owners  do is phenomenal. As a national brand, we are now starting national efforts like No Kid Hungry and the Red Cross, for which we raised $96,760 for hurricane and fire disaster relief, with $70K of that coming from guests.

The No Kid Hungry fundraising drive raised $95,0000, with $50,000 from consumers. It was the first national campaign with strictly store donations. With the Red Cross, a corporate donation of $25,000 was made and the drive included store level donations. Pizza franchise opportunity, Papa Murphy’s, matched donations made by company employees. It was an impressive statement about what our owners can accomplish for the community..

How are you strengthening your virtual learning corporate and owner programs?

Stephanie: Our team has taken our in person education content and turned it into a virtual learning onboarding experience tied to where owners are in the process of their in-store training.

Owners have access to our award winning “One Bite at a Time” which is a tiered learning curriculum designed to provide learning for crew and learn the brand history, product preparations, key tenants of guest service and in store operations. Tier One which is all the skills needed for an entry-level crew member, Tier Two covers skills for a  shift leader, and Tier Three focuses on store managers with Tier Four covering skills for a store owner. The One Bite at a Time is available digitally or in hard copy to make it convenient and accessible for all owners.  We use Zapper technology which uses a code similar to QR codes to access e-learning courses. This technology has been well received by our crew members who are so familiar with accessing content on their phones.  In addition, this past year we have increased the learning investments for our internal teams supporting owners.

Bring A Pizza Franchise Opportunity to Your Community

Pizza franchise opportunity, Papa Murphy’s, is a low-cost investment opportunity offering high growth potential. Join this dynamic brand as we expand our footprint across the United States. Initial investment costs range from $286,919 to $524,205, depending on numerous factors, including geographic areas, condition of the premises, and construction costs. We have grown to more than 1,250 locations thanks to a business model built for entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a difference in their community, bringing families together, and most of all – pizza.

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