This article is brought to you by Hunt Brothers Pizza.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—On a typical day, about one in eight Americans eats pizza. That makes pizza production a big business, generating an estimated $41 billion in revenue last year, reports IBIS World. With 7,800 convenience outlets in 30 states offering the turn-key Hunt Brothers Pizza program, a lot of the pies being consumed are a Hunt Brothers Pizza product.
Gunter Oil of Birmingham, Ala., added Hunt Brothers Pizza to a single convenience store in 2004, and “it was an immediate success,” said Sonya Young, director of retail and marketing for Gunter. Today nine locations sell the Hunt Brothers Pizza brand, and Gunter plans to add it in two more stores within the next year.
Known for their trademarked “All toppings no extra charge” value offering, the Hunt Brothers Pizza program is designed to produce tasty pizzas made with fresh ingredients, which can be customized and prepared in front of customers or heated and held hot in a grab-and-go box. To enhance the store menu, Hunt Brothers Pizza runs LTOs on a quarterly basis and offers a wing program.
“For nearly 30 years, Hunt Brothers Pizza has continually perfected the turn-key system, eliminating 90% of the prep time and waste by delivering pies to the store pre-topped with sauce and cheese. The system also eliminates waste by being perfectly portioned every time.”
“The company provides portion cups and marked cutting boards that make execution foolproof, so the program is simple to execute, even when we only have one cashier on duty,” Young said. “And because the product is quick to assemble and get in the oven and simple to package and display once it is cooked, we can stay fully stocked, even when operating with minimal staff.”
Hunt Brothers Pizza assigns each store a dedicated account manager who makes weekly visits, trains new store employees on-site, posts training materials inside the store and provides online videos for retraining, when necessary. Account managers also manage all POS, counsel the store team and have been known to help bake pizzas and assist with sampling. However, Hunt Brothers Pizza doesn’t charge extra for the account managers’ time and doesn’t charge franchisee, advertising or marketing fees.
Having a consistent foodservice program is important to c-store success. In fact, foodservice represented 21.89% of in-store sales in 2019, according to the 2019 NACS State of the Industry Report. Many store operators hesitate to add foodservice because of limited food-prep space, but Hunt Brothers Pizza can set up an efficient, compact pizza shoppe in as little as 59 square feet.
“The pizza shoppe size varies significantly from store to store. In some retrofits, we’ve had to put the oven in the back room and the warmer on a deli island. Other stores have a fully constructed shoppe in full view of the customers,” said Young. “Hunt Brothers Pizza is always incredibly accommodating in working with us to find a solution.”
This is the second installment of a two-part series about turn-key pizza programs in convenience stores. Read the first installment in the August 17 edition of NACS Daily.