This article is brought to you by Hunt Brothers Pizza.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Hunt Brothers Pizza is celebrating a milestone in 2021—30 years of providing a high-quality, turnkey branded foodservice program to the convenience store industry.
It was 1991 when the four Hunt brothers from Evansville, Indiana—Don, Charlie, Jim and Lonnie—combined their foodservice experience and launched the Hunt Brothers Pizza brand. Three decades later, their pizzas can be purchased in more than 8,000 outlets across 30 states, as well as in five other countries via partnerships with the U.S. military.
From its beginning, Hunt Brothers Pizza pledged to “be a blessing to people,” according to the company website, and over the past three decades, it has perfected a comprehensive, scalable program that eliminates 90% of pizza prep time. That time savings is a blessing for the operators of busy c-stores, sports venues, campgrounds and other outlets who pay no franchising, advertising or marketing fees for the program. The blessing to consumers comes in the form of hot, tasty pizzas, each one made with fresh ingredients and with the choice of 10 toppings at no extra charge.
Offering the Hunt Brothers Pizza program helped Wayne Gardner, owner of Mankato Express in Mankato, Kansas, grow his business. “The day we reopened our store with Hunt Brothers Pizza, we sold 85 pizzas in a town of 850 people,” said Gardner, who has been a retail partner for 25 years. “People love Hunt Brothers Pizza and have shown their support for us and the product.”
The Hunt Brothers Pizza program is simple to execute and can operate successfully in as little as 59 square feet. But the company doesn’t set up the program and then leave. Hunt Brothers Pizza assigns each retail partner a dedicated account manager, who makes weekly visits, trains new store employees on-site, coaches the store team and ensures that free marketing materials are installed at each location. Account managers have been known to bake pizzas, assist with sampling and promote the program to neighborhood businesses.
“Dennis Woody is our account manager,” said Lee Harrill, owner of Drop In Food Stores in Forest City, North Carolina. “He looks after us. He’ll make special trips if we run low. He’ll do anything for us.”
“On our 30th anniversary, we want to thank our retail partners who have been a blessing to their communities all these years. We would be nothing without them having the faith to allow us to supply them with our pizza program, and they have been the reason the company has grown beyond our wildest dreams,” said Bryan Meng, COO, Hunt Brothers Pizza. “We bring them pizza, but their partnerships turn our pizza into something more.”
This is the first installment of a two-part series on turnkey pizza programs in convenience stores. Click here for more information about Hunt Brothers Pizza.