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Meet the Franchisor: Pat Finelli of Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza wants to make a difference in the lives of Canadians and works hard to raise funds for many charities.

50 years strong
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pizza Pizza and, as the chain looks back on its early years, it’s hard not to be humbled by its growth.

“We were first a delivery chain, started by Michael Overs in 1967, and evolved into a model where customer could also walk in to order their pizza,” explains Finelli. “We’ve moved from delivering pepperoni pizza to offering over 50 toppings and many add-ons across more than 700 locations.”

Pizza Pizza has always been about innovation, convenience and customer service, boasts Finelli. It has also raised the stakes when it comes to tech use.

In 2011, Pizza Pizza won a Webby Award, a prestigious international web-based award recognizing online excellence, for its innovative iPhone app.

“Technology keeps Pizza Pizza moving forward and we’re doing the best we can to stay ahead of the game,” says Finelli.

As the franchise system gears up for its anniversary celebrations, Finelli is a little coy as to what customers can look forward to, but he teases it’s going to be great.

“We’re going to have lots of fun stuff happening throughout the year,” he says. “Giveaways, prizes and promotions and so much more are starting
this spring.”

Future focused
What can be said about the man who has been the face of Pizza Pizza for more than 30 years? Well, it’s safe to say he still loves pizza!

“I like pepperoni, mushrooms and extra cheese on my pizza,” Finelli laughs. “Some days, I’ll add pineapple, hot peppers or chicken with Buffalo or Sriracha sauce if we’re testing it that day. I guess you can say I just love food.”

Looking ahead, Finelli is excited about what he sees. He hopes to grow the chain to 1,000 franchises and be present in every province across Canada and maybe even further abroad.

“It’s a great balance between making franchisees and customers happy and it’s exciting to be part of it,” he says. “I know we will continue to deliver.”

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