Our menu features more than 55 ingredients for customers to choose from for their panini or pizza. When people walk in for the first time, they are stunned. With so many choices, they may not know what to do, so this is a great opportunity to help them by asking them what kinds of flavours they like. The signature items can also guide them toward interesting combinations. There is an entire interaction in developing the order and building it for them, which creates a memorable customer experience and builds loyalty and retention.
The franchisors are also open to comments and feedback. They know we’ll have to evolve the menu slightly in the future. We’re already starting to introduce soups and we’ll bring in new ingredients along the way as we grow.
My typical workday is bananas! I’m on call 24-7. I wake up at 6 a.m., hit the gym and spend some time with my daughter. Then I’m off to work at the 911 centre. At lunch, I head down to the restaurant for several hours. If there is an emergency, I can quickly bike back to the 911 centre.
In any case, I work at the 911 centre again in the afternoon and then get back to the restaurant around 4 or 5 p.m. and stay until it closes 10 p.m. I’ve even kept it open as late as 11:30 p.m.; people downtown seem to eat dinner a lot later than your average suburban family!
I’m now starting to take Sundays off, as I have hired a shift manager, and I can leave the restaurant earlier at night. I was aware what my hours would be like before I opened my restaurant and was prepared for the initial workload. At the end of the day, you reap what you sow!
The next franchises
I plan to go multi-unit with Pannizza. Depending on how my first franchise does, I’ll open a second one within six months to a year. I’m starting to look at locations already, debating whether to stay downtown or go closer to home. Eventually, my goal is to own at least four Pannizza restaurants.
Eric Boulet is a Montreal franchisee for Pannizza, covering the Sherbrooke West territory. For more information, contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date of first franchise: 2014
Franchise/corporate units in Canada: 7
Investment range: $175,000 – $225,000
Initial franchise fee: $15,000