Pizza Capers to ramp up in regional areas with new assistance package

Retail Food Group is offering assistance packages to franchisees who take on a Pizza Capers store in selected areas, as it seeks to ramp up its presence in regional Queensland and NSW.


Pizza Capers, acquired by Retail Food Group for $30 million in February, has built up a loyal following for its gourmet offerings, with more than 100 outlets across Australia and Singapore.


It was founded in 1996 by Anthony Russo and Scott Geiszler, who recognised the need for change in the pizza market.


The duo opened their first store in the Brisbane suburb of Kenmore before opening another in a nearby area one year later. Over the next 10 years, the company opened 10 stores in Queensland.


Russo and Geiszler introduced a franchising model in 2005 and continued to build the brand nationally and internationally before its acquisition by RFG.


Now, RFG has launched an assistance package for new Pizza Capers franchisees, although the packages are only available in selected areas.


“The areas we have the assistance package available are Ballina, Lismore, Grafton, Cairns, Innisfail and Chinchilla,” corporate communications manager Sarah Broad told StartupSmart.


Ballina, Lismore and Grafton are located in NSW, while Cairns, Innisfail and Chinchilla are located in Queensland.


The assistance package includes a combination of financial capital as well as on-the-job training and support, although it’s unknown how much the package is worth. No previous business experience is required.


According to Broad, the package is part of RFG’s “manage to own” funding facility, dismissing the suggestion there is a recruitment issue within the Pizza Capers network.


“There’s no issue… In fact, we have experienced record franchisee enquiry and conversion this year,” Broad said.


“Rather, this just gives potential franchisees – who might not be able to get their own funding –the opportunity to still pursue their own business.”


RFG’s QSR managing director Michael Logos said in a statement that the franchising format is proving more popular as people become increasingly disheartened about their job prospects and the state of the economy.


“Tough economic conditions and a tight job market are both factors driving the growth in franchising,” he said.


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