How did this concept come to your mind?
We are into authentic Italian pizza. We use fresh Italian flour which is unique. The quality and taste is different, something which is not available in India in a mass way and is only available in high end restaurants.
When I was visiting Italy, I went to a restaurant there that serves wood-fired pizza. It was a very small place with a long queue and they only serve pizza and nothing else. So, then we thought why can’t we do something like this in India where people can get good quality wood-fired pizza at a reasonable price.
We spent about a year and half on research and found a consultant chef, Renato Viola, who helped us with all the recipes initially. He helped us build the concept. We wanted to keep it authentic and also to localize it according to the taste of India and based on that we developed a concept of make your own pizza, which is the first time in India. Customers can choose their own unlimited toppings. This is something which is unique and nobody has done it yet. Also it gives customers a very good value.
What are the marketing strategies you incorporate to advertise the brand?
We focus on social media because that is the best platform to connect with this generation. We try to focus where our target audience is and most of them are on social media like Instagram and Facebook. We reach out to a lot of bloggers and influencers to spread the word and awareness. We are also on platforms like Zomato and Swiggy.
Are you willing to cut prices to expand your customer base?
It depends on which city we are in. Currently, we are in multiple cities. In Mumbai the price point will be different compared to Jodhpur because the rentals and salaries are lower there. We cannot reduce the price point because at the end of the day, we have to look somewhere to make money. And the ingredients and quality we are offering, number of toppings that you can put on your pizza is equal to the amount of Rs 1000-Rs1500 you pay in Pizza Express or any other 5 star hotels for one person.
How has been the revenue growth so far?
We are actually looking at it from the brand’s growth. We have grown from the two outlets to currently having 13 locations and we are expanding further in this year by opening 10 other outlets.
How have been the footfalls?
In the first two years, it has been pretty good. But post the implementation of demonetization and GST along with all the regulations that happened two years ago has hampered the footfalls slightly. We hope that in this year from November and December, we get better footfalls. Currently the footfalls have been stagnant because of the monsoon and summer season.
You mentioned that you are on platforms like Zomato and Swiggy. How have been the order numbers there?
Zomato is one of the best platforms for delivery right now. Others are catching up. Zomato is about 70% of our sales, other contribute 20% and 10% comes from our in-house delivery platform. We are trying to pick up our in-house sales and hopefully by the end of the year, it should be 50% of our sales. We have launched our own app. Through that we are incentivizing the customers and trying to improve our sales through our app directly.
What are the ingredients you import?
We have our flour and tomatoes from Italy. Cheese comes from Ireland and everything else is local. The key ingredients, which make the taste and quality of the pizza, are being imported.
What are your expansion plans?
Currently we are in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Jodhpur. We are planning to open up three more outlets in Mumbai this year and three more in Bangalore. We are looking to expand in cities like Surat and Ahmadabad. The challenge of opening up stores in Delhi is that it is such a large place; we are looking to franchise out the stores and all these expansions are through franchise only. We need somebody who is ready to setup five outlets in Delhi. Because there are so many areas in Delhi including the NCR region, that unless you have five outlets it does not make a big impact. So we are looking for a partner who is willing to setup a large number of outlets.