New CEO reveals Four Star Pizza growth plans

Four Star Pizza CEO Colin Hughes, director of marketing Sean Scott and director of operations Ciara Kellett

Irish pizza chain targets 45 new stores and 900 jobs in next three years

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26 July 2022 | 0

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Four Star Pizza’s new CEO Colin Hughes has revealed plans to open 45 new stores and create 900 new jobs on the island of Ireland over the next three years.

The Irish-owned pizza chain, established in 1986, currently operates 42 outlets in the Republic of Ireland and 14 in Northern Ireland but Hughes, and a new senior management team, have set their sights on bringing the total number of FSP stores to more than 100 by 2025.

With a wealth of senior executive experience for a host of major hospitality-based companies, Northern Ireland-born Hughes took over the role of CEO for Four Star Pizza (Ireland) in January this year.

Areas for growth identified

Following a root-and-branch review of Four Star’s business, he has identified several areas for growth, setting a target to open an additional 27 stores in the Republic and a further 18 in the North.

The proposed timeframe for this expansion includes the opening of four new stores this year with a further 16 in 2023 and 25 more in 2024.

An average of 20 jobs per store will see the company create a total of more than 900 new jobs during this period.

“Our ultimate goal is for virtually everyone in Ireland, north and south, to have access to a local Four Star Pizza outlet, and the road to achieving that has already started,” Hughes said.

“From the outset, my priority was to carry out a full review of the business and speak to each and every one of our valued franchisees, who have been amazing in helping me understand the many facets and challenges of running one of the country’s biggest franchisee networks,” he added.

Best year to date in 2021

Despite “a perfect storm” in the wider business environment amid the war in Ukraine and cost-of-living crisis, Hughes said that “the frontline feedback from our franchisee base remains positive with sales volumes and average transaction spends holding up well”.

“The good news, from a Four Star Pizza point of view,” he added, “is that we are operating from a position of strength, having just enjoyed our best year to date in 2021*, and having carried out a data-driven location analysis of our business, I am very excited at the potential to grow the business across many areas, not least geographically.”

Aside from company expansion, Hughes has targeted a number of other areas to accelerate Four Star’s forward momentum and continue improving the quality of its products and services to customers.

These include a focus on franchisee training, quality control, menu improvements, new product development and innovation, brand refreshment, store refurbishments, delivery options, enhancing the company’s digital proposition and – crucially – securing all-important supply chains which have been significantly impacted by global events.

With global supply chains under pressure, Hughes added: “One of the most important aspects of my role to date has been to review our supply chains and work with our key suppliers to ensure continuity of supply across all products, including flour, cheese, proteins and packaging.”

Currently, the company is engaged in a proactive campaign to identify new store locations and recruit potential franchisees.

Franchise opportunities

According to Hughes, interested parties do not need any previous pizza experience as Four Star Pizza will provide all the necessary training in food preparation, accounts, customer service, delivery and marketing.

“In just a few months you could own a brand new business, built around a highly successful model and with all the support you need from a team of business experts to help you to recruit, manage, grow and thrive in your chosen town or city,” Hughes said.

“Even if someone is currently running another franchise but is thinking of a change, we would encourage them to get in touch to hear about our exciting plans,“ he added.

Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Four Star Pizza franchisee can do so on https://fourstarpizza.ie/franchisee-opportunity/ or by sending an introductory email to info@fourstarpizza.ie, or calling the company on 01 7037300.

*(Source: 2021 was a record year for Four Star Pizza in Ireland with a year-on-year sales increase of 21.5%, driven largely by a jump of 25% in online orders made via the company’s own website and app.  Own Channel online orders now account for almost 42% per cent of all sales. Four Star Pizza’s ‘Rewards’ loyalty programme also played a significant role in driving sales with a 60% redemption rate in loyalty points across its 300,000+ membership).

 

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