Pizza Pizza Serves Up Site Selection Success Using Location Intelligence to Pursue Further Expansion in Canada

By Paul Thompson

In today's very competitive market, organizations in the retail, restaurant and real estate sectors need to develop successful strategies to open more stores quickly in the optimal locations. They must do this while also figuring out how to minimize sales cannibalization between stores and constantly evaluate which stores to close and which to renovate.

Site selection mistakes can be very costly and compromise an organization's strategic positioning within a market. With location intelligence, a combination of sophisticated data, software and expert consulting services, retailers and restaurants have the tools to gain the most value from location-based information and make smarter, more profitable business decisions.

Ontario's #1 Pizza
With nearly one in three pizzas sold in Ontario coming from Pizza Pizza, this 40-year-old Canadian pizza chain has truly earned its title as "Ontario's #1 Pizza." The franchise has more than 350 traditional stores and 175 alternate format restaurants, which can be found at such atypical restaurant locations as universities and colleges, and points of interest, such as the Air Canada Centre and Paramount Canada's Wonderland.

The key to Pizza Pizza's four-decade history of success is its strong brand, which is built on quality franchise partners, effective leadership, rigorous focus on quality, fresh ingredients, customer service and convenience, and community involvement. Pizza Pizza truly appreciates its loyal customers, which is evident in every facet of the company ethos.

Finding the Pizza Lovers
With its multi-year "reimaging" initiative now complete, including the upgrade of selected restaurant interiors, cooking capacity and décor, Pizza Pizza is turning more of its attention to the expansion phase as it identifies and sets up operations in new trade areas. Pizza Pizza decided that investing in new Pitney Bowes MapInfo location intelligence software, data and consulting services was necessary to achieve its expansion goals. To better understand the neighborhoods in which Pizza Pizza franchises are currently located, as well as open new restaurants in new trade areas, the company needed a close working relationship with Pitney Bowes MapInfo real estate and marketing consultants, more sophisticated software tools, and an upgrade to its basic geography solutions with more research and demographic tools.

Pizza Pizza harnesses the power of location intelligence on multiple levels. Primarily, the restaurant chain turned to location intelligence solutions because it wanted a complete view of what was happening on the ground. As a company founded on an exceptionally strong delivery network, Pizza Pizza has a wealth of consumer purchasing and location information. Millions of transactions are captured and handled through the call centers and detailed information is available for analysis. Knowing where customers live or work is critical in effectively serving them.

Aside from delivering hot, fresh pizza to the right people in a timely manner, this information - transaction history with geocoded addresses - is a gold mine for business analytics. Knowing the types of food preferences, the purchase frequency and value of each consumer is also important in defining and evaluating franchise territories. People consume products in different amounts depending on life stage, income, ethnicity, family structure, dual income earners and proximity to alternative food choices. By diving into the vast amount of consumer data using AnySite, a Pitney Bowes MapInfo solution, to report on the composition of their delivery zones, Pizza Pizza has been able to combine disparate data sources into actionable insight. The company now knows how many delivery sales will be generated in new delivery zones. Pizza Pizza is also moving with confidence into new areas because they know the pizza lovers are there and they have a proven formula to service them effectively.

Pizza Pizza can create highly detailed maps and reports to aid in decision making, reveal patterns and trends in data that may otherwise go unseen, perform extensive data analysis, and understand customer and marketplace demographics better. A focused service engagement jump-started Pizza Pizza on the road to better understanding the geodemographic and location aspects that drive their business. The result was gaining an understanding that proximity still matters in a delivery business, that certain neighborhood types consume more pizza per capita than others and that constantly refreshing the "view of the customer" is important in tracking new product adoption and monitoring the health of new restaurants and delivery zones. Pitney Bowes MapInfo consultants assisted Pizza Pizza with anticipating real estate expansion hurdles, helping to grow the chain with confidence.

Leveraging Location Intelligence to the Fullest
Location intelligence permeates every facet of Pizza Pizza by providing its real estate, franchising and sales departments access to demographic analysis on specific site locations, as well as facilitating the integration of its own proprietary sales data and market analysis information from MapInfo PSYTE Canada Advantage. PSYTE is a geodemographic segmentation system that classifies neighborhoods into mutually exclusive lifestyle groups or "clusters" based on select geodemographic metrics and indicators of consumer behavior. Associated departments can now quickly identify areas to develop and where to build to reach their best potential.

Pizza Pizza's expansion strategy involves more than just the identification and setting up of new restaurant locations. Marketing, sales and franchisee partners all benefit from Pizza Pizza's use of location intelligence. For example, sales analyses facilitated by Pitney Bowes MapInfo software enable Pizza Pizza to optimize its network of restaurants, helping franchisee partners to better serve customers within their trade areas and become more profitable. Location intelligence has helped Pizza Pizza to learn that the population density found in smaller trade areas can prove more lucrative to franchisees than seemingly larger neighborhoods. As any restaurant concept grows, trade areas contract. This is due primarily to servicing these customers more effectively through shorter delivery times and top-of-mind market presence.

As major retailers and restaurants continue to face the need to attain constant year-over-year, quarter-over-quarter growth, Pizza Pizza exemplifies how using location intelligence at the core of real estate and overall business planning processes provides solid research that supports smarter, more profitable decision making.

Published Friday, May 16th, 2008

Written by Paul Thompson

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