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Different Interior Designs
While the product has been developed for consistency throughout the Project Pie system, the design of the units has less standardization, skipping the cookie-cutter approach most franchises use to be sure the look and experience are the same across the board. Markham has left room for each unit to have some of its own personality with an interior decor designed to match the character of an existing building, so that it has the feel of a neighborhood pizza joint that has been in existence for many years.
Franchisees choose from four different designs that have been described as “vintage industrial,” incorporating such things as local lumber, subway tile, black-and-white photography of local people and landmarks, and industrial lighting. Of course, the stone hearth oven and the menu (written on the wall) are standard fixtures.
“It feels more like an independent, one-off restaurant,” Markham said. “We don’t have this set design that you only have to follow.”
Such individuality can be seen in just about everything that Project Pie does. For example, it uses a playful font in its logo and on its website, which features its own Project Pie radio station with songs picked by Markham and staff members.
According to Owen, the total investment necessary to begin operation of a Project Pie restaurant in a traditional venue is $450,000 to $533,000, recently adjusted figures for a soon-to-be updated Franchise Disclosure Document. The current FDD puts costs for a nontraditional venue at $294,500 to $413,500. The initial franchise fee is $35,000. Store sizes are intended to be between 1,800 to 2,400 square feet.