In this exclusive Q&A, we learn more about the PizzaForno licensing opportunity from Les Tomlin, the company’s co-founder and president.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is PizzaForno? Can you share more about your founding story and growth throughout North America?
Les Tomlin (LT): PizzaForno was founded in 2018 by myself and fellow Canadian entrepreneur William Moyer. PizzaForno is North America’s only automated pizzeria, producing gourmet artisanal pizzas in less than three minutes. Accessible 24/7 at the tap of a digital screen, PizzaForno offers a selection of innovative menu options, each made fresh, with an authentic approach. We utilize robotic technology made popular in France by ADIAL and exclusively own all North American distribution rights for the technology.
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PizzaForno is continually growing in Canada and has recently expanded into the U.S. We currently have 29 operating locations, including our newest locations in Michigan and Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto, with an additional 88 locations on order to be installed across North America.
FC: How does the concept utilize top-tier technology to offer a low-touch and digital consumer experience that is the future of the food industry?
LT: We are very much a ‘tech-forward’ food brand. We have made sure to acquire proprietary technology that allows our licensees to operate seamlessly and provides consumers with a delicious and engaging pizza buying experience. Our PizzaForno automated pizzerias bring innovative food technology to the pizza industry. With the current state of the world, many are searching for rapid, low-touch, and high-quality options that they can get at any time of day; we offer the consumer that exact option.
Additionally, PizzaForno is currently working on an app that will allow customers to order an artisanal pizza directly from their phone and send the order to the nearest location – making the experience close to contactless. This innovative app is slated to be rolled out in the U.S. later this year.
PizzaForno has also implemented top-tier technology to stay digitally connected and managed. It offers web-enabled and real time sales data, inventory management, and mechanical trouble shooting. Each unit can be easily tracked with a smart phone or tablet to ensure our pizzas are always fresh and in-stock.
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FC: What benefits does the automated pizza oven offer to promote convenience, innovation, safety, and sustainability for potential licensees?
LT: Not only is the pizza industry constantly evolving, but low-touch options are currently in-demand; especially as dine-in pizza options have declined due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Our licensees have access to a turnkey business opportunity and are taking advantage by becoming early adopters in the high-demand US market.
With 24/7 profit potential and the small square-footage requirement (only about 80 square feet – the size of a parking spot), licensees have the option to scale their business operations quickly and efficiently. Essentially once the pizza oven is assembled, licensees can usually start operating within four to six hours – however, we do recommend allowing a two-week test period.
In terms of operations, our pizza ovens are streamlined in such a way that makes oversight easy. They’re located in a standard location for easy re-stocking and they can be cleaned and managed by only one or two people.
FC: What does the quick, three-minute process look like to prepare and deliver freshly-baked artisanal pizza with the touch of a couple buttons?
LT: Our automated pizza ovens are open 24/7 and provide customers with a freshly baked, artisanal pizza in three minutes. We offer pizza options that are low-touch and completely interactive with just the tap of a digital screen. Our quick ordering process consists of choosing your variety of pizza from the eight available, tapping your card or phone, and that’s it – your pizza starts baking right away. The pizza is transferred from the refrigerated side of the PizzaForno unit to the proprietary convection oven and delivered to the customer in under three minutes.
In terms of long-term growth, especially during a global pandemic, we have to stay innovative to keep our customers safe while also offering an efficient, gourmet food option.
FC: What is the virtual training and support that licensees receive to operate their unit(s) seamlessly from anywhere?
LT: We have implemented a quick and effective training program for licensees utilizing a mobile resource and training app which provides everything they’ll need to operate their unit(s) with ease. The technology that we’ve come to offer our licensees allows easy access to measuring temperature, inventory lists, product freshness, gross revenue, net revenue, technical issues, etc. from anywhere in the world.
FC: How can prospective licensees learn more about the PizzaForno business opportunity in the U.S.?
LT: To learn more about PizzaForno and its licensing opportunities, please visit our website.