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Start Your Own Pizza Business

[ 0 ] Feb. 10, 2014 | SBO Editor

pizza-studio“Make-your-own” pizza concept is top of hot casual segment.

Interested in opening your own pizza business? Here’s how: a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who spent his active duty onboard a Trident submarine, Samit Varma learned firsthand the importance of exceeding expectations while in the military.

The experience served him well, because the co-founder of The Pizza Studio, a fast-casual pizza business franchise concept, is looking to move to the forefront of one of the hottest segments in the restaurant industry.  You can join the boom and open your own pizza business.

The buzz surrounding the potential of The Pizza Studio—where guests create their own custom pizza masterpiece that is baked in minutes—is evidenced by its most recent development agreement. Studio 37, LLC, of San Jose, California, has signed a deal to develop 25 new restaurants throughout the greater San Francisco metro area. The managing member of Studio 37 is Jeff Burrill, who also serves as the managing member of Pangenera, LLC, a multi-unit developer of Panera Bread in the San Francisco Bay area. The pizza business category is booming.

Studio 37 joins a Pizza Studio franchisee roster that already includes Lloyd Sugarman, co-founder and largest franchisee of Johnny Rockets, who has committed to opening 12 restaurants in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Your Own Pizza Business

The made-to-order pizza business niche is expected to be the next hot concept in the already-hot fast-casual food segment that continually outpaces its competition in other restaurant categories. Following in the footsteps of successful build-your-own burger and Mexican concepts such as Five Guys and Chipotle, the category is already chock-full of competition.

If anyone is equipped to lead The Pizza Studio, it’s Varma and Biskin. Biskin brings the industry know-how as a senior executive with such brands as Burger King, TGI Friday’s and Baja Fresh. He was the president of Wolfgang Puck Express Licensing and president of Native Foods, a vegan restaurant chain.

Varma brings the heart and passion—he used to make his own pizzas with his siblings as a youngster in his mother’s kitchen—along with a military and business background that makes him uniquely qualified to lead The Pizza Studio.

Born on Long Island and later attending high school in Maryland, it was always Varma’s dream to attend the Naval Academy. He fulfilled this dream of having a pizza business.

“It was one of the toughest things I have ever done,” Varma said of attending the Naval Academy, whose candidates for admission must be nominated, usually by a Member of Congress. “But it taught me discipline and integrity, above all else. They are things that I value greatly today and I have implemented many of the ideals at The Pizza Studio such as attention to detail and exceeding expectations.”

While on active duty, Varma served for eight years on a Trident nuclear submarine and was on sea patrol during the September 11 attacks.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and doing post-graduate study in nuclear engineering, Varma also earned an MBA at USC. After working at a software startup, he later became a partner at one of the West Coast’s most successful venture capital firms, which has sold three companies to Google and taken several others public.

How to Open a Pizza Business

“Engineering taught me a skill set that is very important in life,” Varma said. “It teaches you how to learn very difficult material in a short period of time and how to do analysis and experimentation to derive the best answer. It was a great background for business because I apply the same fundamentals to business problems.

“I also got to see thousands of business plans and met the best and brightest entrepreneurs while working in venture capital,” Varma continued. “I learned how to grow a business from two employees to several hundred. Today I still sit on boards of some very successful tech companies and really understand what it takes to build a company and a brand.” “We spent an entire year getting every aspect of operations completely right,” Varma said. “We have a high-output system that results in a consistent product every time. Everything about the process has been tested and tried with thousands of data points…the crispness of the pizza,
the foldability, the heat, the bubbling.”

For more info on how you can open a pizza business contact info@pizzastudio.com

and visit the website www.pizzastudio.com .

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Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities May 2014