Name: Bally Brar
Number of Stores: 3
Papa John’s franchisee, Bally Brar successfully manages the Berkhamsted Papa John’s franchise. He also runs Gerrard’s Cross and has recently taken over Oxford, Marston. Bally aims to open a further five Papa John’s within the next two years.
Bally started out working for different rival firms for ten years. He went to work in the Berkhamsted Papa John’s store making pizzas for 6 weeks, before striking a deal with the former franchisee to buy the franchise.
Bally explains: “I have a background in the industry, including previously working as an area manager for another pizza firm. Having sampled the competition first hand, I knew Papa John’s pizza was second to none. Papa John’s is the only pizza chain to use only 100% fresh dough, giving a better natural flavour and a unique tomato sauce made from the best Californian tomatoes; it had me hooked! I was keen to purchase my own Papa John’s franchise one day and take advantage of the opportunities being created by the company’s rapid growth. Eventually, I completed my management training and decided to gain some hands-on experience working at the Berkhamsted Papa John’s while waiting for the right opportunity to come up and sure enough it did!
“After running Berkhamsted successfully I opened a further store in Gerrard’s Cross and more recently took over the Oxford, Marston store. I have big expectations of Oxford as it will attract university students as well as a broad demographic mix and this will be good for business.
“During my Papa John’s journey so far, all the Head office staff have been really supportive. Whatever help I have needed they are always there. The Papa John’s incentive scheme designed especially for franchisees starting up has also given me a great head start. Deals on equipment and franchisees fees mean there are more funds to invest in marketing for the new stores. This is important as I have plans to open five more over the next two years!
“The main challenge with growing rapidly is that you need a great team around you. You are only as good as your staff and this in-turn reflects on sales. I have an excellent area manager and a terrific team. From the pizza makers, to the shift managers to the drivers, everyone plays an important part when it comes to delivering the best pizza in town, day-in, day-out.
“For this reason, excellent training is essential. I take on some of the training along with my area manager. We are assisted by Papa John’s online learning system which enables staff to work through various modules to gain certification at the end. This also gives staff chance to progress their careers which is good for moral. Pizza makers can go onto become shift managers and when we open new stores we like to promote from within, so store manager vacancies become available too.
“As well as creating a great product backed up by top quality service we need to be proactive when it comes to marketing to attract new customers. Papa John’s has recently invested in several TV advertising campaigns which has really boosted awareness. As soon as customers have tasted our top quality pizza then they keep coming back for more!
“Papa John’s ‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza’ concept continues to prove popular and our customers recognise that we provide a superior product and this brings in business. Joining Papa John’s as a franchisee has exceeded all my expectations and I am very much looking forward to opening more Papa John’s in the very near future!”