Pizza Capers to grab a slice of Melbourne market, demand for pizza remains robust

Posted by James Ferre on 27th November 2008

Queensland gourmet pizza franchise Pizza Capers is set to enter the Victorian marketplace with the opening of their first store in Malvern later this month.

The 38-store strong Pizza Capers franchise recently placed amongst the Top 20 in BRW’s Fast Franchises 2008 and co-owner Scott Geiszler believes they can succeed in their first foray outside Queensland despite greater competition in the gourmet sector.

“We’re confident our pizzas will take the Melbourne dining scene by storm and satisfy the cravings of Melbourne’s culinary elite,” Mr Geiszler said. “Everyone knows Melbourne ranks itself as the ‘foodie’ capital and we are here to prove a Queensland company has got what it takes in the taste and quality stakes.”

Partners Scott Geiszler and Anthony Russo, who started the franchise with one concept store in Brisbane in 1996, said they were planning to open up to 13 stores in Victoria next year.

“We see the Victorian market as very different to Queensland as far as competition and the demand for our product,” Mr Geiszler noted. “Brisbane is dominated by the cheaper pizza chains so we’re coming into a very different territory where there are many established gourmet pizza outlets.”

“The Melbourne pizza industry is one of the toughest to compete in but we have a great business model in place, strong customer and franchisee demand, and our long-term vision set,” he added. “This is our first step in bringing the Pizza Capers brand to Victoria and it’s an exciting and challenging opportunity to present Melbourne’s foodies with a new concept in gourmet pizza.”

Mr Geiszler indicated that another one or two stores would open in Melbourne before the end of the year, with plans to operate a network of 100 stores nationally within two years.

Mr Geiszler said Pizza Capers was largely unaffected by the global financial crisis, with demand for convenient meals remain robust. “The downturn in the economy hasn’t affected our business a great deal,” he advised. “Our sales are down from earlier in the year but we are still tracking higher like-for-like to last year. We are also continually receiving inquiries from people interested in opening a franchise.”

“We’ve served 1.3 million take-away and delivery pizzas since January this year which is a massive increase considering we usually sell about 1 million pizzas in an entire year.”