Papa Murphy’s isn’t a brand that grows throughout the country just for the sake of growing. For this West Coast-based brand, development is tactical, and it starts with expanding in areas already familiar with its unique take ‘n’ bake pizza concept.
Which is why, as Papa Murphy’s pushes forward on a Midwestern expansion, it’s now targeting Central Missouri to open additional shops. To date, there are Papa Murphy’s in Columbia and one in Jefferson City, both of which have already proven to be a popular option for local families. Based on that success, Papa Murphy’s is aiming to open four additional locations in Columbia in the next two years. There are currently 18 Papa Murphy’s stores in the St. Louis area—with two more under development—and a total of 74 in Missouri with six in development.
“We already have a strong presence in Central Missouri. And in the past, we’ve found that successful growth comes easiest when we expand in and saturate existing markets. Based on that factor alone, we believe there’s a lot of untapped potential for Papa Murphy’s in Columbia,” said Gary Payne, Papa Murphy’s vice president of franchise sales. “Then, when you consider our unique and high quality product and simple operations model, it really creates the perfect storm for our brand in Missouri.”
Dave and Jeanie Burgess helped to pioneer the brand’s growth in Missouri after opening the first Papa Murphy’s store in Columbia in 2001. Since then, they have opened three more in Columbia and Jefferson City. And according to Dave, he believes the brand will continue to thrive in the area because of the unique meal offering it brings to the table.
“The ability to grab and go while still getting a quality product is important to the company and, increasingly, to consumers. That’s why we decided to invest in the brand—people these days want great food, and they want it to be convenient. Papa Murphy’s offers the best of both worlds,” Dave said. “We’re offering busy families a solution to their dinnertime dilemmas.”
The expansion in Columbia is also part of Papa Murphy’s new Growth Market Development Incentive Program—an initiative designed to encourage continued penetration in key territories throughout the United States through discounted franchise fees. By developing in an important existing market like Columbia—one of Papa Murphy’s 80 designated marketing areas—potential franchisees will be offered a franchisee fee of $25,000 per store, plus a five percent royalty payment and another two percent for an advertising fund. If someone wants to develop more than one franchise, the fee would reduce to $20,000, along with a one-year abatement on royalties.
“By continuing on this development path, we’re optimistic that the brand can eventually triple in size. We’re built on a simple business model with a strong value proposition, and we’re confident that further expansion in existing markets like Columbia will be the key to our success,” Payne said.