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Behind the Slice: Building Operational Efficiencies with VP of Operations, Steve Gibbs

Pizza Factory’s VP of Operations, Steve Gibbs

Behind each Pizza Factory franchisee is our robust leadership team eager to lend a helping hand. For our next Behind the Slice series, we sat down with VP of Operations Steve Gibbs to learn more about how operational advancements like the brand’s POS system benefit our franchise owners’ growth potential.

Can you tell us more about your role and how you support franchisees?

SG: My role in Operations insures the delivery of three main components: communication, operational assessments, and business reviews. As the direct connection to the franchisees, I ensure they receive all the necessary communication through weekly communications, webinars, and thorough training on new programs. Our operations Team brings the necessary resources to bare for any issue or opportunity a franchisee may encounter. Franchise Business Coaches (FBCs) along with Steve nurture strong relationships and avoid any gaps in contact.

Conducting annual visits is an important aspect of business reviews, where we evaluate restaurant performance. During these visits, we thoroughly assess systems, guest experience, safety measures and overall operations. Detailed documentation captures the restaurant’s progress and helps identify underperforming stores that require more frequent visits and support.

Operational support is also a key focus, particularly in assisting new franchisees. I oversee the new restaurant development progress, guiding them through tasks, such as securing leases, overseeing construction, conducting training, and hiring a team. I also hold weekly meetings with new franchisees to provide guidance and support throughout the process.

What role does technology play in operations? And how is Pizza Factory staying on the cutting edge?

SG: Our SpeedLine POS system is enhancing operational efficiencies at a whole new level. Having a single POS provider across our 110+ stores allows for cleaner analytics to provide clear insights for franchisees on where they have growth opportunities. With this data, franchisees can identify what days of the week have lower ticket averages, flag suspicious transactions, and can make suggested schedules based on sales revenue. It’s also a game-changer for third-party delivery. When someone places an order through a delivery service, it automatically uploads as a ticket in our system. When you have orders coming in through different avenues, it can start to feel like you’re running separate businesses, but this integration helps organize and optimize the process for our franchises.

What challenges do you see the pizza industry facing, and how is Pizza Factory overcoming those?

 SG: It used to be that you could only get pizza or Chinese food delivered. Now everything is available for delivery from every location, creating much more competition. One of our differentiators is we have in-house delivery in addition to third-party. It gives us a much better guest experience as the delivery drivers are in our uniform, trained by our restaurants. You aren’t getting the same experience with a third-party, plus we don’t have the additional fees when ordering directly through us.

How does your support continue as franchisees look to develop more restaurants?

SG: We scale our support in order to help our franchisees become growth ready. Our ultimate objective is for franchisees to achieve their goals with their initial restaurant and then continue to expand their business. As franchisees transition from a manager role to a retailer, they become brand ambassadors, who advocate for our brand and contribute to its growth. This year, we have already witnessed more internal growth, which is an encouraging sign.

What makes Pizza Factory Awesome?

SG: Our franchisees are what makes Pizza Factory Awesome, but what makes our franchisees Awesome is their ability to express themselves. Our franchise owners have much more say in how their restaurant looks, runs and feels than other concepts. Here, we let the community shine through and allow the owners to run the stores the way they like. It’s the same food and consistency, but the feel of the restaurant takes on so much of the owner.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with Pizza Factory, fill out an inquiry form, and a representative will be in touch.