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Franchise Expo reveals exclusive Q&A's '1 year on' with Papa John's UK Development Director Jon Mott. Find out Jon's background into joining Papa John's and plans for growth and expansion.
1. Give us a brief overview of your role and day-to-day activities?
In one word varied! As a company we now have more than 400 Papa John’s stores throughout the UK. We have ambitious targets for further growth and so the focus of my role is implementing our strategy to achieve continued strong development over the next few years. Recruiting the very best candidates to manage our growing network of franchised stores is an important part of these expansion plans.
We aim to develop strong relationships with our franchisees. By broadening and deepening our understanding of their goals, we can help them bring their ambitions of growing a portfolio of successful outlets to fruition with a clear pathway. One pathway to growth is through a multi-store deal over 3 years and so working closely together in relation to business planning and trade area reservation is an important part of our role as a franchisor.
I also oversee our franchise support teams who are dedicated to help make the process of joining Papa John’s as smooth as possible. For example: this involves working with our in-house construction team who search and select suitable store locations, manage the detailed planning permission and legal processes, plus implement the store fit-out on behalf of our franchisees to ensure store openings can happen as quickly and efficiently as possible.
2. How did you become involved with Papa John’s?
I am a chartered surveyor by profession and previously worked for a consulting firm that looked after Papa John’s outsourced site-finding and construction. I was originally recruited to bring this function in-house seven years ago. The rest, as they say, is history!
3. What was your background prior to joining Papa John’s?
Prior to joining Papa John’s in the summer of 2012, I spent six years at Colliers International – Papa John’s preferred property consultants.
4. What would you say are the biggest challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
One of our greatest challenges is recruiting the very best franchisees. We have many applications from individuals interested in running stores however, we are looking for the most ambitious people who share our values of providing the best quality product and service to our growing customer base. Good communicators who are organised, prepared to work hard and can motivate a team are those that become the most successful multi-store operators and we always welcome applications from individuals with these qualities, regardless of their experience or background.
We also face a few regulatory issues relating to property. Gaining the necessary A5 planning permission for stores can be a challenging and time-consuming process! However, our hugely experienced and dedicated team manage this on behalf of our franchisees ensuring any issues are ironed out early, so franchisees can focus on the day-to-day running of their businesses.
Rising capital costs are a continual challenge. However, when we benchmark against our competitors we can keep our costs anything up to 15% below comparable business models. Our in-house team negotiate favourable leases, fixed costs from suppliers and bulk-buy so these procurement savings are passed onto our franchisees which all helps support their bottom line.
5. Do you have a mentor or someone you use for inspiration?
Clive Woodward, England Rugby World Cup Winning Coach. He believed in adding focus to the finer details of the jigsaw which then build into the bigger picture.
6. What are your current plans to grow the company?
Growth is the life-blood of any company and we have ambitious targets for UK development through increased store numbers. Therefore, Papa John’s has opportunities for franchisees throughout the UK. We look after location selection and offer franchisees full turn-key opening of stores. We supply all the assistance and training needed to get a successful Papa John’s up and running. In addition, to help franchisees opening new stores we are currently running a special incentive scheme which offers deals on equipment, fees plus help with marketing. There is no-better time to join Papa John’s!
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