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Mar 4, 2024

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Returns To Poland and Opens New York Pizza

Having lived in the United States for a long time, Marcin Sobol decided to return to his homeland and establish his own business in the form of a franchise. What did he choose?

When after 12 years of working overseas Marcin Sobol decided that he would return to Poland, he had to face the basic question: what to do after coming back? He was sure that he wanted to start his own business. However, he had no idea about what it could be. He decided to seek inspiration among franchise concepts.

“When I was still in the US, I started browsing offers from different industries,” explains Marcin Sobol. “Finally I decided on the restaurant industry. I had some previous work experience in this field but it had been a very long time ago. This is why I was counting on the support of an experienced franchiser.”

He didn’t look for premium restaurants because from the beginning he wanted to open a place with popular food, such as Chinese food or pizza. He approached the matter with professionalism, analysing both foreign and domestic markets.

“I came to the conclusion that there were still relatively few franchise pizzerias in Poland,” states Marcin Sobol. “So I started talks with franchisers in this industry. After coming back to my country, I visited different pizzerias, tasted their food, and I also talked to people running franchise restaurants.” This in-depth research resulted in him choosing the concept of the New York Pizza Department.

A Choice of Formats

The New York Pizza Department brand was launched on the market in 2009. Marcin Sobol opened his restaurant in July 2018, in the Zaspa district in his home city, Gdańsk. “Before choosing the place, I carefully looked at all available locations,” the New York Pizza Department franchisee emphasises. “I believe it is best to start a business in a city you know well. I checked each location personally, looking at the premises and the neighbourhood. Marcin Sobol decided to open a pizzeria in the express format, meaning that it was focused only on delivery orders. “First of all, the initial investment costs are lower in this model,” he underlines. “What’s more, this kind of format requires you to employ a lower number of people, and it is very difficult to find employees nowadays.”

The brand offers its franchisees a choice of four available restaurant formats. The first one is a traditional pizzeria with on-site consumption and deliveries to customers. The second format – express – is a restaurant that fulfils only delivery or takeaway orders. The third option, New York Pizza Department by Night, is intended for the franchisees who already run one of the above-mentioned concepts. They can start an additional business in the form of a restaurant that is open also at night, fulfilling delivery orders. The minimal cost of investment is 40 thousand PLN in the case of the NYPD Express format and 60 thousand PLN for a restaurant with a dining room. The last format, NYPD Express mini, is an option with a significantly reduced investment cost. It is a restaurant that can grow along with its sales, thanks to the use of modular pizza ovens. Initially, it is enough to buy only one oven compartment, and then you can add more as your business develops. In a similar way, you can gradually enlarge things such as the pizzamaker’s workplace. The franchiser estimates the minimal net cost of the investment at 30 thousand PLN. The amount of one-off initial fee depends on the format and ranges from 5 to 12 thousand PLN (net). Similarly, monthly franchise fees are different (from 0.8 to 1.5 thousand PLN).

Everything Requires Work

As Marcin Sobol admits, after opening the pizzeria there was a lot of work to do for the restaurant to achieve a satisfactory turnover.

“It never happens that you just start a business and then lie down on the sofa and count the proceeds,” the NYPD franchisee says with a smile. “I have invested and still invest in advertising, in both social media and more traditional channels, such as leaflets. Three months after the opening, I could see the results of this work, and half a year later I could say that I was really satisfied with the turnover.”

The investment in the restaurant in Gdańsk has already paid itself back. Now Marcin Sobol is preparing to open another pizzeria on one of the main streets of Sopot. Also in the express format, although it will be possible to set up an outdoor dining area in spring and summer.

“Polish people won’t get fed up with pizza for a long time,” argues Marcin Sobol. “Apart from that, I’m very satisfied with the cooperation with my franchiser, who supports me in both the openings and the daily running of my business. And this has also influenced my decision about the new investment.

Article reprinted from FRANCHISING.PL
PIATEK – 04.10.2019
By Monika Wojniak-Zylowska