In the modern restaurant industry, oversaturation and the arrival of new revenue streams have forced operators to learn to adapt at a rapid pace not only to survive but to thrive. Of course, one of those additions that has exploded in the last few years is delivery. According to QSR Magazine, six out of 10 adults are more likely to get their food delivered now compared to pre-COVID. And, if a restaurant takes delivery orders online, revenue is projected to increase by 12.2% in 2022.
For many restaurants, delivery wasn’t worth the investment pre-pandemic. But, for the pizza world, delivery has been a cornerstone for decades. At Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream, delivery is part of their DNA. As a matter of fact, one franchise group has taken delivery to whole new level and reaped the benefits from their efforts. In fact, the franchise group owns and operates the highest-volume traditional dine-in Happy Joe’s and highest-volume delivery and carryout locations in the entire system and attributes a good portion of their successful business to their all-in focus on doing delivery “Best in Class.”
The highly successful team of Dan Boland, Darryl Schmitt and Mark Schmitt has been with Happy Joe’s for over 40 years and discussed their franchisee journey and how they have incorporated their own fleet of delivery vehicles and maintenance of those vehicles into their Happy Joe’s venture:
Could you give me a quick background on your professional backgrounds and experiences that lead you to own several Happy Joe’s restaurants?
MS: Well, prior to Happy Joe’s, we all had zero restaurant experience. But that was over 40 years ago. Darryl and I (brothers) were familiar with the brand because our other two brothers previously worked at Happy Joe’s, but we worked on a farm before entering the business with Dan, who also comes from a physical labor background.
DB: My wife, Becky, actually worked at Happy Joe’s in high school. I came along a few years later as a delivery boy, but between 1978 and 1983, we all found our way to the pizza and party paradise.
Why does Happy Joe’s stand out from its competitors?
DS: I would say the brand’s dedication and commitment to its values and the area it serves makes it stand out. Happy Joe’s puts an emphasis on forming relationships with the local community and other small businesses in the area. Happy Joe’s franchisees also show a lot of respect and support for the local schools, police departments, fire departments and hospitals, making sure they are well known around town. We’ve heard guests say they came back to their hometown after being gone for five, 10, 20 years and gone straight to Happy Joe’s — before even going to see family! That type of customer loyalty and relationship is earned, not given.
You all currently operate and own the highest volume, traditional dine-in Happy Joe’s in the entire system. Can you tell me what factors have contributed the most to the success of this restaurant?
MS: I believe the first factor is that we want to continue the legacy of Happy Joe’s and the foundation that was put before us. We also have a commitment to quality, and we truly believe the pizza we serve is the best pizza around. We take pride in our pizza and our great service. Since day one, we learned how to serve people as best as we can, and it’s been ingrained in each one of our team members ever since.
You all also operate the highest-volume delivery and carryout location systemwide. What are some benefits of establishing your own fleet of delivery vehicles?
DB: We created our own fleet of 18-20 delivery vehicles in 1985. We also provide an automotive support center to make sure the vehicles are always in excellent driving condition while looking easy on the eyes, too!
DS: We’re very lucky to have a great relationship with the service center right next to our Dubuque location, and we always make sure that our drivers are never overloaded with deliveries in one trip. We want our pizzas to arrive hot and ready to eat on our customers’ doorsteps. Everyone in the community knows that we are the go-to, fast and reliable pizza delivery service in the community, and that is a reputation we earned through dedication to that side of the business. We believe that our delivery cars are the best marketing tool we have. They are like moving billboards, and we need them to look good and to operate in perfect condition.
To learn more about Happy Joe’s successful franchises, visit HappyJoes.com or follow Happy Joe’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about Happy Joe’s franchise opportunities, email Kat Davidson at KatD@drhnow.com or call 678.485.8413.
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