portrait of a La Boite à Pizza franchisee
In June 2021, Lea Deschamps and Jean-Pierre Rafoux next Bergerac’s Pizza Box who has been in business since 2013. Two young entrepreneurs, aged 25 and 30 respectively, look back on their entrepreneurial adventures which were not always easy, but which have now become total successes.
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Business creation project as a couple
Léa Deschamps and Jean-Pierre Raffoux have complementary profiles. pure catering products, Jean-Pierre Rafoux has been head chef for various traditional catering establishments, in gourmet restaurants or even in brasseries. Pizza Box was his first experience in fast food. Lea Deschamps, meanwhile, has commercial experience. In search of more stability in their personal lives, this young couple wants to combine their skills to achieve a business creation project.
In 2019, they learned that the manager of La Boite à Pizza de Bergerac was planning to sell the restaurant. They decided to take this chance. “The former manager is an acquaintance, said Jean-Pierre Raffoux. When he told me about his plans to sell, we decided to go for it. I had left recovery shortly before due to time constraints that didn’t fit a family life. Unlike traditional catering, at fast food, you can get a right way of life, with well defined hours. »
Recovery disrupted by the health crisis
Hence, initially, he was hired as a store manager with the aim of making the necessary contributions for the redemption of the fund. But the health crisis in 2020 will derail this project. Although fast food is profiting from this crisis by taking advantage of customer transfers from the classic catering industry, no bank follows them in their project.
“The problem is fast food and classic food have the same NAF code, explained Jean-Pierre Raffoux. Our files are systematically rejected without even being studied. We have surveyed many banks for over a year before finding someone who wanted to follow us. We also have the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads with ever-increasing turnover and therefore goodwill that increases in value. »
In June 2021, nearly two years after taking office, Jean-Pierre Raffoux finally saw his project come to fruition. The couple can then move forward and implement actions to grow their business. Their priority is to improverestaurant image. “Our biggest challenge is to restore the reputation of the restaurant which was degraded by the old team. Bergerac is a small town where everything is known quickly, as much as the good and the bad, even worse than the good. We had to start from scratch regarding the image of the restaurant and it was quite complicated because La Boîte à Pizza has been in Bergerac for almost 10 years. »
La Boite à Pizza Bergerac Revival
Therefore, the pair completely renewed the team and formed a new one organization inspired by traditional catering to optimize production in the kitchen and guarantee deadlines. “In classic catering, we have quite a military organization, in terms of travel, production areas, etc., explained Jean-Pierre Raffoux. With our new team and this new organization, we can now ensure deadlines 15 minutes for pick up and 30 minutes for delivery. When other businesses advertise one hour delays it makes all the difference. »
Of course they are also working oncustomer acceptancein particular by doing development work at the point of sale. “We remodeled the whole room, changing furniture and lighting, to really show that there had been a change. »
Eventually, they expanded their commercial offering and entered into several partnerships. “We are located right next to the high school. To attract these customers, we have prepared a special formula for €7.95 for a medium pizza and a drink. One of profits from the La Boite à Pizza franchise is to allow us to tailor promotions to our liking. This is one of our first commercial actions. After that, word of mouth, facts use fresh produce on our pizza or meet the deadline do the rest. »
Gradually, La Boite à Pizza de Bergerac improved its image, mainly because the couple did not skimp on trying to make themselves known. “We approach sports clubs and public services – firefighters, police, hospitals, etc. – from Bergerac to draw partnership which is very important to us. Unlike advertising campaigns which have limited impact over time, we want to bet on the long term with this partnership. »
Valuable support from the La Boite à Pizza network
To carry out this project, they also benefit from the support of Pizza Box Network. One animation maker network went there specifically to accompany them on point of sale restoration. The network also performs regular audits to support its franchisees. The fact of being a La Boite à Pizza franchise allows them to devote themselves completely to the development of their points of sale and customers.
“Given my experience, networking has taught me very little when it comes to recovery, reports Jean-Pierre Raffoux. On the other hand, it lightens us a lot in all other positions. We have less to think about because the franchise takes care of everything. We have a technical sheet for each pizza, they are all very square and we know, for example, how much each pizza earns. The network also manages national campaignthey cashier software, they o’clockthey price, etc. Everything is managed by the head of the network. For supply, we utilize negotiate and lock in price from suppliers, which limits the effects of inflation. In the morning, we wake up, we manage our store and we can do well because, the rest of the time, the network takes care of everything. »
For Léa Deschamps, one big one the advantages of being a La Boite à Pizza franchisee that is, too popularity. “Supporting a network like La Boite à Pizza gives us a lot in terms of visibility. This is the network that manages all advertising campaigns. We can obviously do without them, but the cost is double, not to mention the time spent. Without La Boite à Pizza, I don’t think we would have had as much visibility, like a lot of ad campaigns and other things we wouldn’t have thought or done less well of. »
Turnover that continues to grow
A year and a half after taking over La Boite à Pizza in Bergerac, Jean-Pierre Raffoux and Léa Deschamps drew satisfactory balance sheet. “Many fast food players saw their numbers explode during Covid and then drop back down. We stay constant. Not only have we been able to retain the clients acquired during the crisis, but we’ve developed them even further and recorded a ever-increasing turnover. Of course, the current context is still complicated, especially with rising raw material prices forcing us to raise prices. However, we try to limit the impact of inflation as much as possible in order to remain competitive. I think we have to take a long term view. »
Today, the couple wants to continue the development of La Boite à Pizza de Bergerac and why not, in the second step, to be multi-franchised if they find someone they can trust to run the shop. “Currently, our priority is to build a reliable team, said Jean-Pierre Raffoux. that exertion is one of the main difficulties in the catering market although, on our part, we are fortunate not to have too much turnover. On the other hand, to be able to consider opening another point of sale, we had to find a store manager who had the same investments as us and who we trusted 300%. Which is complicated. »
To project leaders who, like them, want to start businesses, they suggest “to believe in their projects, not be afraid to commit fully and not hesitate to spend a little money so that they can reap the rewards of this investment later”.
Want to know more about La Boite à Pizza, the advantages of the concept and the support the network offers for opening a pizzeria? meet at La Boite à Pizza franchise presentation sheet ⇩