02:00 PM • 03/02/16
Young Ones to Watch: Drew French
Drew French is on a mission to allow everyone to express his or her inner pizza with Your Pie, the original down-the-line brick oven pizza concept
Drew French is the founder of Your Pie, the originator of the down-the-line, fast casual customized pizza category. He has been in the restaurant industry for 16 years and with his passion for gourmet food and following inspiration from his honeymoon in Italy, Drew launched the Your Pie concept in 2006 at the age of 24. Your Pie has grown from just one location in Athens, GA into a powerhouse pizza brand that allows customers to create their own pizza experience.
Why do you love franchising?
It really goes back to why we started franchising Your Pie in the first place. We knew early on that the best way for us to grow as a brand was to look for passionate franchisee that want to improve their communities by changing the way people experience pizza. For us, that was through franchising. Local franchisee ownership allows us to be the community-based brand we’ve always envisioned and operate as part of the neighborhoods we serve. The closer you are to your customers, the better decisions you’ll make. And for us, franchising allows us to deliver upon that brand promise.
What is the top challenge facing young people in franchising?
I think in general, financing continues to be an issue not only facing young people, but the industry as a whole. For young franchisors, it’s still a challenge to convince investors, prospective franchisees and suppliers that your concept and your vision are viable.
As a young franchisee, it’s also a challenge to find funding. But once you find a great brand, the beauty of franchising is that it provides the support, training and the runway to small business ownership.
What is your dream position/goal?
The thing that gets me really excited right now is the success and impact our franchisees are making at the community level. If I had to nail it down, a goal would be that each and every one of our Your Pie franchisees makes an impact in the community in which they operate. That’s the beauty of the franchise model. We are more than just a pizza restaurant. From the local charities our franchisees support, to the staff and our customers, we are affecting change at the local level across a wide spectrum and that makes me incredibly proud.