Ask Drew French, the founder of 23-unit craft pizza franchise Your Pie, how he plans to become the next great brand, and he’ll offer one simple answer: “It starts with our mission.”
That mission is simple: Do every small thing with passion and greatness.
When he was just 24 years old, Drew French not only launched a brand new restaurant concept, but also a new category within the pizza segment. He had no proof to say this category would succeed, but he blazed a path that has come to define the fast casual pizza concept segment.
French’s vision was spurred while eating pizza on his honeymoon in Italy. His wife’s family is from the island of Ischia, and it was here French discovered the brick oven style of baking pizza. He opened the doors to his first restaurant in Athens, Ga., in 2008 and immediately knew he had something great.
“The dream was always to be more than one store, but I knew I had to do it right to head down that path,” said French. “That’s why it’s so important that Your Pie is meticulous about being great in everything we do, from the food quality, to our staff and ultimately how we serve our community. If we do great things locally, our potential is limitless.”
A second location opened just a year later in Athens, Ga., which marked the brand’s entrance into franchising. Today, Your Pie has 23 locations in six states throughout the south. The brand is on pace to have 27 by the end of the year, and cross the 50 unit mark by the end of 2016.
“I felt franchising was the way to grow so we could really dive into the markets and have a unique local community feel,” he added. “We’ve really brought something new to each market we’re in, and although we’re a franchise, we’re a small, locally owned business.”
French takes the mission seriously and it’s been applied to all facets of Your Pie; putting food quality first, creating a positive work environment, partnering with community organizations and crafting an unforgettable customer experience.
“Our franchisees really love supporting things that are near and dear to their heart, and I love that we can do that by creating a different experience for each of the communities we serve,” French said.
French’s dream is real. The brand is growing each day and not only are they bringing on more family members to the Your Pie franchise family at a rapid pace, but existing franchisees are now coming on board to open their second and third restaurants. Looking back on the day he went to his father with this “crazy idea” is now a reality with a very bright future.
“The growth of the Your Pie family has been so unbelievable,” he said. “To see this brand grow from my wife and I’s vision, to now having an extended family with each franchisee that comes on board and believes in us. People are so passionate about the brand and where it’s going is so exciting.”