Brewer Stouffer, the founder and owner of The Roman Candle, spent a decade honing the restaurant model in order to confidently throw his concept into the franchise ring. Stouffer opened five pizzerias during that time period, turned The Roman Candle into a Wisconsin hot spot, and is now set to open the first The Roman Candle franchise location in 2016. PMQ Pizza Magazine profiled Stouffer and the brand for their May issue, discussing the community marketing strategy that has helped Stouffer and his team grow a successful brand ready to set the franchise world on fire.
"Our entire marketing focus is local and on the community," Stouffer told PMQ. "We do things that are great for our neighbors. We have a saying, “Good neighbors make great pizza,” and we really believe that."
The Roman Candle gave back more than $50,000 to local communities in 2015 through more than 50 events at their five company-owned locations. The brand has also created strong brand loyalty through their Candle Club membership opportunity, and Stouffer believes that the franchise model will allow the company to grow while staying true to their commitment to local communities.
"I’m franchising so I can grow The Roman Candle and keep it local," Stouffer told PMQ. "I have a real passion for pure food and local food. Franchising is allowing me to share that passion with other communities. When we opened our fourth store in Milwaukee, it was a challenge because I didn’t know the school districts or the community. Through franchising, each store will be able to focus on its own local community. Every one of our current stores reflects the community around it, and that’s the ultimate plan for our franchises."
Technology has also been an area where The Roman Candle has thrived - the restaurant started offering online ordering in 2012 and saw only 1% of sales coming in from the internet, but that percentage has increased to 30% today with more and more coming from mobile devices.
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