Few casual restaurant chains have been able to stand out in the crowded pizza segment. But for The Roman Candle, being exceptional is nothing new.
More than a decade after the brand first opened its doors, The Roman Candle has made a name for itself as the pizzeria to beat in Madison, WI. That reputation is about to go nationwide as the brand expands through franchising. But before The Roman Candle starts popping up in neighborhoods across the country, the brand is building a new store that will serve as the prototype for all of its locations going forward.
“Every Roman Candle location is a clear descendant of the original store. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t making upgrades as we go along,” said Brewer Stouffer, The Roman Candle’s founder and CEO. “Nothing is random in our restaurants. We build them a specific way in order to create the best possible casual dining experience. At the end of the day, our layout is designed to give our loyal customers a window into our culture of crust.”
Those upgrades will be evident in The Roman Candle’s new store in the heart of downtown Madison. Beyond offering the brand’s signature, made-to-order craft pizzas, the restaurant will have 24 craft beers on tap and a full liquor license. The location will also feature a retro pinball machine, classic shuffleboard table and darts, making it the perfect place for both families and friends to hang out. In addition to the bar and regular seating area, the store’s kitchen will be partially closed. However, there will be a window into the kitchen so kids—and adults—can get a behind the scenes look at The Roman Candle’s superior pizza making process.
The new store will also have a private room for events and dinner parties. The Roman Candle is constantly fielding requests for catered events, from large group gatherings to wedding rehearsal dinners. The store’s private room will hold about 20 people, and will be open to reservations. The brand is also planning on using the room for future staff and franchisee training programs.
“This new restaurant is a culmination of 11 years of experience plus another two years learning the ins and outs of the franchising industry,” said Stouffer. “We’re thrilled to take everything that we’ve learned at industry events and trade shows and pour it into this new location. We’re confident that we’re building the new prototype for future Roman Candle franchises.”
It isn’t just the physical set up and unique features that give The Roman Candle a leg up as it breaks into the franchising industry. By building the new Madison restaurant from the ground up, the brand has the opportunity to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on average store costs. That information will ultimately enable franchisees to know exactly what they can expect to spend when opening their own locations.
The new Roman Candle location is expected to open its doors this holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“This new Madison location will really set the tone for our franchising efforts going forward. Our development and expansion process is incredibly state of the art” said Stouffer. “By combining The Roman Candle’s proven concept with the latest store design, we have a recipe for success.”