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CEO transforms Greenwich into ‘Instagrammable’ pizzeria

Greenwich, the homegrown pizza brand owned by Jollibee Foods Corp., is donning a new look and a new name.

From Greenwich Pizza & Pasta, the brand is now known as Greenwich Pizzeria, says Albert Cuadrante, the president of Greenwich Business of Jollibee.

The local pizza brand, established in 1971 by entrepreneur Cresida Tueres and taken over by Jollibee in 1994, is leveling up to compete with foreign pizza parlors.

Cuadrante says the new name and the new look are in response to the ongoing rave in the food scene led by millennials and Generation X who have grown together with the brand.

“Pizzeria is what we call it. This particular store format is one of the major changes we’ve been making for the evolution of the brand. First major change was the improvement of our pizzas. For those who are not millennials, the older group set, they’re so surprised when they eat at Greenwich. Eating at Greenwich is a different experience already. We improved the crust, the toppings. The store has to match the product. This is what we envision for the Pizzeria, a fitting store for you to experience the product,” says  Cuadrante.

Greenwich abandoned the cramp, restricted space layout where diners usually ate and ran despite the urge for longer chat and bonding time with friends.

Greenwich Pizzeria president Albert Cuadrante

In their place are cozy stuffed seats and movable chairs with the familiar accent of wood on furniture, brick on the walls with stylish graffiti, graphic photos and wall scribbles and colorful décors that are youthful and fresh.

“If you look around, there are many areas that are Instagramable. We recognize that social media is a great way of promoting our store, so we designed it that way—picture-perfect and social media savvy. We also have deliberate areas where clusters of varying numbers can easily fit in, which is good for our ‘barkadahan’ [peer] concept,” Cuadrante says.

From the traditional QSR (quick-service restaurant), Greenwich has evolved into a fast casual diner.

The brand, Cuadrante says, is also big on the ‘barkadahan’ concept where peer groups of three or more can actually enjoy the experience at Greenwich Pizzeria.

“We’re having a lot more group meal combinations that befits the ‘barkadahan’ experience that we want for the store,” he says.

What propelled Greenwich to upgrade, he says, is the need to stay relevant.

When the brand started in 1971, the old patrons would have been in their senior years and those who have grown with the brand are now mostly mid-aged.

Pizza and pizzeria fares are food choices favored by young people. The median age of Greenwich regulars is about 25 to 30 years, but teens as young as 17 to young people of up to 35 years comprise the bigger chunk of Greenwich demographics. Patronage of the brand is not limited to millennials or the younger set, as old-timers also stay loyal to Greenwich Pizzeria.

Patrons are assured of hygienic preparation of the food they enjoy at the Pizzeria window. They can witness how the crew carefully prepare the food while using the freshest ingredients from pizza to pasta to chicken fares.

By 2021, Greenwich aims to complete the transformation of all its stores to the stylish pizzerias nationwide.

The new format transformed Greenwich into a hip and trendy brand that translates into double-digit growth annually. In the last few years, Greenwich’s compounded annual growth rate is between 15 percent and 20 percent. For 2017, Cuadrante is looking at a sales growth of 20 percent to hit P9.6 billion this year.

Greenwich maintains its market leadership with over 300 stores nationwide, adding 30 new stores yearly.

The company president says the brand will sustain its expansion program.  With 30-percent market share of the pizza-serving restaurants, the brand is upgrading 50 percent of existing stores into the new Pizzeria format.

“In terms of store network, we’re the highest. We cover most of Metro Manila and we have stores in the provinces. Our expansion continues to be aggressive. More and more, we are realizing that on top of the cities, many are really wanting the pizza experience in the provinces,” says Cuadrante.

“While we have future plans of bringing the brand to foreign shores, we still feel the need to saturate the potential here. Since we are the only major local pizza brand, we have high hopes for our business,” he says.

Cuadrante says in case the brand goes international, the initial destinations will be the United Arab Emirate, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and other countries in the Middle East.  

Greenwich Pizzeria is also open for franchising. About 40 percent of the stores are owned by franchisers, while 60 percent are company stores.

For a franchise fee of P1 million and capital infusion of P12 to P13 million, on the average, the return-on-investment is usually three to five years.

Greenwich is also increasing its presence in the online delivery format. “We’re happy since the growth of our online format parallels that of that of the brick-and-mortar stores. But for the online, we are more aggressive. We want sales to grow not only by 20 percent but by 30 percent. We figure there is no limit to delivery. Our enemy would only be traffic and erratic weather, especially if it rains,” says Cuadrante.

Topics: Greenwich Pizzeria , Greenwich Pizza & Pasta , Albert Cuadrante

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