Straw Hat Pizza grabs bigger slice of market
Exciting news today! Duke Marketing's newest client, Straw Hat Pizza is covered in a great news story today by our friend Sarah Duxbury at the SF Business Times! Be sure to click here for the full story! The brand is launching a new co-branded Yogurt concept called, Tower 27 Yogurt, in Walnut Creek California. Duke Marketing created the new fun logo for the company and will be redesigning other elements of the new location.
San Francisco Business Times - by Sarah Duxbury
Straw Hat Pizza is the fastest-growing local restaurant chain that few people know.
The 51-year-old San Ramon company has grown from 38 restaurants to 77 over the past 18 months. It plans to reach 100 eateries by year’s end, with a minimum of 45 more in 2011, if current development agreements are met.
Most of that growth will happen outside California, where Straw Hat has traditionally made its home.
When Jonathan Fornaci joined as president two years ago, Straw Hat Cooperative Corp. had 38 locations in California and Nevada. Now it’s in seven states and will soon move into Florida. Most of this expansion comes through area developers. Straw Hat has sold the state of Arkansas to one developer; another has bought rights to 22 counties in Texas. They, and the franchisees they find, are why the company can grow so fast.
“We started to hit this growth mode right when the recession was hitting full tilt,” Fornaci said.
That may be the secret sauce to Straw Hat’s success so far.
Not surprisingly, retail spaces are becoming available as businesses fail, and the Straw Hat retail team has insisted — with success, it says — that landlords cover one-third to half of build-out costs for each restaurant.