Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Sales Soar 10% As Straw Hat Pizza Launches New Ad Campaign

Straw Hat Pizza reports a system-wide sales increase of nearly 10% through the first 3 quarters of this year, and has launched an entirely new television ad campaign aimed at continuing the sales momentum.

Joshua Richman, President and CEO, believes that the company’s sales increase is due to an overall strategy of improving guest experience through increased service levels, restaurant remodels, and a target program to improve under-performing locations. “Our store performance has improved dramatically as we’ve focused on what we do best – serving a genuine California pizza in a clean, fun and friendly environment.” says Richman. “As the economy has taken a downturn, we’ve enjoyed success by providing our traditional value while meeting the expectations of families; families which may be patronizing “pricey” casual theme restaurants less frequently.” adds Richman.

In addition to its value and service strategy, Straw Hat has launched a new television campaign in several California and Nevada markets. Four new comedic television ads, produced by Beard Boy Productions of Tustin, CA, contrast the company’s quality product to imitations. In one of the spots, a phony runway model is traumatized as his toupee slips. In another spot, a want-to-be basketball star’s cover is blown when a ball trick goes awry. “The ads poke fun at imposters and make the point that Straw Hat is genuine – with its unique California flaky crust and fresh toppings,” says Kevyn Johnston, Director of Marketing, “our pizza is made to the same high standards as it has been for forty years, and we believe today’s value and quality conscious consumer is seeking this type of alternative to our chain competitors.”

[SHCC licenses members to operate nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The "Cooperative" is solely directed by its membership owners and has been called "the un-franchise, franchise." It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, the Cooperativeís individual owners enjoy greater control, and corporate overhead is kept to a minimum, (about 1/3rd of the average franchise fee.)]

For more information please visit: strawhatpizza.com/contactus and please follow us on Facebook & Twitter @StrawHatPizza.

Friday, August 2, 2002

Carson City Straw Hat Pizzas Honored For Quality

The owners and operators of two Carson City Straw Hat Pizza restaurants were awarded the 2002 Outstanding QSC (Quality, Service & Cleanliness) Award at the company’s annual convention in July. Pam & Randy Anderson, members of the Straw Hat Cooperative Corporation and a long-time owners of the Carson City Straw Hat restaurants, were presented this year’s award which recognizes achievement in serving a superior product that conforms to Straw Hat's recipes and standards, providing exceptional warm and friendly service to guests, and maintaining outstanding levels of cleanliness, sanitation and repair.

“We appreciate that Pam and Randy Anderson and their team do an outstanding job of representing the Straw Hat brand in Carson City,” said Lee Dubrow, SHCC Regional Director, “Straw Hat has enjoyed a reputation for serving great pizza in a clean, friendly, and fun environment for years. However, it takes dedication to our guests and a lot of due diligence to live up to that reputation. We’re very proud that the Andersons succeed in continuing a great tradition of Quality, Service and Cleanliness in both of their restaurants.”

In 1985, Pam Anderson purchased her first restaurant on North Carson Street serving Straw Hat’s genuine California crust pizza, oven-baked Hot Hat Sandwiches, and a bountiful fresh Salad Bar. The restaurant became a favorite with families, teens, teams, and people of all walks of life as Pam became involved with many activities supporting Carson’s schools, youth, and charities. In 1999, Pam and her husband Randy opened their second successful restaurant on Clearview Drive in South Carson, bringing Straw Hat Pizza’s great food to all of Carson City with walls filled with eclectic and fun décor pieces of America’s favorite memories. In 2001, Pam and Randy were awarded Straw Hat’s Outstanding Marketing Award, which recognized their exceptional community based marketing efforts.

“I’m very honored to receive the QSC Award,” said Pam Anderson, “It’s nice to be acclaimed for doing something you enjoy, and even better to be singled out for recognition by a group of your peers. We will be proud to bring this award to Carson City and we look forward to continuing to serve Straw Hat’s guests in the best way we know how.”

[SHCC licenses members to operate nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The "Cooperative" is solely directed by its membership owners and has been called "the un-franchise, franchise." It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, the Cooperativeís individual owners enjoy greater control, and corporate overhead is kept to a minimum, (about 1/3rd of the average franchise fee.)]

For more information please visit: strawhatpizza.com/contactus and please follow us on Facebook & Twitter @StrawHatPizza.

Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Despite Predictions To The Contrary, 15 Years Later, CO-OP

This year, the Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative celebrates fifteen (15) successful years in operation. In 1987, when Straw Hat franchisees rebuffed a parent organization buy-out and conversion by Pizza Hut, Inc., the cooperative concept was new and unproven in the restaurant industry. Today, fifteen years later, Straw Hat Pizza restaurants are thriving while enjoying the advantages of a unique cooperative business system.

The Straw Hat chain, founded in 1959, was a West Coast pioneer and frontrunner in the pizza segment during the 1970's and 80's, growing to nearly 230 restaurants. Reportedly, Pizza Hut was attracted to purchase the chain in 1987 because of Straw Hat's numerous high volume locations and dominance of the California market. However, most of the then franchisees believed that converting their stores to Pizza Huts would irreparably harm their businesses. After initiating a precedent setting legal action, and in a true "David and Goliath" outcome, Straw Hat's franchisees were granted the right to keep the name "Straw Hat Pizza" and form a not-for-profit cooperative.

"We didnít have a roadmap to follow back in 1987." said Randy Wise, Chairman of the Board for Straw Hat Cooperative Corporation, (SHCC), and a Straw Hat restaurant owner. "In the beginning, many industry followers didnít give us much chance for survival; we definitely felt like underdogs facing our larger franchise rivals. But, over the years, weíve learned that being a cooperative offers huge advantages over franchise systems – and we've proved that a cooperative system can vigorously compete and flourish. However, a cooperative needs to be managed much differently than other systems. Our organization runs in reverse of a typical franchise chain and we're proud of this fact. The Co-op exists to support the decisions of our Members, not vice-versa."

"Straw Hat has refined an effective model for doing business as a cooperative" said Joshua Richman, SHCC President. "It's a model developed with the benefit of experience and it provides all of the expected support of a franchise system, but relies on the wealth of talent and knowledge of our Members to maintain very low business costs. Our Members pay a fraction of the cost of traditional franchise fees, yet enjoy purchasing, marketing, training, and field support programs which rival those of chains many times our size. We cut through the "red tape" of a franchise system, and implement new ideas and innovations quickly. Today, our system-wide sales growth out-paces that of our "franchise" competitors and we keep on adding new Members and locations. Our future outlook is all positive and we're looking forward to developing new trading areas."

Straw Hat Pizza has recently undergone a complete image and marketing update, is in the process of remodeling its older locations, and has developed two new prototype concepts. Unit sales are up across all geographic regions, with many locations enjoying double-digit sales increases. Although embracing positive changes, the company remains committed to its tried and true core themes of serving genuine California crust pizza and other signature menu items in a friendly and fun environment.

[SHCC licenses members to operate nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The "Cooperative" is solely directed by its membership owners and has been called "the un-franchise, franchise." It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, the Cooperativeís individual owners enjoy greater control, and corporate overhead is kept to a minimum, (about 1/3rd of the average franchise fee.)]

For more information please visit: strawhatpizza.com/contactus and please follow us on Facebook & Twitter @StrawHatPizza.

Friday, March 1, 2002

Biggest Pizza Hits a Home Run!

Straw Hat Pizza restaurants head into summer with the full-scale reintroduction of last year’s highly successful Big Bambino promotion. The Big Bambino was first introduced in the spring of 2001 and is a big eighteen (18) inch, baseball theme pizza. Considered to be the biggest pizza offered by any major chain, the fifty (50) unit Straw Hat system believes that the eighteen (18) inch pizza is the answer to its guests’ calls for a bigger and better pizza.

The Big Bambino was the chain’s first system-wide offering of the eighteen (18) inch size pizzas. This year’s promotion features a timely and lively baseball theme with colorful in-store graphics, direct and solo mail drops, a media launch, and a unique baseball coach’s handbook developed as a local youth sports companion to the campaign. The Big Bambino, (the named inspired by the legendary Babe Ruth), is a “king sized” version of Straw Hat’s favorite premium pepperoni pizza; made with the chain’s fresh packed sauce, indulgent blend of six kinds of cheese, and its traditional famous California thin and crispy crust. It is available at participating Straw Hat locations throughout the summer, at which time the chain expects to permanently offer a variety of eighteen (18) inch pizzas.

“Consumers are seeking value and quality more than ever before,” said Joshua Richman, President and CEO of Straw Hat Cooperative Corporation. “We believe that our new eighteen inch pizza, made to our time tested standards is what today’s guests are seeking, and once again exemplifies the value and quality that Straw Hat is famous for.” Kevyn Johnston, Director of Marketing for the company said, “Our goals for the Bambino do not differ from last year; the first is to prevail upon our guests the value and size of our eighteen (18) inch pizza, and the second is to increase check averages by offering this greater value. We perceive it is a ‘win-win’ for everyone and appreciate that the Big Bambino clearly differentiates Straw Hat from our competition.” This is in step with the Cooperative’s newly fortified marketing strategies of increasing check averages and distancing itself from its rivals through signature promotions and product offerings.

[SHCC licenses members to operate nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The "Cooperative" is solely directed by its membership owners and has been called "the un-franchise, franchise." It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, the Cooperativeís individual owners enjoy greater control, and corporate overhead is kept to a minimum, (about 1/3rd of the average franchise fee.)]

For more information please visit: strawhatpizza.com/contactus and please follow us on Facebook & Twitter @StrawHatPizza.