Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Straw Hat Pizza Urges Its Guests To Vote

The Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative announced today that it was implementing a voter registration program to encourage it’s many younger guests to participate in this year’s presidential election.

Straw Hat spokesperson, Kevyn Johnston, said Straw Hat has long supported “getting out the vote” when, in the 70’s, the company offered discounts to those patrons showing they had voted. “We reworked the idea this year because there is so much interest in getting out the vote,” said Johnston, “and Straw Hat is a favorite place for young people. We want to encourage them to vote; many for the first time.”

Participating Straw Hat locations are displaying voter registration messages and supplying voter registration forms to anyone who hasn’t yet registered. The company is also encouraging voter registration through their website, StrawHatPizza.com. Additionally, locations have temporarily renamed the brand’s signature “King Size” pizza and are offering $4 off any “Presidents’” size pizza on election night, November 2nd.

“I think any time the message gets out about how important it is to vote is a great thing.” said Joshua Richman, president of Straw Hat, “We view this effort as a natural continuation of our other community based programs, something Straw Hat has long been proud of.” “Whatever the outcome of the election, our democracy is strengthened when more Americans vote” said Richman.

Straw Hat plans to emphasize the program by decorating their locations in election paraphernalia and several locations plan election night parties, including big screen election news coverage in the dining rooms.

[SHCC licenses nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The “Cooperative” is solely directed by its membership and has been called “the un-franchise, franchise.” It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, its 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, June 18, 2004

Straw Hat Pizza Taps Strege For Northern Director

The Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative announced today that Allen Strege is returning to Straw Hat Pizza as the Company’s Northern Area Director.

An industry veteran skilled in restaurant development, Strege oversaw several Straw Hat locations during the Company’s rapid growth of the 1970’s and operated eight Chuck E. Cheese locations in that company’s early days. Strege was also part of the concept development team for Max Sportster Restaurants and developed a successful resort-dining concept in California.

Currently adding roughly six locations per year, Straw Hat brings on Strege to further assist its expansion efforts and oversee some twenty-five Member operated locations, plus head up its purchasing programs. “We’re very pleased that Allen has re-joined the Straw Hat family,” said Josh Richman, President and CEO, “I think he is a big asset for our organization and is ideal fit for our own growth plan.”

Straw Hat Pizza has recently re-energized its 44-year-old concept by introducing a new design and d├ęcor package, expanded menu offerings, improved service and training formats, and an advanced marketing program. The company has also implemented a new development plan, hoping to attract young entrepreneurs with its unique business opportunity and cooperative advantages.

Strege recognizes the progress that the company has made and sees the benefits and appeal of its cooperative structure. “I’m delighted to be back at home here at Straw Hat.” said Strege, “there has been an enormous amount of changes since I’ve been gone - but I think the most exciting years for Straw Hat are ahead of us. Straw Hat Pizza is a very attractive concept for growth.”

[SHCC licenses nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The “Cooperative” is solely directed by its membership and has been called “the un-franchise, franchise.” It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, its 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, April 2, 2004

Straw Hat Pizza Dumps Sourdough Trademark

The Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative announced today that it has discontinued sales of its trademark Sourdough Crust Pizza. Citing declining sales of the product in recent years, Kevyn Johnston, spokesperson for the California based pizza pioneer said that the decision to stop producing the company’s trademark Sourdough Crust Pizza was not an easy one. “We know that many of our long time Guests will have strong feelings about the change,” said Johnston, “ but we know tastes evolve, and today’s Guests are looking for something new.”

Late last year Straw Hat Pizza resolved to drop Sourdough, which debuted over 25 years ago, and replace it with a new Pan Crust, deemed “Da Pan.” The company is counting on the new product to ignite sales. Straw Hat Pizza is believed to be the last major name in pizza to offer the quirky Sourdough Crust Pizza, which was promoted prominently beside the chain’s original California Crust Pizza for three decades. The Sourdough product gained notoriety as the chain expanded throughout the western U.S., but downward trending sales of the product in recent years forced the reevaluation of a long-time consumer favorite. “We’re sorry to see a hallmark of our brand go,” said Joshua Richman, president and CEO, “and we know many of our Guests will be unhappy – but we have to keep up with currents in our industry. We’re confident that Da Pan will be well received.”

‘Da Pan Pizza’ not only replaces the chain’s Sourdough Crust, but Straw Hat trusts to gain market share from its national competitors. “Pan crust pizza accounts for a substantial percentage of today’s pizza consumer’s purchases,” said Johnston. “We want our share of that market.”

“Da Pan has been embraced by almost everyone who has tried it,” said Johnston, “we’re sorry to see Sourdough go, but the sales speak for themselves – Da Pan is out-performing our best expectations.” However, the change has not been without its critics, said Johnston, who has responded to several Guest complaints demanding that Sourdough be brought back. “I understand their concern,” said Johnston, “unfortunately, consumer preferences have changed. We hope that our regular Guests will be open-minded and give the new product a try.”

Sales appear to bear out that the swap has been good for the brand. Thus far, 2004 reported sales are up nearly 10% system-wide with a fifth of the restaurants boasting double-digit sales increases. “We put a substantial amount of our advertising resources behind this new product; we hoped for the best, and we hoped it was good enough to replace the Sourdough,” said Johnston, “ however no one expected these kinds of sales.”

[SHCC licenses nearly 50 Straw Hat Pizza locations in California & Nevada. The “Cooperative” is solely directed by its membership and has been called “the un-franchise, franchise.” It provides the benefits of a franchise system, however, its 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.