Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 58

ZEEKS PIZZA
www.zeekspizza.com / Headquarters: Seattle / Employees: 400+ /
Dan Black, president: "Establishments that serve local and fresh food do well."

When it comes to franchisee qualifications, the company is looking for
entrepreneurs who are flexible, ambitious and experienced in running
a successful business. "If they don't
have restaurant operation experience, we do ask that they bring on an
operating partner that does have that
experience," Black says.

surfEr-Quality pizza

Zeeks Pizza chops its fresh herbs daily
as part of its dedication to flavorful
and quality ingredients.

Authentic Artisan
Zeeks Pizza is expanding its franchise business and
moving into new territories. BY KAT ZEMAN
Food doesn't need to be complicated to taste good. But it needs to
be fresh and contain quality ingredients. Seattle-based Zeeks Pizza has
operated under this philosophy since
its inception in 1993.
"Our values are simple, local and
fresh," President Dan Black says.
"Craftsmanship is a big deal around
here. Seattle is a great food town and
its people are very demanding. Our
values have allowed us to thrive."
Zeeks Pizza has 13 locations in the
greater Seattle area. During the next
five years, it plans to increase that
number to 35 to 50 locations and expand into western states like Colorado, Nevada, California and Idaho.
Five of the eatery's 13 stores are
franchises and that's growing. "We're
looking to expand our franchise busi58

franchising-today.com

WINTER 2017

ness," Black says. "In 2018, we will focus on the Northwest. Our target is to
open five more franchises."

EntrEprEnEurs WantEd
Entrepreneurs wishing to open a
Zeeks Pizza franchise must have at
least $240,000 in liquid assets and a
net worth of $1.2 million. The company charges a franchise fee of $35,000
per location. It also collects an ongoing royalty fee of 5 percent and a 2 percent marketing fund charge.
The eatery has three franchising
concepts. These fees apply to its most
popular pizza/pub concept. The average size of this concept restaurant/
pub ranges between 3,200 and 3,800
square feet. Zeeks Pizza also offers
a pickup/register service concept as
well as delivery and catering.

Zeeks Pizza was founded by two surfers, Tom Vial and Doug McClure,
who wanted to escape the corporate
world. While surfing in Maui, the duo
claim to have tapped into an elemental truth about the universe when
they met a surfer named "Zeek" who
told them that "life is too short for
crappy pizza," according to the company website.
A few months after returning to
Seattle, Vial and McClure founded
Zeeks Pizza. They operated under
the premise that pizza shouldn't
be cheap. It should be flavorful
and made with quality ingredients.
"Don't get us wrong," the founders
write on the company website. "We
like fast and reasonably priced, but
cheap can suck it."
In the early 1990s, serving homemade and quality food was yet to be in
vogue. "I think we were on that trend
early on," Black says.
"People will pay a couple bucks
more for a better product. Establishments that serve local and fresh food
do well. Our financial performance
has proved that."
Zeeks Pizza prides itself on making its pizza with locally sourced,
quality ingredients. Additionally,
it hand-tosses each pizza. "One of
the things that distinguishes our
pizza is the bread," Black stresses.
"Our bread is the star of the show. It
makes our pizza more savory."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Franchising Today - Winter 2017

Contents
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Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 1
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