Pizza Today - July 2016 - 45

Restaurateur Scott Kilpatrick acquires a fast-casual leader in Arizona

I

STORY BY DENISE GREER / PHOTOS BY JOSH KEOWN

t isn't everyday that a welldeveloped, successful restaurant brand becomes available,
so when restaurateur Scott
Kilpatrick had the opportunity to purchase Sauce
Pizza & Wine, he and his investment group jumped at the chance to
acquire the brand in January 2015
from Fox Restaurant Concepts.
With 15 concepts and more than
50 locations, Fox Restaurant Concepts developed a polished fast-casual pizza brand with the first Sauce
opening in Tucson in 2003. The
pizzeria has grown to nine locations
in Phoenix and Tucson.
Kilpatrick says that Sauce was a
fast-casual leader in Arizona before
people really knew what fast-casual
pizza was. "That's Sam for you,"
Kilpatrick says of Sam Fox, Fox
Restaurant Concepts' founder. "He's
one of the most creative guys on the
planet."
The two have been acquainted for
more than 15 years before Fox sold
the beloved brand to Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick acknowledges that he
didn't have a background in pizza or
even fast-casual, but he's experienced
in growing a brand. He co-founded

RA, a sushi restaurant the he helped
grow to 25 locations.
Purchasing Sauce gave Kilpatrick
the opportunity to grow the pizza
concept and take it to new markets.
He was drawn to what the Sauce
brand offered with its menu focus on
salads as well as pizza and its healthy
options. "We just thought it was so
differentiated from the new fastcasual pizza guys that we think that
we really have an opportunity to do
some great things with it," he says.
It's been more than a year
since the acquisition and Fox's
team helped make the transition run smoothly. "I had an office

inside the Fox Restaurant Concepts
headquarters over on Camelback,"
Kilpatrick says. "We basically did a
yearlong transition with them where
they still did all of the accounting,
the IT, the marketing, everything for
us which was great for two reasons.
One, we didn't have the infrastructure to do that. Two, it was really
easy for the stores because nothing
changed. They still submitted their
invoices the same way. There was still
the same payroll company."
Utilizing Fox's resources in the

interim allowed Kilpatrick time to
assemble the Sauce headquarters'
team from scratch. He tapped some
of his key personnel who were no
longer at RA to handle human
resources and operations, while also
bringing in fresh talent in marketing
and finance.
In addition to the corporate
staff, Kilpatrick established Sauce's
systems moving forward. "We rolled
out a new payroll system," he says.
"We had to roll out a new accounting system. It was a very busy year,
in addition to getting to know the
teams in the stores and making sure
everybody was ok in the transition. Fortunately, there are fantastic
people that work for this brand, that
still work for this brand and will
work for this brand for a long time.
So they were very welcoming with
the transition."
With an experienced crew of
nearly 400 employees, each store
manager runs their own show,
Kilpatrick says, adding that the
corporate staff provides support and
resources. Sauce has a fun, fast-paced
work environment with competitive
pay and the company recently rolled
out a 401K program.
J U LY 2 0 1 6 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 5


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Pizza Today - July 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - July 2016

Pizza Today - July 2016
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Trending Recipes
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Offering Wi-Fi to Customers
Sweeten Up Your Pie
Hot Toppings: Canadian Bacon
Hiring a Consultant
Pizza Today on the Road: Sauce Pizza & Wine, Phoenix, AZ
Pizza Today on the Road: Venezia’s NY Style Pizzeria, Phoenix, AZ
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Snapped
Pizza Today - July 2016 - CT1
Pizza Today - July 2016 - CT2
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today - July 2016
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Cover2
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Commentary
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 4
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 5
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Contents
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 7
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 8
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 9
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Contributors
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 11
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 13
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Interact
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 15
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Conversation
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 17
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 19
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 21
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Trending Recipes
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 23
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Destinations
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 25
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 27
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 28
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 29
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Offering Wi-Fi to Customers
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 31
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 32
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 33
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Sweeten Up Your Pie
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 35
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Hot Toppings: Canadian Bacon
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 37
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 38
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 39
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Hiring a Consultant
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 41
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 42
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 43
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today on the Road: Sauce Pizza & Wine, Phoenix, AZ
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 45
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 46
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 47
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today on the Road: Venezia’s NY Style Pizzeria, Phoenix, AZ
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 49
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 50
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 51
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 52
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 54
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 55
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 57
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 58
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 59
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 60
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 61
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 62
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 63
Pizza Today - July 2016 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 65
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 66
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 67
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 68
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 69
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 70
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 71
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 72
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Snapped
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Cover3
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Cover4
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