Pizza Today - January 2017 - 58

it.' You have to educate as you
go, learn from your mistakes and
you move forward."
Currently six units are in
operation with another 20 sold.
Expanding while still paying
homage to the craft is a fine line,
but one Cybulski feels will keep
Persona ahead of the game in an
increasingly competitive market.
"All of our franchisees who
have come in to look at our
concept up to this point, our
final sales bit to them has been
to say 'try everybody else's pizza
and then come back,'" he says.
"When we're looking at building a company, we have to look
at the longevity of the brand.
Who's going to be relevant
in five years when everybody
knows about create-your-own
(and) knows they can get a pizza
in five to 10 minutes? We actually have a kitchen. ... We'll start
to be able to diversify the menu
to stay relevant. In five years,
this market will be saturated.
... Will the companies who all
press their pizzas survive? We
don't know. We hope. Competition is good. But the bottom
line is they have nowhere to
go. They have no kitchen to be
creative."

Just a Taste
As part of their marketing, Persona Pizzeria's
management do food drops nearly every day for
local businesses. Founder Glenn Cybulski says that
stems from having very little additional money for
advertising when he started his first business, and
it's a successful tactic that still works well in all
his markets."There's nothing better than having
somebody taste your food to promote the restaurant, period," Cybulski says. "The ROI on that is
unbelievable.
"You delivery 10 pizzas, you're feeding 30 people,
so it's very easy. You're spending, what, $50 on food
costs? You deliver pizzas to, say, a team's coaches
and the next week they're ordering for their wholeteam. It's foolproof."

5 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 7

Cybulski partnered with a
nationally recognized franchising company, and "we knew that
we didn't have the capitalization
like the Pizza Revs or the Blazes, so our thought process was
that if we got extremely solid, if
we followed the level of vetting
to our franchisees and we got
the right franchisees, that they
would grow the brand quickly
in their own concentric circles,"
Cybulski says, "and that's exactly
what happened. We allowed
Columbia (South Carolina) to
open with five stores. We
allowed Houston (Texas) to
open and (then) buy five stores.

Was it a bit of a calculated
gamble? Absolutely. Very, very
important are the demographics
that we have, nailing our target
market, locations -- when we
put all of those together and we
could check off those boxes and
said 'ok, this a great franchisee,'
we know we can succeed."
After opening the Santa Barbara location, Cybulski says they
had more than 100 leads from
interested potential franchisees.
At a franchise show, Cybulski
and his team were approached
by a group who already operated a small chain of national
sandwich shops. They wanted
to buy into Persona, but much
to their chagrin, Cybulski didn't
immediately jump at their offer.
"I said 'no, we can't sign a
deal with you,'" he says. "They
said 'why not?' I said, 'you guys
gotta come up and try the pizza.
We're not just going to sell you a
unit just to sell you a unit.'"
And those same investors
tried the pizza, saw the concept
in action and now own their
own Persona with more stores
on the way.
"They said 'that was basically
the best thing you could have
done was to tell us no, Glenn,'"
Cybulski says. "In hindsight,
that proved to us that we're not
just going to take anybody who
comes in with signed check.
And that's a hard thing not to
do."
In the end, Cybulski is
rightfully proud of his
concept and its potential to
grow nationally. Still, "when

no ones here, and I'm just here
by myself and everything's quiet,
that's just heaven. It's everything," he nods. "Very cool. Very
cool." n
MANDY WOLF DETWILER is

managing editor at Pizza Today.


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - January 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - January 2017

Pizza Today - January 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Third-party Delivery
Mascarpone
Puttanesca
Data Security
Online Ordering
The Road to Expo
Pizza Today on the Road: Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - January 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - January 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Pizza Today - January 2017
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - January 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Third-party Delivery
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Mascarpone
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Puttanesca
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 40
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Data Security
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 46
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Online Ordering
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 50
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - January 2017 - The Road to Expo
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 56
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 60
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 67
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 70
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - January 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 78
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - January 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - January 2017 - Cover4
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE1
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE2
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE3
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE4
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE5
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE6
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE7
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE8
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE9
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE10
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE11
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Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE13
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE14
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE15
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE16
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE17
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE18
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE19
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE20
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE21
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE22
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE23
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE24
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE25
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE26
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE27
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE28
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE29
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE30
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE31
Pizza Today - January 2017 - PE32
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