The answers to the following frequently asked questions will help you further evaluate our franchise opportunity and make a fully informed decision concerning its benefits to you.
This information is not intended to replace the information contained in our Franchise Offering Circular, which we will provide to you at the time of your introductory meeting, and which you should thoroughly examine prior to entering into any agreement.
Q: Why pizza and what makes Mazzio's Italian Eatery so special?
A: The pizza and pasta categories have been two of the fastest growing food service segments over the last 10 years. The average American eats pizza or pasta two to three times a month. Just over a third of the U.S. population eats pizza or pasta once a week (source: National Eating Trends). The unique taste of our products, along with our knowledge and experience in the foodservice industry, have enabled us to develop an operating system and franchise opportunity that are as carefully planned and harmonious as the ambiance in each Mazzio's Italian Eatery restaurant. Mazzio's not only franchises Mazzio's restaurants, but also operates Mazzio's restaurants. This makes us a participating party in the ongoing development of the concept. We believe in the long-term opportunities offered by the foodservice industry and Mazzio's.
Q: Do I need prior restaurant experience to own a Mazzio's franchise?
A: In most cases, the answer is "yes." Owner/operators are preferred as a particular group. An exception is if your general manager has restaurant experience and an equity interest. Absentee ownership is highly discouraged and permissible only in exceptional circumstances.
Q: How many Mazzio's restaurants may I operate?
A: Multi-unit ownership is encouraged, but only if a franchisee is on a sound operational and financial base.
Q: Do you offer a finance program or any type of financial assistance?
A: Mazzio's does not provide any direct financing.
Q: Does Mazzio's provide potential franchisees with an Earnings Claim Statement?
A: Yes. Our Franchise Offering Circular contains "Statements of Actual Sales and Earnings" that reflect the results of specific company-owned Mazzio's restaurants. (Important Note: Future results of any franchise location are dependent upon a number of significant variables. They include location, competition, overall market conditions, utilities, fluctuations in food costs, availability and cost of labor, cost of other operating expenses, and the operator's expertise and dedication.)
Q: How can I determine what geographic area is available for franchising?
A: The availability of geographic areas is continually changing, so we ask you to list your geographic preference(s) and submit it (them) to us. After we review the information, we will contact you about the specific areas in which you are interested. (Special Note: Mazzio's approves locations and sites. We may suggest development in certain areas, and veto areas we feel are not feasible.)
Q: Can an existing building be remodeled?
A: Yes, subject to the approval of Mazzio's. The typical building for conversion will need to be in the 2,400 - 3,500 square foot range with on-site parking for 35+ vehicles.
Q: How do I select a location?
A: Once the Franchise Agreement has been executed and all applicable fees paid, we will schedule a site trip to your area to discuss the various options and approve a location. Additionally, demographic reports are furnished by Mazzio's to provide a more thorough location analysis.
Q: Who is responsible for each restaurant's advertising?
A: Local restaurant marketing is the financial responsibility of the franchisee. To help in the advertising effort, we have created an advertising fund which is used to: (1) produce all advertising materials, including the attractive "point of purchase" materials for local use; (2) promote brand awareness; and (3) evaluate the impact of marketing expenditures through research. Additionally, cooperative advertising associations may be formed in any market. Our ultimate goal is to have each Mazzio's Italian Eatery restaurant in a local market co-op advertising association.
Q: What types of advertising programs are utilized by Mazzio's?
A: Mazzio's uses print, radio, television, outdoor advertising and social marketing. Media coverage is on a local or regional basis. Mazzio's is a regional organization that does not purchase national spots. The primary source of advertising materials is the in-house marketing department of Mazzio's. You may use your own advertising material when it is approved by Mazzio's. Each year, there is a Mazzio's marketing conference and all Mazzio's franchisees are invited. Franchisees have the opportunity to provide input about marketing programs for the following year.
Q: Do I purchase food products and supplies directly from Mazzio's?
A: No. Mazzio's has contracted with an independent supplier to provide purchasing and weekly distribution of all food products, paper products and operating supplies to company and franchise restaurants. And the best news is ... every location, company-owned or franchised, benefits from the volume purchasing power of Mazzio's system-wide operations. Mazzio's reserves the right to approve all products, suppliers and purveyors to ensure that quality standards are followed and maintained.
Q: Where do I purchase the equipment package?
A: You may purchase the equipment from any of the suppliers approved by Mazzio's.
Q: What is the nature of training provided by Mazzio's?
A: An 8-week training program at the corporate headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is provided for you and your management team – consisting of three people. This program has been designed to cover vital areas of importance to your success as a franchise owner. It covers the operations manual, library of training videos, methods of inventory control, equipment maintenance, standards of quality, service and cleanliness, personnel policies, effective training techniques, operational techniques and advertising. Prior to opening your Mazzio's Italian Eatery restaurant, on-site training will be provided at Mazzio's expense.
Q: Does the owner need training?
A: Yes, even if the owner is not going to work in the restaurant, he or she should complete the Mazzio's two-week owner training program.
Q: Does Mazzio's provide any ongoing training?
A: Yes, we offer various seminars throughout the year, some conducted at regional sites.
Q: What form of continuing operations guidance will I receive?
A: We want you to have the advantage of our ongoing research and development. Therefore, you will be periodically updated and kept current on all new products, suppliers, equipment, inventory control, advertising and much more through weekly manager's reports, newsletters and regular direct contact from our staff. In addition, you will be provided ongoing supervision and support from an experienced franchise business consultant through periodic visits. The consultant will discuss important aspects of your Mazzio's Italian Eatery restaurant operation with you and your management personnel. You may contact our staff whenever you desire advice, and you may exchange ideas and information with other franchise owners.
Additionally, as a Mazzio's franchisee, you will participate in a variety of events designed to hone your restaurant management skills. Regularly scheduled meetings, seminars and other participatory programs enable you to benefit from the experiences of other Mazzio's restaurant owners.
Q: How soon can I be in operation once I have been awarded a franchise?
A: Securing a location is typically the determining factor. Once a mutually agreed upon site has been secured, constructing and supplying your new business for its opening generally takes 12 to 20 weeks.
Q: Can I sell my Mazzio's Italian Eatery franchise?
A: In the event you desire to sell your Mazzio's Italian Eatery restaurant and the franchise rights pertaining to it, you must first disclose the sales terms to Mazzio's. We have a right of first refusal to purchase your restaurant. In the event we do not purchase your restaurant, you will be free to seek another buyer, who must be approved by Mazzio's.
Q: Who are the top executives at Mazzio's LLC?
A: They are individuals with years of experience in the food business. The experience, continuity and depth of the Mazzio's management team constitute one of our biggest strategic assets. Our management team has worked together for many years, leading the company to become a dominant force in the food service industry, and building long-term relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and existing franchisees.
Q: What's the next step if I am interested in a Mazzio's Italian Eatery Franchise?
A: Complete and return the application.
If your application is accepted, you will be invited for a one-day introductory visit to Tulsa. At that time, you will receive a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Your meeting in Tulsa will include discussions with key personnel from the franchise department of Mazzio's and visits to Mazzio's Italian Eatery restaurants.
Once you are formally approved as a franchisee, a Standard Franchise Agreement will be sent to you, along with an invoice for your initial franchise fee.
You will need to select a certain site for approval. Your franchise fee will be refunded if Mazzio's is unable to approve any of your sites, or the fee may be transferred to another approved city.