Pizza + Burgers: How Donatos Landed in Purple Robin’s Nest

When a pizza chain and a burger chain be part of forces, the earth may not tremble, however followers of basic Americana delicacies are certain to take discover.

Donatos Pizza, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and Purple Robin Connoisseur Burgers, based mostly in Englewood, Colorado, started testing an modern mixture of their family-friendly ideas in 2018. Right this moment, Donatos has 248 shops nested in Purple Robin eating places, with extra to come back.

“It’s been a hit for us and for them,” Jane Grote Abell, Donatos’ govt chairwoman, advised PMQ in March 2023. “I believe development by means of venues like that’s the future, though we nonetheless are going to do conventional shops.”

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“I didn’t know quite a bit about Purple Robin till they approached us, however all the things they talked about—their objective and their values—aligned with us,” Abell stated. “They speak about love, in regards to the coronary heart of the home. They care for their individuals and the neighborhood. They really are an important associate.”

However what was it about Donatos that caught Purple Robin’s eye? On this unique Q&A, Jason Rusk, Purple Robin’s senior vice chairman, transformation and enterprise growth, shared his ideas on the connection:

Q: There are a variety of different pizza manufacturers Purple Robin may have partnered with. Why Donatos?

Jason Rusk: Donatos has made the proper associate for us for a variety of causes. Firstly, the unbelievable taste and premium high quality meet the requirements of the on a regular basis connoisseur expertise we glance to deliver our friends by means of our burgers and different menu gadgets. We additionally liked that Donatos is a family-owned, established model with robust consciousness however had a variety of white house throughout the nation, giving us a robust development alternative with out impeding their eating places and core enterprise. Lastly, from an operational perspective, their product and cook dinner instances slot in completely with ours. For instance, their thin-crust pizza aligns with different manufacturing instances in our kitchens, which means {that a} pizza wouldn’t come out 10 minutes after a burger, so we’re in a position to supply an important visitor expertise throughout.

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This Purple Robin retailer opened March 8 in Glendale, Arizona. (Purple Robin Connoisseur Burgers)

Q: How a lot pizza-eating R&D was executed on the time to determine which path to take?

Rusk: We checked out over 100 completely different pizza ideas in our seek for the proper associate, so there was a variety of pizza consuming! Along with evaluating style, we validated the product high quality and talked with shoppers to gauge their response to the pizza. In the long run, we decided the standard of the Donatos model and their providing of party-cut pizza with “Edge to Edge” plentiful toppings match completely into our model.

Q: Was there a monetary/margin resolution at play, and, in that case, may you increase on that?

Rusk: Providing Donatos inside our eating places has allowed us to seize extra gross sales by complementing our menu of American favorites with one other nice merchandise friends and households love. Why select between burgers and pizza when you’ll be able to have each? Via testing and deployment, we’ve discovered that when a visitor tries a Donatos pizza, they’ve a constructive expertise and frequent Purple Robin extra usually. And since pizza is a basic supply merchandise, it’s allowed Purple Robin to be well-positioned because the supply setting has grown.

Q: Do solely corporate-owned Purple Robin shops have the flexibility to discover the Donato partnership, or is it additionally prolonged to franchisees?

Rusk: We at present serve Donatos pizza in about 270 firm places, and our franchisees have the flexibility to nest Donatos Pizza inside their localized menus. Our franchisees who select to serve Donatos are held to the identical model and high quality requirements as our company places.

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