With 10 locations in 5 countries overseas, Round Table Pizza is expanding across the globe
When Los Angeles native Ali Kerachi first tried Round Table Pizza, he happened to be living quite far from home.
“I didn’t know what Round Table was until I moved to Dubai,” says Kerachi, who today co-owns 21 Round Table franchises within a 100-square-mile radius of Oakland, California. Having grown up in Southern California — which then was not as familiar with our brand as the Bay Area — Kerachi first tasted Round Table Pizza while in the Persian Gulf nation. “By the time I came back to California and moved to the Bay Area, I was a huge fan.”
As Kerachi can attest, we have proven that our pizza concept is popular with international consumers. Dubai is home to several of our overseas locations, which include Bahrain and Mongolia, with several more under development in nations including Vietnam and Malaysia.
“We’re relatively new internationally, in the sense that Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Domino’s already have significant international pizza presences. However, operationally and quality-wise, they’re just not as good. That’s where Round Table has the competitive edge. We’re filling that desire for a better tasting pizza in all those countries. We have a tighter control over the quality of our pizza,” says Mike Buck, Director of International Operations, “so we can serve “The Last Honest Pizza all over the world.”
Buck says although we allow our international franchise partners to alter the decor to assimilate better with the local surrounding culture, our restaurants are clearly branded as Round Table Pizza, and expats and tourists will definitely recognize the distinctive “Last Honest Pizza” taste.
We work with local flour vendors in our overseas locations, providing them with a starter kit assembled by a blending company so they can replicate the dough to reproduce our signature chewy-crunchy crust. “We have to get the foundation of our product right or it’s not Round Table,” Buck says.
Since Round Table uses sauce made from California-grown tomatoes, we export tomato paste made from those tomatoes along with our proprietary spice blend. With those foundational elements in place, we can work to accommodate local dietary customs, such as special halal menus, while keeping the Round Table core menu in place.
Round Table is available for franchise opportunities internationally. In addition to the Middle East and Asia, we are identifying opportunities in South and Central America. We prefer substantial international foodservice industry experience as part of our franchisee evaluation criteria. Other experience may suffice if the right investor group is well-capitalized and committed to building a foundation at our direction.
If your firm is currently involved in the operation of successful U.S.-based QSR or casual dining franchise concepts internationally, we would love to have a conversation with you.