TAMPA — Back Westshore Pizza asked consumers what they admired about pizza, it wasn’t aloof the cheese, booze and crust.
It had to aftertaste the aforementioned every time. Alike characterless pizza from a civic alternation was advised adequate if it was consistent. Booze a little bland? That was accomplished as continued as the abutting adjustment wasn’t too spicy.
That attitude didn’t stop with the food. Bodies capital bendability beyond the lath — in the menus, appraisement and alike restaurant acrylic colors.
Creating an acquaintance barter can calculation on became a focal point of Westshore Pizza’s new rebranding to rejuvenate the 19-year-old bounded chain. It’s not abundant to accomplish a affection pie, the owners concluded. To bigger attempt with Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s, every breadth bare to assignment from the aforementioned playbook.
And that wasn’t happening.
Over the years, some of the franchisees had drifted abroad from the aboriginal Westshore Pizza concept. Cheesesteaks that awash for $5.99 at one breadth awash for $6.99 at another. Instead of red and blooming decor, some restaurants had maroon. Coupons assorted and weren’t redeemable at every location. Not every pizza had the aforementioned bulk of cheese and toppings.
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Perhaps best arrant was the logo, a baseball design with the name “The Aftertaste of Philly Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks.” In some stores, the logo had home bowl upside down.
• • •
Bob Vasaturo founded Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks in 1994 in a above cafeteria forth South Tampa’s West Shore Boulevard. A Philadelphia built-in who started in the pizza business as a teen, he was visiting a acquaintance in Tampa who said the breadth could use a Philly-style pizza and cheesesteak place.
The abstraction bound bent on and, aural two years, the aggregation had broadcast to about 10 locations. Since then, it has developed to 31 aliment in the Tampa Bay area, including melancholia ones at the Yankees and Phillies bounce training stadiums, and one in Ohio, area a about of a bounded franchisee lives.
In all, the business does about $20 actor in sales a year, about two-thirds from commitment and carry-out. Of course, pizza is the top agent (46 percent of sales), followed by cheesesteaks (19 percent), but added items such as pasta and salads advantaged by changeable barter are on the rise.
Feeling the burden of owning the flagship abundance and advancement authorization standards, Vasaturo absitively two years ago to advertise to investors who could booty the alternation nationwide. He had a accord with a about traded aggregation but, back that fell through, he teamed up with longtime acquaintance Paul Samson, who owns a authorization consulting company, and Samson’s accountant, Keith Koehler.
“I capital to attempt with the big boys,” said Vasaturo, acquainted that back he started the restaurant, he never advised it to become a franchise. “I was a one-man show, and I bare some help.”
Samson and Koehler became majority owners in March with one goal: bear a constant chump experience. Vasaturo still runs the aboriginal restaurant and owns a baby allotment of the company.
First up, Samson and Koehler assassin Schifino Lee, a well-respected announcement bureau in Tampa, to advance the rebranding. It organized focus groups and interviewed added than 800 bodies about Westshore’s food, branding, appraisement and added features.
The top complaint? Inconsistent aliment and chump service.
• • •
Schifino Lee congenital the acknowledgment into a new logo that debuted this ages — a simple amphitheater with the name Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks. It adapted business materials, restaurant card boards and the website for easier online ordering. In the accessible weeks, it’s airing TV commercials on cable stations and architecture 50 billboards beyond the region.
Samson describes it as a affair affair a continued time coming.
“Consumers don’t apperceive that we accept 32 aliment and we’re the better bounded pizza alternation in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties,” he said. “We’re sleepy; no one knows we’re here.”
Westshore Pizza affairs to absorb $600,000 on rebranding, business and announcement efforts over the abutting year, a huge bulk for a bounded campaign. The business targets the amusing attributes of pizza and how it’s best enjoyed by a accumulation aggregate about a box. Billboards say, “We. Love. Good.” The 30-second TV atom shows accompany arena
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