2011 October: Five Questions

John M. Parlet is owner and founder of John’s Incredible Pizza Company Inc. The company operates 11 family entertainment restaurants in California.

Q: What is the Incredible Achievement Scholarship Award and how does it fit into your overall employee-relations initiatives?

A: It is a program we designed to recognize and reward the accomplishments of our team members who set high goals for themselves, serve our communities, and work hard to deliver an Incredible Experience for our guests every day. The criteria for our scholarship program states that team member candidates possess an outstanding work ethic both in the store and in the classroom and have demonstrated incredible character, dedication and vision through academic activities and community leadership. Candidates are also required to submit an essay, 250 words or less, on any topic — experience, person, place or thing — that they feel is truly ‘Incredible.’ We are extraordinarily proud of our team and aware of this team’s potential out there in our communities as well as within the company.

Q: In addition to VIP, kids and e-mail clubs, you have a business club … how do you attract a business lunch crowd to a buffet-style entertainment center?

A: We are constantly looking for new ways to attract the business lunch crowd. The fast and fresh convenience of our buffet coupled with the variety our themed dining rooms offer lend well to this group, while entertainment is the ice breaker for more focused business events. We are currently developing new programs to round out our business meeting and team building event packages and illustrate the convenience of having it all: fully equipped meeting rooms, fresh food, variety, value, and fun — all under one roof.

Q: What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in opening multiple locations?

A: One of the lessons learned is that it is critical to make sure you have the right people manning the new locations. We believe having people that share our passion and values is the most important part of a successful expansion program.

Q: The Beaverton, California, location’s March opening marks the first new store since partnering with Philadelphia-based venture capital firm H.Katz Capital Group. What are your expansion plans for John’s Incredible Pizza?

A: We plan on opening up to three stores a year for the next several years.

Q: With 11 locations, what kind of staff management system do you have in place for so many employees?

A: We operate each location with a management team of five –– a store director and four department heads –– with each location having around 200 employees reporting to the various department heads.

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