#CBfriends: Papa John's


The heroine of our new interview in the #CBfriends section is Nadezhda Ovanesova, brand director of the Papa John's chain in Russia and the CIS. We talked with Nadezhda about the quality of pizza, the significance of history and the principles of quality.

Tell us a little about yourself: how did you start in this profession and how did you come to Papa John's?

I started my journey in the restaurant business 14 years ago - it’s scary to think how much time has passed since then! She passed all line positions: from hostess and waiter to the manager of a coffee shop chain and deputy commercial director. She worked in network projects and in small intimate restaurants.

Papa Johns

What I remember most is working in a very interesting Belgian a la carte restaurant. The owner was a very pleasant older man who really appreciated good wine and foie gras. Spoke English, German and Flemish. I still remember a few words on Flemish.

It was a great experience. We had to adapt to the realities of the market, completely change the format of the establishment and turn it into an eclectic Belgian pub with a large selection of beer, gambas and langoustines.

Then there were American concepts. In 2014, we opened the first Hooters in Russia. Have you been to Hooters? Oh, this is the best place for those who love beer and sports! 34 screens, 2 huge video walls, any sports broadcast in the world and gorgeous girls in short shorts and tight T-shirts. Slender, fit, tanned, sports fans. When we first opened, the queue stretched from the second floor to the street and only in the open air reached a length of several tens of meters. We had a great team!

When I was offered to join Papa John's, I didn't think twice about it. Even then, I understood well what plans the network had and, accordingly, what interesting projects would await me ahead. Of course, I accepted the invitation, because growing professionally, enriching my knowledge and experience is one of the most important goals in my work.

Papa Johns

Papa John's is one of the most popular pizzeria chains in Moscow. Tell us more about the concept?

Papa John's concept is “Better ingredients. Better pizza." We very carefully control the quality of the products we use and monitor all deliveries. Our suppliers undergo very serious checks before concluding a contract. Everyone must fully meet the gold standard of quality.

First of all, Papa John's is a fast delivery of hot pizza to the client's home. We are extremely demanding in this process: we select good couriers, use special thermal bags and boxes that maintain the temperature of the product and, even after time, provide its unsurpassed taste.

In our restaurants you also have the opportunity to take pizza home (pickup) or enjoy its taste at a table. The cozy atmosphere that reigns in the hall is completely different from that typical for most fast food chains. Many restaurants have a large children's area and host master classes for young visitors, because pizza is one of children's favorite dishes. Making it with your own hands is an unforgettable experience for every child.

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What do you think is the secret of Papa John's success?

Every night the little gnomes prepare a secret sauce, adding a pinch of love and a drop of happiness. This is, of course, a joke, but the magic of Papa John's began for me when I first heard the story of the creation of the first pizzeria. Do you know her? No? Oh, then I'll tell you. John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's, decided back in 1984 that he wanted to make delicious, the best pizza in the world, not only for his family, but also for other people. And then he sold his only treasure - a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 for $2,800. It was a dream that turned into an empire. Isn't this inspiring? Every day, I and our entire team also make our dream come true - to be the best and first in this field, to give joy to people and change the idea of service in our country. I'm not even talking about high-quality and fresh pizza. But the main thing is attitude, right? And this gives rise to the desire to create only the most delicious pizza in order to meet the ideas and wishes of customers.

Papa Johns

Do you have any special “tricks”?

Certainly! Only Papa John's adds garlic sauce to the crust on any traditional crust pizza. And also a jalapeno pepper. Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Can you imagine how hard it is to stay in shape when you work at a pizza chain?!

Papa John's sauce is made from the ripest tomatoes in California, which we sortt into jars no later than 6 hours after harvesting. The recipe is a subtle combination of tomato flavor, olive oil, salt, sugar and a proprietary spice blend.

No one other than a Papa John's employee can replicate our pizza recipes.

Papa Johns

How do you see your visitor?

Our visitors are very different, but they are all very hungry! Seriously, each of our visitors is an individual, with his own wishes. And pizza is not just food, but a reason to relax after work, meet friends, sit with family and chat, watch football! This is especially true now, during the 2018 World Cup.

And how kids love pizza! For them, ordering pizza is a real holiday. As I already said, we conduct children’s master classes, where a professional pizza maker teaches children how to prepare Papa John’s pizza according to our company’s standards. This is a very fun and delicious holiday!

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What do you consciously draw the attention of your guests to?

Making pizza is an art, and a pizza maker is an artist. Did you know that there are even separate pizza-making competitions? So, our team is one of the best in the whole world. For example, quite recently there was a competition, and the Russian team won, showing excellent quality of pizza, prepared to standards in the shortest time. Therefore, first of all, we draw the attention of our guests to the gold standard of pizza preparation. It must be perfect from all sides. Always. Sometimes I ask my friends to order pizza home so that they can send me photos of what it looks like. I have almost 10 GB of such photos on my phone! We have more than 23 pizza rating parameters and a separate team that is responsible for regular checks. This is very important, because pizza is the “face” of our company.

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Do your visitors pay attention to the dishes? Is there one they especially like?

Yes, sure. Our customers love the pizza plates. In my opinion, they are perfect at Papa John's, and I'm absolutely serious. In December 2017, we made New Year's gifts for partners and employees and created pizza plates with our company logo and the phrase “On these fabulous evenings at home, share a hot pizza with those you love.” Everyone was delighted! As they say, everything ingenious is simple. Corporate gifts are rarely really needed, but here we hit the mark.

How important do you think the role of equipment and tools is in creating your product?

Very important. If the equipment turns out to be of poor quality, then even a pizza with the best ingredients will be ruined! This is a disaster for us.

Before putting the pizza in the oven, we place it on a screen with the right number of holes so that it cooks evenly and at the same time does not stick. The finished crispy and aromatic pizza is cut with a very sharp roller knife so that the structure is not damaged. To distribute the sauce over the surface of the pizza, we use a ladle of the required shape and volume, made of stainless steel. This is a kind of magic! After that comes the decoration, where you can’t do without a stand and plates. They complete the picture.

Papa Johns

What do you think attracts your visitors most - food, drinks, atmosphere?

The main emphasis is on harmony. Leading the charge, of course, is pizza. But we are people, we need aesthetics, a special mood and atmosphere. In order to have a delicious meal and relax, we not only prepare high-quality food and serve drinks, but also create a cozy interior so that a person can escape from the bustle of the city and can enjoy relaxation. Despite the fact that Papa John's is a large chain, we try to make the interior cozy, not like fast food standards.

Your specialty is pizza, was it difficult to find the right equipment to make it?

Yes, it’s difficult, especially given our perfectionism. We need the quality of pizza to be equally high in all establishments of the chain; the approach to choosing equipment is very careful everywhere. We use only ovens whose quality has been tested over the years throughout the entire chain of restaurants in the world.

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What drinks do you focus on?

We focus on seasonal drinks. In summer - cooling, during cold weather - warming. We have good, really tasty coffee. Over the past year, we have changed suppliers and greatly increased sales of coffee drinks due to a higher quality product and the motto “Better ingredients. Better pizza. Better than coffee."

Do you plan to add new items to the online menu?So, milkshakes in particular? How is it possible to eat this in a pizzeria on Usievicha Street (Sokol metro station)?

Depending on the area of the restaurant and the needs of customers, we try to add interesting items. Some restaurants have milkshakes and even a full alcoholic and cocktail menu.

Papa Johns

Do you plan to develop in the regions? By yourself or by franchise?

We not only plan, but we are already doing it. We successfully operate more than 65 restaurants opened by our subfranchising partners in Russian cities, in Bishkek, and Minsk.

Which cities are your priority? How many points do you plan to open?

By the end of the year 2018, we plan to open more than 30 more restaurants in Belgorod, Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Surgut, Yaroslavl and other cities. In some places we will limit ourselves to one establishment, and in other places, on the contrary, we will open several at once. The first restaurant is currently being built in Kazakhstan. We treat each region very carefully, accepting the conditions of the local game and mentality. We try to be as flexible as possible and pay attention to the taste preferences of the local population. This is partly reflected even in the composition of the menu. We are actively looking for stable, reliable partners who are interested in investments that bring real dividends. Do you know such entrepreneurs? Send them to us!

Papa Johns

Will the menu change for individual cities?

Of course, because we create a product primarily for the client. For example, in Kazan, where there is a large proportion of Muslims, we have halal pizza. In Bishkek, all meat is also halal. There is no pork or bacon.

With such large-scale plans, is it difficult to find a supplier who would suit you in all respects?

Building successful relationships with suppliers requires stability and an individual approach. It is important for us to know that our partner will not let you down and will be able to organize the delivery of quality goods at the right time and in the right place. We have long-term cooperation with many companies, but we always welcome new faces - provided that they are ready to share our work standards, of course.

Papa Johns

When you made your choice, why did you decide to cooperate with us?

Your company is one of the largest suppliers of utensils, equipment and supplies. From the very beginning, cooperation with Complex Bar did not cause any difficulties, all orders were always delivered on time, and managers provided all the necessary information. We appreciate it incredibly!

What are the advantages of cooperation with Complex-Bar? Is it possible to calculate the benefits of cooperation?

The range of goods presented by the Complex Bar company includes the entire list of utensils and equipment needed in a catering establishment. Your company truly provides comprehensive service! Also, prompt delivery to warehouses and restaurants is very convenient for us. An undoubted advantage is the absence of a minimum order amount, since often a restaurant needs only a few items in small quantities. It is also convenient that those products that are not in the main assortment can be purchased “to order” upon individual request.

Papa Johns

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