Interview with Pierre Filion – Director of Sales & Development for Pizza Pizza

Date: MAY 6th, 2010

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Mr. Filion started his 30 plus year career at Pizza Pizza in 1978 while attending high school. He initially worked part time as a delivery driver and soon developed an interest in working in the kitchen where his pizza making skills were perfected. In 1979 he became a store manager and his love of the business grew. In 1980 he purchased his first Franchise in Toronto. In the years that followed a second Franchise was purchased in Markham Ont. and a third in Scarborough. In 1988 Mr. Filion joined the Corporate Office as District Manager for the Ottawa Region and helped grow the Brand by opening locations throughout The Ottawa Valley, Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall and Northern Ontario Markets. In 2005 Mr. Filion was appointed the position of Director, Sales Development for Eastern Ontario and Quebec and is currently focusing on Pizza Pizza’s expansion in the City of Montreal Qc. where the company has recently opened 8 new locations.

BeTheBoss - Tell us about the Pizza Pizza concept.

Pierre Filion - Pizza Pizza was founded in 1968 in Toronto Ont. and has grown to become Ontario’s #1 Pizza and one of Canada’s leading Pizza Chains.

BTB - How and when did you become involved with Pizza Pizza?

PF - I started with the Company in 1978 as a part time job during High School. I went on to become a Store Manager, Franchise Owner, and afterwards joined the Corporate Office in 1988 as a District Manager for the Ottawa and Eastern Ontario Region. It was in that role that I gained experience in expanding the Pizza Pizza Brand throughout Eastern Ontario and Quebec.

BTB - What was your background prior to joining Pizza Pizza?

PF - I worked for various QSR restaurants such as Pizza Hut and Mr. Sub.

BTB - What are some of the advantages in being a Pizza Pizza franchisee?

PF - The biggest advantage is the benefit of belonging to a strong Brand with a proven track record, ongoing support and a strong Marketing presence.

BTB - Who is your ideal franchisee.

PF - Our ideal Franchisee is someone with the drive to succeed in the service industry. Someone that truly believes the customer is King, and willing to develop an un-comprimising commitment to quality, service and cleanliness, all while maintaining a positive attitude and willingness to work as part of a team.

BTB - Tell us a little about the Pizza Market?

PF - Pizza Pizza is in the QSR Quick Service Industry and continues to meet the demands of our ever increasing busy lifestyles. We provide healthy alternatives with a variety of products for eat-in, carryout or delivery.

BTB - What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

PF - That hard work, great quality and customer service always pays off.

BTB - Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

PF - Pizza Pizza has a dynamic and highly experienced Management Team that could easily fill the role of mentor be it in Real Estate, Marketing, Franchising and Operations.

BTB - What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

PF - Assure yourself of the growth potential of the industry and the Brand. Afterwards look for the company with the strongest support, and most of all assure yourself that it’s something you could see yourself doing and take pride in for years to come.

BTB - In your opinion, why do you think that Pizza Pizza would be a great opportunity for someone?

PF - Great industry, great product, great marketing and great support.