FORMER accountant Rizwan Butt has invested £250,000 in opening his third pizza delivery outlet, as part of plans to open another seven branches across the region by 2015.
Mr Butt’s new outlet in Harrogate, which is a franchise of Pizza Hut Delivery, has created 25 jobs and there are vacancies for 15 more staff at the branch.
Having opened his first Pizza Hut Delivery outlet in 2007, Mr Butt now operates three branches in Harrogate, Heckmondwike and Bradford South.
Pizza Hut Delivery is a wholly own subsidiary of YUM!, one of the world’s largest franchisors.
Mr Butt, from Yeadon, said: “We were looking at opening a site in Harrogate for the past couple of months. We found this site which was initially a fish and chip shop. We bought the business, took the lease, and closed the business down and converted into a Pizza Hut Delivery.
“Everything is brand new and has been refurbished.”
As a franchisee owner, Mr Butt employs more than 100 people across the three businesses and he is intending to invest a further £1.7m in seven further branches in the Yorkshire region by 2015.
He said he is planning further branches in the Leeds area, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. “I don’t want to expand too far out where I don’t have control of the operations”, said Mr Butt.
“I don’t have any intentions to go outside Yorkshire at the moment.”
Mr Butt said that the average turnover per Pizza Hut Delivery store per week is more than £10,000.
“Pizza Hut Delivery is a first-class brand recognised across the UK and the world and I am delighted to continue to invest in a company which provides opportunities for franchisees to grow their businesses and help develop employees,” Mr Butt said.
“I have always wanted to be part of a powerful brand. I looked around at the options available, and realised the Pizza Hut Delivery brand could not be beaten. I am provided with all of the support I require from the restaurant support centre (head office) but I am also encouraged to put my own commercial skills into practice to grow my business.
“One of the most rewarding parts of becoming a franchisee has been seeing the teams develop within my businesses.
“I have been incredibly impressed by the dedication, commitment and determination of my store teams and am very grateful for the hard work they have done to enable me to open more outlets. I am delighted to be able to bring Pizza Hut Delivery to Harrogate – it is a great community, a great area and Pizza Hut Delivery is proud to be serving the residents.”
Mr Butt benefited from Pizza Hut Delivery’s £4.5m incentive programme, which aims to see more than 100 new stores opened across England, Wales and Scotland by 2014.
Mr Butt said: “The incentive money is totally separate from my investment. I have invested £250,000 myself into that site.
“The incentive programme gives a bit of flexibility to the franchisees.”
The incentive programme offers up to £65,000 support to existing and new franchisees for opening a new store.
Speaking about the creation of jobs at the Harrogate outlet, Mr Butt said: “We have employed mostly people from Harrogate.
“So far we have employed 25 but we are waiting for another 15 to join us.” The aim is to have more than 40 staff at the Harrogate outlet.
Pizza Hut Delivery opened its first UK store in 1988, and first franchised store in early 2001. It now consists of almost 300 units across England, Scotland and Wales.