New franchise territory opened in Blackpool
Born and bred in Blackpool, Mark Partington is an entrepreneur through and through. He has lived and worked in The Bahamas, Holland and the USA. He’s run a French Patisserie in London and a bungee jump enterprise on the promenade at Blackpool, but these days, he has his feet firmly on the ground as a director of the hugely successful Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire.
Described as the perfect holiday destination, spa retreat, wedding venue, health club or conference venue, Ribby Hall’s five star facilities are open 365 days a year. Each year, Ribby Hall Village welcomes tens of thousands of guests who come to enjoy the cottage and lodge accommodation, a vast array of sport and leisure activities, restaurants, cafés and bars and the new Spa Hotel.
“We already had a successful Starbucks outlet onsite, which opened about four years ago, and so the introduction of a quality fast-food outlet was a natural progression,” explains Mark. “We researched the pizza market thoroughly and were most impressed by Papa John’s.”
Papa John’s was originally founded in the USA in 1984 and is the only branded pizza chain to use only 100% fresh dough, giving a better natural flavour and our unique tomato sauce is made from the best Californian tomatoes, picked and packed from vine to can in just six hours. The combination of superior product and strong brand has been very successful and there are now more than 180 franchised pizza stores across the UK, and 3900 outlets in 33 countries.
“The Papa John’s team were very supportive and easy to deal with,” continues Mark. “They understood that our store would need to be a little different compared with a regular high street outlet and allowed us the flexibility we needed to meet the requirements of our customer base. Unlike other Papa John’s franchises we are not really a traditional takeaway. We added a little entrepreneurial flavour and have a salad bar, sell alcohol and customers can eat in if they choose, although we don’t do crockery!
“We were always confident the concept would work at Ribby Hall, as both the unique store set up and high quality product offering appeals to our particular customer base. Over the past two and half years the franchised outlet has quickly become very popular, with staff serving up around 4-500 orders per week.”
More recently, Mark has also gone on to become an investor in a new Papa John’s store which has opened up in the franchise territory of Blackpool.
“This is a very different market,” he confirms. “However, if successful, Papa John’s offers the opportunity to open multiple outlets so plans for further store openings are not out of the question.”