Pizza Pizza heads south

Pizza Pizza’s newest development has the potential to grow its business exponentially. And no, we’re not talking about the innovative dip roller.

Canada’s largest pizza chain opened its first international location in Guadalajara, riding on the optimism that Mexico could one day be a bigger part of its business than its homeland. 

  • Despite questions about quality (like once being deemed “a dipping sauce place that sells pizza”), Pizza Pizza is super popular, with ~750 locations across nine provinces. 

The restaurant will operate under a new PZA Pizzeria brand, used for international markets to experiment with new flavours. To help popularity catch on in Mexico, Pizza Pizza will aim for a “gourmet twist” that incorporates local flavours, like shredded al pastor pork.

  • Pizza Pizza also plans to open four PZA Pizzerias across Canada this year.

Why it’s happening: Canada can only support so many Pizza Pizzas. It’s easy to forget, but the country is a fairly small market with roughly one Pizza Pizza franchise per every ~52,700 people, currently. Having any more locations runs the risk of becoming too saturated. 

  • CEO Paul Goddard said that at 1,000 locations, they would “start cannibalizing each other”—a turn of phrase which gives us a frighteningly vivid image of an anthropomorphic pizza slice chowing down on fellow slices.

Zoom out: As Canada’s third-largest trade partner, Mexico offers a favourable place for Canadian trade and investment. Pizza Pizza joins a long list of Canadian companies, from miners and movers, to retailers and other eateries, making big moves way down south.—QH