Ep 194: Pizza & Profit: The Slice Factory Story
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dom Diana, CEO and founder of Slice Factory, the family-focused and welcoming Chicago-based pizza franchise and home to Chicago's original jumbo slice. We discussed the history of Slice Factory, their expansion and franchising plans, and the competitive pizza market in Chicago.
With an extensive restaurant background and a love for delicious Italian cuisine, DiDiana founded Slice Factory in January of 1998 and has never looked back. Growing up in Naples, Italy in the early 90's, a love of family, food and festivities permeated everything about his life. If you were within 30 feet of his home, you could probably smell his mother's delicious garlic tomato sauce. Venturing to Chicago in the late- 1990's his family came together to share their passion for celebrating food and family and in 1998, the DiDiana family went into the Chicago pizza business. Slice Factory has been franchising since July of 2013 and has expanded to 13 locations across the Chicagoland area.
Highlights from our conversation include...
- The history of Slice Factory, from its beginnings in 1998 to its rebranding in 2013 and expansion plans
- The decision to rebrand Slice Factory and the challenges of franchising & finding the right franchisees
- The competitive pizza market in Chicago
- The qualities Dom looks for in potential franchisees
- How baking a massive 28-inch pizza is part of their branding success
- Handling the challenge of staffing by building a fully automatic pizza robot to aid back of the house labor
- How technology has helped Slice Factory streamline their operations, shave off 6 points & become more profitable
- Slice Factory's social media presence, with a focus on TikTok and Instagram
The episode provides valuable insights into the pizza industry and the importance of technology and social media in running a successful restaurant business. So, grab a slice of pizza and tune in to learn more!
As Dom says, "If you're going to do something, do it right, and do it with passion."
TIMESTAMPS from Podcast...
Slice Factory's History [00:00:22]
Dom talks about the history of Slice Factory, from its beginnings in 1998 to its rebranding in 2013 and expansion plans.
Rebranding and Franchising [00:04:39]
Dom discusses the decision to rebrand Slice Factory in 2013 and the challenges of franchising, including creating franchise disclosure documents and finding the right franchisees.
Expanding in a Competitive Market [00:10:58]
Dom talks about the competitive pizza market in Chicago and the qualities he looks for in potential franchisees, including commitment and willingness to work long hours.
Expansion and Franchising [00:12:12]
Dom talks about Slice Factory's expansion plans and their focus on franchising, including their criteria for selecting franchisees and their preference for locations with drive-thrus.
Pizza Robot [00:14:14]
Dom discusses Slice Factory's solution to the challenge of staffing their restaurants by building a fully automatic pizza robot to aid back of the house labor.
Technology and Profitability [00:18:20]
Dom shares how technology has helped Slice Factory streamline their operations and become more profitable, including the use of an all-in-one restaurant software and a point of sale with open APIs for integrations.
Social Media Presence [00:23:30-00:24:00]
Dom talks about Slice Factory's social media presence, with a focus on TikTok and Instagram.
Conclusion and Call to Action [00:24:06-00:24:28]
Jamie thanks Dom for his time and encourages listeners to like, subscribe, and give feedback to the Running Restaurants podcast.