First N Y P D Pizza Franchise Lands At Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The first franchise for pizza chain NYPD Pizza landed this week at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport's Terminal 4.

The franchise, which is the tenth NYPD location in the Phoenix area, is located at US Airways gates B1-B14 beyond the security checkpoint. It is owned by Premiere Airport Food Services, which is operated by Nava Singam and Candace Snorgrass.

NYPD CEO Rich Stark said the Scottsdale company has been eying the airport for about six years, and when the opportunity presented itself, the pizza chain thought it best to recruit an outside party to set it up.

"The airport is a very different type of environment we'd be operating in," Stark said. For instance, the airport space is 600 square feet, which is significantly less than the 3,000 square feet of a usual NYPD location.

Because of the company's lack of experience in airport operations, it partnered with Premiere Airport Food Services (PAFS) to develop and open the Sky Harbor pizzeria.

Singam, who along with Snorgrass has been operating restaurants in the airport environment for about eight years, said they had been looking to add a pizza concept to their portfolio, which includes Paradise Bakery and Copper Plate - An American Grill.

"When you operate in an airport environment there has to be product that travels really well," Singam said. "Pizza is definitely one of those items." The Sky Harbor NYPD will have a limited menu that caters to the on-the-go environment of the airport.

PAFS will pay a 4 percent royalty fee to NYPD, Stark said.

NYPD generates around $15 million in annual revenues.

NYPD is not in the midst of a franchising expansion, Stark said, though the pizza chain is not adverse to franchising down the road and in the right circumstance.

"Our plans are to continue to open street side company-operated stores," he said, adding the chain's 11th location is set to open at 7th Avenue and McDowell Road in November.

NYPD's focal point at the moment is the Phoenix market, which the company believes can accommodate twice as many stores as today.

Within the next decade, NYPD will look to expand beyond Arizona's borders and into other large markets, Stark said.

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