Would you like a Burger with that?
Drew McCarthyFeatures Profiles
Double Double Pizza & Chicken delivers
Double Double Pizza & Chicken delivers hamburgers and fish & chips
Double Double Pizza & Chicken delivers hamburgers and fish & chips.
We’re always looking for something new – something that will keep us ahead of the competition,” says Sheila Jalili, general manager of Double Double Pizza and Chicken.
Sheila’s father, Arman Jalili, founded the company in 1990 with a store at the corner of Kennedy and Lawrence in Scarborough, Ont. “I grew up in the business,” says Sheila. “I’ve been here since day one.” Double Double Pizza & Chicken has grown over the past 15 years from that single location in the GTA to 65 stores across Ontario.
|The hamburger is priced at $3.99. Customers can double the meat patty for an extra $2.00.|
“Double Double Pizza & Chicken was the first company to sell chicken and chicken wings along with pizza, and soon after several other chains followed suit,” Sheila says proudly. “And to this day,” she adds, “we prepare our chicken pieces and chicken wings in store from fresh produce – something none of the competition is doing.”
Innovation is important at Double Double Pizza & Chicken and so is being a market leader. In December of 2004, the company initiated another first – it began preparing and delivering dressed-to-order all-beef hamburgers.
The response from the marketplace was overwhelming. The company has sold 50,000 burgers in the first three months. “It took off immediately,” says Sheila. “Double Double Pizza & Chicken is the only chain in Ontario that delivers burgers,” she adds.
The new hamburger is also one of the largest portions in the burger business, says Sheila. “It’s an 8 oz. portion that yields a 5 oz. cooked burger.” This compares favourably to many of the 4 oz. burgers being sold in the marketplace. “Most of the mainstream burger places start out with a 4 oz. burger uncooked,” Sheila adds.
The hamburger is competitively priced at $3.99. Customers can double the meat patty for an extra $2.00. They can also get a regular burger, fries and a drink for $5.49. They can also choose extras such as bacon and cheese.
Word of mouth was very important in achieving customer awareness, says Sheila. The company also used its web site, flyers, billboards and radio advertising.
Sheila estimates that more than half of their burgers are being sold to new customers. “Our pizza sales have also increased,” she adds. The addition of the new product also seems to have refreshed their loyal customers’ interest in the chain.
Encouraged by the immediate success of their burger option, Double Double Pizza & Chicken launched another new delivery product in February – fish and chips.
The new item is a 4 oz. filet of sole, served with fries or fresh-cut potato wedges, gourmet coleslaw and tartar sauce for $5.49. The sole is lightly breaded using a dry coating rather than a wet batter. “And because we have both fryers and ovens in the store,” says Sheila, “our customers can choose to have their fish either fried or baked.” (Double Double Pizza & Chicken offers the choice between baked or fried with other items such as chicken wings or calzones.)
|Brochures show new menu items. Pizza and chicken orders are never lost because some customers in a group wants a burger or fish.|
At this point Sheila is not considering bundling the burgers or fish with pizza. “The product (hamburger) is doing so well on its own that we’ve decided to leave things the way they are.” Sales have been evenly distributed across neighbourhoods in the GTA and other locations throughout Ontario.
“This has been one of the best ideas we’ve ever had,” Sheila says proudly. “It makes us distinct from the competition down the street. It also allows us to get pizza and chicken orders we my have otherwise lost because someone in the group wanted a burger or fish that night.”
Reflecting on her company’s latest success, Sheila says, “We started out as a pizza company but now we have become a versatile delivery company with several different menu options.”
Double Double Pizza and Chicken’s commitment to innovation is fundamental to the company’s culture. When asked about future endeavours, Sheila happily replies, “We are always on the lookout for anything we can deliver to our customers. We would like to be able to deliver as many different menu items as possible.”•
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