Kotipizza is a Finnish company and the largest pizza chain in the Nordics. The chain was founded in 1987 and it has over 280 restaurants across Finland. Their net sales for the financial year of 2019 were over EUR 133.3 million. All Kotipizza restaurants in Finland are franchising companies and they’re managed by independent franchisees.
The Kotipizza chain is managed by Kotipizza Oyj, which is a part of Kotipizza Group. The group includes companies such as The Social Burger Joint, which specializes in handmade burgers and the logistics company Helsinki Foodstocks Oy, which delivers responsible raw materials to other restaurant chains in the group. Kotipizza Group is part of the Norwegian Orkla group, which focuses on sustainable values.
Emerging from the corona spring
The coronavirus epidemic did not hit Kotipizza as hard as other companies in the restaurant sector.
“We predicted that the amount of home deliveries and takeaway orders would increase rapidly, so we reacted immediately. Within two weeks, we were able to turn most of our remaining restaurants into home delivery units. They cover as much as eighty percent of households in Finland. The fact that we already had existing distribution channels helped us to emerge from the situation unscathed”, states Markus Kaatranen, Sales Director at Kotipizza Oyj.
“Thanks to the coronavirus, we were able to understand how adaptable and flexible our chain is. Our brand has developed also in other ways over the years. For example, responsibility forms the basis of everything we do. We have always tried to maintain the basic philosophy of a modern company, so we can react to external changes quickly”, Kaatranen states.
Genuine partnership and comprehensive expertise
Kotipizza was searching for a financial management partner that could provide franchisees with consistent services that support their business and success. The goals of the service centre were to improve comparability and to create a more consistent chain concept, for example in balance calculation. The services are produced electronically using Netvisor accounting software, which allows franchisees to manage financial issues anywhere regardless of time or place.
The chain seeks to support their franchisees’ expertise and conditions for success in various ways as well as actively training them in financial matters. For the same reason, Staria was chosen as the chain’s financial management partner, as it is specialized in the restaurant sector and is experienced in coaching franchisees. Ideally, an accountant serves as franchising company’s external financial manager who also coaches the chain to develop their reporting processes. Kotipizza has good experiences of the model with Staria.
“The tripartite model adds real value. In this model, the entrepreneur, Kotipizza Group and Staria form a tripartite, where Staria reports to the parent company and franchisees’ business is jointly developed, assessed, and monitored. The model enables perfect transparency between the parties”, Kaatranen states.
Companies should demand the best and not be afraid of change
Kaatranen has the following tip for companies: “Changing the accounting company is not something to be afraid of. One should not settle for average or poor simply because the workload related to transition might seem overwhelming. The competitive tendering of services is the word of the day and companies should only settle for the best.”
“Due to competitive tendering, we now have at our disposal the best possible consistent systems that provide easily processable data in real time. Staria’s value comes from proactive operations, interest towards the line of our business and genuine partnership. They are on the industry’s pulse, and their operations allow us to save up resources and increase our efficiency. Even our accountants are interested in food culture and our line of business, not just numbers. It makes us agile”, Kaatranen says with satisfaction.
Business intelligence enables the coaching of the entrepreneur
According to Kaatranen, business intelligence is the key to success. It increases efficiency and is a growing trend in the food industry.
From the chain company’s point of view, Netvisor accounting software is a solid basis for reliable reporting. The greatest benefit for the chain is its comprehensive nature: all franchisees can receive services in the same way. The chain can also easily compare entrepreneurs thanks to consistent reporting models and unified financial KPI’s. Comparability is crucial.
“Comparability needs to be possible at a daily, weekly and monthly basis with good accessibility of information. We have been able to implement a model, where information is easily accessible and where we can monitor entrepreneurs’ sales in real time and the result reliably on a monthly basis”, Kaatranen says.
The important thing is to have functioning tools and defined financial KPI’s that entrepreneurs can monitor.
“The financial KPI’s are easily accessible and monitoring them allows us to react quickly, if necessary. We are aware of our entrepreneurs’ ability for delivering results as well as what they are able to achieve. Monitoring KPI’s is not enough. The chain needs to provide goals together with the entrepreneurs. We create a growth strategy together with each franchisee covering details such as financial KPI knowledge, analytics and operational management”, Kaatranen finishes.