Roman’s Pizza: A deliciously South African Success Story

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Roman’s Pizza is set to double its store count over the next five years. John Nicolakakis, CEO of Roman’s Pizza, believes that a commitment to quality and striving to continuously improve are key to developing the Roman’s Pizza brand across Africa. Having grown Roman’s Pizza from 28 to 161 stores, Nicolakakis is now focusing on the challenge of rolling out further stores throughout the African continent. He has already brokered deals with many of the countries bordering South Africa and is planning to have a confirmed presence in all of them over the next 18 months.

The Roman’s Pizza brand began with Nicolakakis’ father Arthur who founded it in 1993, drawing on his considerable expertise in the food industry. Twelve years ago, Nicolakakis took over the business, building on his father’s foundation and the experience he had gathered from both working in the fast food industry and his degree in finance.

Once he stepped in as CEO, Nikolakakis was able to use the established value of the Roman’s Pizza brand as a base to rapidly expand. This was augmented by Nikolakakis’ dogged entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, his father’s values of making quality food and customer satisfaction a top priority had been instilled in him from an early age. Roman’s Pizza also had a proudly South African flavor from the beginning, and catered to all South Africans, exemplified by the fact that Roman’s Pizza was the first pizza brand to open an outlet in a township.

Now only 37 years old, Nicolakakis is a somewhat unconventional CEO. However, he points out that he has many years of experience under his belt, due to his involvement in the business from an early age, and working side-by-side with his father after he took on the CEO role. Nicolakakis is determined to develop on his father’s vision: “Managing our growth has not always been an easy task, and the transition from small takeaway outlets to a medium-sized corporation has been challenging. However, we now have a very solid platform on which to grow our footprint in South Africa as well as beyond the borders. Roman’s Pizza’s Success lies in the fact that we deliver on our promises of good value for money and good quality food. We make straightforward promises to our customers and we deliver on them.”

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