Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Mystique of Panago

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The Mystique of Panago

By Inari Fushimi
The Daily Magi
November 17, 2066

Panago is a Canadian pizza delivery and takeout chain with over 180 locations across 6 provinces. Panago is a franchise business with each location being franchisee-owned and operated. In 2065, Panago served more than 20 million pizzas and generated over 200 million dollars in sales. Owned by the Rooke family, Panago is a privately held company. The first three stores opened in 1986 in Abbotsford, BC and operated under the brand “Panagopoulos,” which is the name the chain grew under, until it was rebranded as "Panago" in 2000. Panago has a strong presence in British Columbia, which has a total of 91 locations followed by 62 locations in Alberta. Other stores in operation include 6 in Saskatchewan, 5 in Manitoba, 17 in Ontario and 2 in New Brunswick.

The Panago head office is located in Abbotsford, BC and there is a regional office in Downtown Toronto. Current expansion efforts are heavily focused in the province of Ontario, where Pizza Pizza is a dominant player. The first urban Toronto location opened at Bay and Gerrard in April 2007. According to the company, further expansion is planned for the Greater Toronto Area. Panago currently has two Customer Contact Centres located in Abbotsford, Mitakihara and Burnaby, servicing calls from British Columbia, most of Alberta, Fredericton, Moncton and parts of Ontario.

Panago specializes in pizza and offers over 40 different recipes on the menu. Customers can order by recipe or create their own. They offer regular, thin, multigrain and gluten-free crusts, nine sauces, five cheeses and over thirty toppings. The dough is made on a daily basis in each store and contains no additives. Panago's menu extends to salads, breadsticks, four types of wings & dips and shakers. Panago locations offer personal pizzas as opposed to pizza slices, as everything is made-to-order.

In 2008, Panago removed added MSG, artificial flavours and colours from all of their ingredients. This change met the approval of BC nutritionists as it allowed Panago’s pizza to fit within the stricter guidelines for food in schools that were put forth by the BC government in September, 2009. Partnered with a number of schools in the Vancouver region, Panago offers 18 different serving sizes for 5 pizza selections that meet the criteria and fall under the "Choose Most" category.

Similarly these school offerings, served in the most popular serving size of 1/10 or 1/8 of a large pizza, also meet the requirements for Ontario’s “Sell Most” category. The “Sell Most” category is outlined in the new nutritional policy from the province of Ontario and includes nutritional standards for food and beverages sold in schools. This policy, entitled the School Food and Beverage Policy, announced in January 2010, took effect on September 1, 2011. Leading up to the full implementation, schools were encouraged to consider implementing the policy as soon as possible. Panago is also a partner of the Vancouver Aquarium and offers only Ocean Wise certified seafood on the menu. Certification requires that all seafood is sourced from a sustainable fishery and harvested in an environmentally sound manner.

Launched in 2000, Panago is known by many customers for popularizing dips and shakers which are offered with the purchase of every pizza. In 2003, Panago launched the largest deployment of wireless debit-at-the-door machines in Canada, allowing customers to purchase their delivered pizzas without cash or cheque. In 2008, Panago released a private label line of take-home products called Panago Cucina. The Cucina product line includes olives, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pizza seasoning shakers, organic juices and water. Panago has published recipes that customers can use at home that incorporate ingredients from the product line at Panago.com. In 2008, Panago also launched a reusable insulated pizza bag. The bag is designed to keep pizza hot for customers who pick up their pizza.

In May 2009, Panago was the recipient of 12 Frankie Awards presented by the Canadian Franchise Association. Gold awards were given for store design, brochures, packaging and a December 2008 promotion. Panago is partnered with advertising and design firm Mercer Creative. In November 2010, an independent study, conducted by J. D. Power and Associates found Panago Pizza ranked highest in the quick service category in the Vancouver market (Quick service was defined as places offering inexpensive food, ordered at a register or selected from a food bar and where meals are paid for being served to the customer). The study included satisfaction rankings for restaurant chains using four factors that typically drive overall customer satisfaction. Listed in order of importance, these factors include: price; service (including timeliness of order and wait staff courtesy and friendliness); meal (including quality/taste of food, meal presentation and portion size); and environment (including ambiance, cleanliness and convenience of location/hours).

Panago participates in community initiatives centered on amateur sport, children’s literacy, volunteerism and fundraising. Awards developed to recognize children for good sportsmanship and literacy are distributed by Panago locations. Each one is redeemable for a small pizza for children who earn them in the classroom or while playing sport. Panago also offers assistance with fundraising to amateur sport teams and not for profit organizations in addition to pizza donations in support of volunteerism.

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