Round Table Pizza

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Round Table Pizza
Private (Employee-owned)
Founded 1959
Menlo Park, California, United States
Founder William R. Larson
Number of locations
500+
Website www.roundtablepizza.com
Round Table in Menlo Park, relocated to 1225 El Camino Real from its original location at 1235 El Camino Real.[1]

Round Table Pizza is a large chain of pizza parlors in the western United States. The company's headquarters are located in Concord, California.[2]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1959 by William R. Larson Sr. (1933–2006).[3][4] The company opened its first restaurant in Menlo Park, California.[5]

In 1961 a friend of Larson's drew some sketches of members of King Arthur's court eating pizza, and Mr. Larson then adopted the King Arthur theme for his restaurants.[3] The three shields in the official logo were added in 1970, and are intended to symbolize the letters "F-U-N."[3] Round Table Pizza began to expand through franchising. Larson sold his restaurants to a group of investors in 1979.[6][7]

From around 2003 until 2005, Round Table Pizza's official mascots were two muppets, Matt and Marcus, who appeared in the company's television commercials.[8] In 2007, Round Table Pizza's mascot became the Pizza Knight, "defender of family night."[9] Since that time, other spokespersons have been featured, including Billy Gardell. Currently, the company features product images in its video commercials that emphasize the quality and freshness of its ingredients. Round Table’s signature tagline, "The Last Honest Pizza", describes its commitment to quality and authenticity.

As of 2014 there were more than 450 franchised and company-owned locations,[5] located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Round Table Pizza now has seven branches in Dubai and additional locations in Bahrain and Mongolia. In 2014, the company signed a 35-store development agreement to build restaurants in Bahrain, Saudia Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.[10]

In 2011, the company filed for protection under Chapter 11 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and emerged from bankruptcy the same year. The Consensual Plan of Reorganization provides for 100 percent repayment of obligations to its secured and unsecured creditors and for its employee owners to retain 100 percent ownership of the company. Since then, the company met all obligations and its financial strength steadily improved with the retirement of debt and the increase in cash flow.[11]

Between 2011 and 2014, same-store sales have increased quarterly for both franchise and company-operated restaurants. Its success is attributed to a variety of factors including new product introductions, online ordering implementation, aggressive employee development programs, and effective local store marketing techniques. Round Table Pizza is known for strong community involvement and currently has a system-wide partnership with Make-a-Wish Foundation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anne H. Kim, "Did you know that Round Table Pizza started in Menlo?", Menlo Park Country Almanac, January 26, 2000.
  2. ^ Company website. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Company website. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  4. ^ FoodBizJobs.com. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Company website. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  6. ^ "Obituaries: Bill Larson, 73, founder of Round Table chain of pizza parlors," Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2006, page B8
  7. ^ "Bill Larson, founder of Round Table Pizza, dead at 73". pizzamarketplace.com. November 16, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ Company website. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  9. ^ Gianatasio, David (September 13, 2007). "Hungry peasants bow down to Pizza Knight". Adweek. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Round Table Pizza Expands into Bahrain with five country Development Agreement". Nations Restaurant News. Retrieved May 2015. 
  11. ^ Ross, Andrew S. (December 22, 2011). "Round Table Pizza's supreme turnaround". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]

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