Joyful Joe’s Units Its Sights on North Texas Growth

Joyful Joe’s, house of the primary taco pizza, is making massive strikes in 2023. After breaking floor on new worldwide places final summer season, the beloved Midwestern quick-service chain is planning to enter the Lone Star State.

New franchisee group HJ SMS OpCo, LLC is main the model’s growth into north Texas, with plans to open a brand new Joyful Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream location in both Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, DeSoto, or Arlington. The group is Joyful Joe’s first minority- and Black-led franchisee, and member Rickey McBride is happy to take this historic step ahead with a model he grew up with. 

McBride and his companions look again fondly on their recollections of the enduring pizza parlor. Every of them grew up within the Quad Cities space of Iowa and Illinois, with Joyful Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream a constant supply of nice meals and enjoyable. A Davenport Central Excessive alum, McBride mentioned he celebrated many birthday events, sports activities staff wins, and enjoyable nights out at Joyful Joe’s, consuming pizza and taking part in video games to his coronary heart’s content material.

“Joyful Joe’s has at all times been family-oriented,” McBride mentioned. “It was at all times someplace the place children might play whereas mother and father converse.”

McBride attended Georgia Southern College and went on to change into a profitable enterprise proprietor in Atlanta. At present, McBride is certainly one of America’s largest suppliers of sea moss and runs a well being meals retailer in Duluth, Georgia. When he seen that Joyful Joe’s launched a brand new, more healthy cauliflower pizza crust possibility, he knew it was time to achieve out to the model. 

The group hopes to open its first location by the top of the 2023 summer season season. Every of its high selections are areas in Texas with 40% or larger minority populations. This was an enormous issue of their location search, because the Black-owned group goals to carry new jobs to those various areas. McBride mentioned his group’s final purpose is to open Texas’ first Joyful Joe’s within the multi-unit settlement within the southern Dallas suburbs of Grand Prairie or Cedar Hill. Nonetheless, if it isn’t they aren’t capable of finding the appropriate location in both of those neighborhoods, the group will look to close by Arlington as a substitute. 

As McBride defined in a current press launch, “We’re blissful to be the primary minority group of Joyful Joe’s. So as to add jobs to areas that minorities are based mostly in has been a purpose for all of the homeowners.”

Because of the group’s shut ties with each household and buddies within the Dallas-Fort Price space, entry into this new market was a simple choice. With Texas being one of many few minority-majority states within the U.S., McBride and firm noticed a singular alternative to carry Joyful Joe’s Midwestern allure to new audiences. That’s why as soon as the chance offered itself, the franchisee group rapidly took motion. 

“There are many locations you may get pizza, however there’s just one place that offers you a singular pizza expertise like Joyful Joe’s,” mentioned McBride. “The model is extraordinarily artistic with their choices, and so they have all kinds of pizzas for each discriminating palate. Joyful Joe’s is aware of how one can deal with folks proper, and so they continuously provide you with completely different choices to usher in new company — two issues that I at all times search for with my enterprise ventures. I can’t specific how excited my group is to not simply be the primary minority-owned franchises, however to even be the primary ones bringing Joyful Joe’s to Texas.”

Based in 1972, Joyful Joe’s opened its first location in Bettendorf, Iowa. With its give attention to family-friendly enjoyable and distinctive pizzas, the chain rapidly grew right into a Midwestern sensation. Their authentic Taco Joe pizza was the primary of its type and set the usual for culinary innovation the model is understood for right now. At present, the model oversees three firm places and 45 franchise places all through the Midwest, Florida, and Egypt. 

For the corporate’s Chief Happiness Officer and CEO, Tom Sacco, this new growth into Texas represents an enormous step ahead for the model. “It is a enormous second for us as a corporation as a result of we’re diversifying as we proceed to broaden,” he famous in a February launch. “We’re enthusiastic about making nice pizza and creating numerous recollections for everybody that comes into Joyful Joe’s. Having extra minority-, veteran- and female-owned franchises permits us to achieve higher perspective on these core beliefs as our footprint continues to develop. In the end, we wish to replicate our company throughout this nice nation that we name house.” 

He continued, “We’re thrilled to current our first Black-owned franchise group in February as a tribute to Black Historical past Month, as Joyful Joe’s continues to broaden its ‘Joyful Locations’ and iconic pizza choices throughout the southern U.S.”

Whereas a primary location has but to be decided, McBride and his buddies turned enterprise companions are greater than able to carry the Joyful Joe’s model to Texas. Over the subsequent few years, the group will proceed to spearhead new places farther south, guaranteeing pizza followers from throughout the state, and across the globe, can benefit from the iconic Joyful Joe’s expertise.

Persevering with a Yr of International Growth

This current transfer into Texas comes on the heels of worldwide progress. In 2022, the quick-service restaurant began its Center East growth, first placing roots down within the suburbs of Cairo in Egypt. And whereas that is the restaurant’s first fashionable international growth into the Center East, it’s truly not the primary time the model has opened a location overseas. 

Within the Eighties and ’90s, founder “Joyful Joe” Whitty partnered with Egyptian franchisee Mohamed Magdy Elbatran and his two brothers. This collaboration led to the opening of a number of places in Cairo, with one location particularly well-known for its design: It was formed like an historic Egyptian barge on the Nile.

And, as destiny would have it, this earlier partnership was the right groundwork for the model’s fashionable international technique. As Sacco defined, it began with the restaurant getting consideration from new potential franchisees.

“We had gotten some press about our model’s growth and had two completely different teams attain out to us over the identical four-month timeframe expressing curiosity in bringing Joyful Joe’s to Egypt and the Center East,” he mentioned. 

Considered one of these teams was led by skilled entrepreneur Ahmed Elbatran, Mohamed’s son. Because of their earlier familiarity with the model, Sacco and the Joyful Joe’s staff determined to maneuver ahead with Ahmed and his group, H.J. Center East LLC. A family-owned enterprise group, Ahmed, its president, is working alongside his father in addition to kin Abeer Ahmed Abdelhalim Elkabbany and Zina Mohamed Magdy Elbatran to carry Joyful Joe’s magic to North Africa and the Center East. 

“After signing our grasp franchise settlement final fall, we’re thrilled to begin opening our doorways over the subsequent few months,” mentioned Ahmed Elbatran. “Nothing compares to Joyful Joe’s one-of-a-kind enjoyable and family-friendly environment in the complete Center East and North Africa area. So, we will’t wait to carry the enduring model again to Egypt beneath the brand new management, imaginative and prescient, and vitality that Chief Happiness Officer, CEO, and President Tom Sacco has reenergized Joyful Joe’s model with. We’re trying ahead to bringing the group collectively, creating lifelong magical recollections at Joyful Joe’s.”

Ahmed and his household kicked off the summer season 2022 season by opening their first location within the Cairo suburb of Roxy, Heliopolis. The situation rapidly grew to become a fan favourite, with the opening weekend drawing huge crowds and contours of households stretched out the door. With such an unimaginable opening weekend, it rapidly grew to become clear that there’s a actual urge for food for distinctive pizzas, ice cream, and family-centric enjoyable within the Egyptian market. Inside only a few weeks of opening, Joyful Joe’s first Egyptian location already tracked 22% larger foot site visitors than its U.S. counterpart. 

After a profitable opening in Roxy, H.J. Center East L.L.C. will open its subsequent location within the Giza suburb of Sodic, adopted the subsequent week by one other opening near New Cairo, known as Lotus. Once more, crowds surged into the brand new quick-service restaurant, wanting to expertise the America-based chain. As workers grew to become extra educated concerning the model, the spot launched new dishes and handy options for company. At present, Egyptian pizza followers can get their favourite pies delivered and may get pleasure from weekday buffets and weekend brunch. Up to now, the preferred objects on the menu are the Hen Ranch Pizza, BBQ Beef Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, milkshakes, and the model’s well-known Hen Taco Joe Pizza.

Over the subsequent few years, the group plans to open an extra eight places throughout Cairo, together with spots within the Mall of Arabia and the Mall of Egypt. Wanting past Egypt, the franchisee group has additionally been awarded 25 further models for growth, with their sights on Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi within the United Arab Emirates. 

As Joyful Joe’s grows from Midwestern-based crowd-pleaser to international famous person, CEO Tom Sacco sees all of this as an indication of even higher issues to return. “We couldn’t be prouder of the work that Ahmed and his staff have performed on this unimaginable opening in Roxy,” he defined. “We’ve even been in a position to be taught from this expertise and might be testing out some adjustments the H.J. Center East staff made to the Hen Ranch Pizza and the BBQ Beef Pizza in choose U.S. markets. Now, we’re absolutely anticipating Ahmed and his staff to supply document gross sales on their subsequent opening in west Giza, beginning with a wonderful preopening occasion, together with U.S. and Egypt authorities dignitaries, skilled athletes, and a robust media buzz.”

Ahmed Elbatran and his household are thrilled to carry the Joyful Joe’s expertise to their house nation. Working alongside Sacco, the group will proceed to spearhead the corporate’s North African and Center Japanese growth, tailoring every location to fulfill the distinctive wants of its clients. For instance, new worldwide menus will assist eating places cater to native tastes, with new Egyptian places set to broaden their seafood and hen choices.

Persevering with his father’s legacy is an enormous milestone for Ahmed, who can’t wait to see the corporate develop overseas. 

“Joyful Joe’s is a lot greater than only a scrumptious pizza restaurant, and I can’t watch for folks on this a part of the world to expertise a spot the place children and households create and have a good time memorable moments collectively,” Elbatran mentioned in a current press launch. “Pizza supply is broadly widespread in Egypt, and we’ll provide it, however nothing on this space compares to the magical dine-in environment at Joyful Joe’s. We’re proud to introduce this iconic model to the Center East and proceed rising it all through the area.”