EBRD, EU support puts Azerbaijani restaurant chain Pizza Mizza on a new growth pedestal

AZERBAIJAN – Pizza Mizza, an Azerbaijani restaurant, is on a new growth pedestal having benefitted from an EBRD advisory program that was sponsored by funds from the European Union.

According to the company’s testimony the EU sponsored EBRD advisory project helped it boost brand awareness and customer loyalty and now the company prides itself with increased sales, more staff and a larger customer base of admirers of its Italian cuisine.

Founded in 2014, the company grew its branches and employees steadily every year riding on the popularity of Pizza among Azerbaijanis.

With the arrival of deep pocketed international pizza brands, Pizza Mizza quickly found itself in a saturated market and realized that “growth, while always welcome, needed both an overarching concept and consistent delivery.”

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This necessity led Pizza Mizza to turn to the EBRD’s business advisory programme for help, and experienced consultants with EU funding assisted the company in identifying an optimal marketing strategy.

Insights into customer preferences and analysis of the competitive landscape made the owners reconsider Pizza Mizza’s previous concept and adopt a different approach to its customers.

Kamran Mirzayev, Deputy Director of Pizza Mizza notes that during the project with EBRD consultants, the company discovered that the most need was how to identify our customers.

“By conducting profiling, we could gather information and devise a unified approach to deliver ‘one experience’ in all five restaurants in Baku,” Kamran said.

“One logo with distinctive corporate colours represents a top-of-mind restaurant with the best pizzas in town.”

Since the end of the project, orders, turnover and employees have increased by 30, 50 and 82 per cent, respectively.

During the pandemic, EBRD notes that the company continued to perform well and even managed to launch a new branch.

The company now ambitious growth plans on the horizon even as it strives to become one of the leading pizza restaurant chains in the country.

It also has plans to go international in the near future, “bringing the best home-made pizza recipes to Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the UAE,” says Kamran.

According to EBRD, Pizza Mizza is part of more than 300 small and medium-sized companies have so far benefited from the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme with EU funding in Azerbaijan.

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