By Trevor Busch
Some locals argue the pizza market in Taber is oversaturated, but Pizza 73 owner Kaushal Dave stresses his new business offers much more than just pizza.
“I’m already part of this community. So I was thinking to do something else around, was hunting for a good opportunity,” said Dave, who swung open the doors on August 29. “My kids and I grew up here so I thought it’s better to get something that the community can adopt it. And Pizza 73 is a chain that if you look at the wide variety of menu, it has all different stuff that covers the entire family meal – we got pizza, we got burgers, we got chicken wings, we got poutines. So we got a good variety of food in here, it’s not just a pizza place. And we are in process of getting a liquor licence, too, so this will be the first pizza place in town that would be selling beers, too. So we are in the process of getting the license.”
Dave reports the response he’s been getting so far has been positive.
“It’s just like, you know, with the new store construction, it was kind of, you know, all things happening at the same time. So a lot of things, a lot of changes, a lot of things to learn. But definitely got a good response from the town throughout the month. So far we feel the food is liked by customers, and it’s been appreciated. So we will do our best what we can.”
The business location at 5326 48 Avenue has been satisfactory.
“I think it was a nice property we found to build it. So we were looking for something in Taber, and the downtown is the main centre for the business. So it turned out really well.”
Options and choice are what makes Pizza 73 different from competitors, says Dave.
“There are a lot of pizza joints in town. But that’s what stands Pizza 73 apart from a lot of places is it has a wide variety of food options, which can make your complete family dinner. Usually on Fridays, it happens that kids want burgers or they want something from McDonald’s – we got the wings, we got boneless wings, we got gluten free options, dairy free options. So we’ve got a lot to choose from. So we can cater to most of the client base is what makes it stand apart from others, where if you go to other pizza joints, some might do dairy free, but they might not have gluten free. So that’s what makes a huge difference.”
Margins are tighter in the post-COVID environment but establishing a personal relationship with each customer is key to success, argues Dave.
“Definitely after COVID the food industry is not the same anymore. It’s hard to please the customer and also take care of the business at the same time. But as I said, being a part of this community already for the last six and a half years, we know the client base. We know the people who live here, a lot of people in town. So the main thing to attract customers is definitely good food is always the priority. But when people know you there, it kind of makes a difference to them, too, because they know what to expect out of you.”
The shop’s grand opening saw a good turnout of customers.
“We had our grand opening event where we had a good turnout of 70 clients where we offered our special menus. We welcomed customers and offered them good food at a good price, a very cheap rate. It was a good response from the town, very good response from the town – in four hours we sold more than 74 customers so it’s a good turn around,” said Dave.
Dave had nothing but good to say about working with the Town of Taber in establishing his new business.
“They were very helpful. Getting the business permit, support from the Town was extraordinary. Even the franchisee was surprised to get that good a response from the Town and that quick, certain things getting considered into it. The Town was very supportive.”