Freedom confident as rivals set up
The owner of Dubai’s Freedom Pizza chain has shrugged off the arrival of its former franchiser, NKD Pizza, saying his firm has had a head start and already won over countless customers.
CEO Ian Ohan originally ran NKD Pizza in Dubai but split from the American firm and rebranded his five stores as Freedom Pizza.
He spoke to 7DAYS after NKD Pizza announced last week that it is opening three outlets in the city.
Freedom last year took its 250 franchise staff, including 135 drivers with it.
NKD Pizza is opening in Business Bay, Motor City and a flagship store in Dubai Marina and pledges to offer the same focus on healthy pizzas as its rival.
But Ohan told 7DAYS: “We treat all competition respectfully but our true focus has and always will be on providing relevant, thoughtful products made with high-quality ingredients, delivered hot and fast, every time.
“We have a strong vision to continually evolve and innovate across all areas of our business, whether that be our slick online ordering, amazing local suppliers or how we grow and care for our awesome team members and most importantly all of our customers.”
He said Freedom has already established a By Sarwat Nasir loyal customer base of more than 200,000 people. Both outlets pitch themselves as the healthy alternative to traditional stodgy pizza, offering vegetables from Greenheart Organic Farms and gluten-free bases.
In a news release last week, NKD Pizza promised customers healthy produce.
It says it has “one of the largest bike fleets” in the business for those who would like their deliveries made in “record time”.
Edward Rizk, the firm’s President of international operations, said: “We are very excited to be back in the UAE after an absence of just over a year. “We know that our customers have been patiently waiting for our return and we are delighted to inform them that we are ready to continue serving them with the highest quality pizza that they have grown accustomed to from NKD Pizza.
“Our Dubai store openings this year is the first step in our growth plan for a major return to the UAE, one of our most important markets globally.”
EARNED OUR CRUST: NKD Pizza riders