18 December 2018

Finally, a lease signed for our next-level pizzeria in Hangzhou

Finally, a lease signed for our next-level pizzeria in Hangzhou
Fyodor Ovchinnikov

Fyodor Ovchinnikov

Dodo Pizza CEO

It’s done. We’ve been working towards this for many months. We’ve finally signed an agreement to lease premises in an A-category shopping mall in Hangzhou, China. In the photo, Bauyrzhan Sadykov, the leader of the Dodo Pizza China team, holds a signed lease contract with a shopping mall named “501.”

That wasn’t easy. The first potential place for our Hangzhou “pizzeria of the future” was found in the summer. Our Chinese company was still getting registered at the time, so we signed a letter of intent with a private citizen who owned the premises. We designed a pizzeria for this space, but then the owner changed his mind and gave us our deposit back. So we had to start looking for a place again—and we found an even better one.

When looking for that first option, Bauyrzhan met Mr. Xie, a real estate agency owner. Mr. Xie didn’t know anything about us at the time, but he did his research, and when we contacted him again, he began to introduce us to managers of large shopping malls.

The “501” mall was very skeptical at first. Bauyrzhan and Mr. Xie arranged the presentation of our brand to the mall administration. That’s why I came to China. Patty, our first Chinese colleague, and I had prepared the persuasive presentation of our company and our new pizzeria format. Mr. Xie assisted us in testing and improving this presentation. And we’ve managed to interest Chinese developers in this collaboration. Not only has the shopping mall leased us a great place, but the terms and conditions are also beneficial for us.

In the photo, you see our future place. It’s easily accessible from the main thoroughfare and has two entrances, one from the street and the other from inside. There are huge windows. The location is perfect. The foot traffic is high and of good quality. There is a big business center right above the mall, where 8,000 people work. There is a subway station entrance right inside the mall. What else do we see here? We see a very modest, even spartan office of a chief executive of a shopping mall.

After the final round of negotiations, while lawyers were revising the agreement one last time, the shopping mall managers invited us to dinner at a Hangzhou cuisine restaurant, where I’ve tasted smelly tofu for the first time :-) Well, now everyone will meet the Dodo “pizzeria of the future” in China in spring of 2019.

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