April 25, 2023

18: Saved by a Second Location | Todd Parent, Extreme Pizza

18: Saved by a Second Location | Todd Parent, Extreme Pizza
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“Whatever you think it’s gonna cost double it, whatever you think you need for working capital triple”

This week’s guest is Todd Parent, Co-Founder & CEO of Extreme Pizza, a Bay Area-born chain with over 30 locations from coast to coast.

Todd had a unique journey to restaurant ownership, starting in the dish pit of a friend’s restaurant in New Jersey, honing his management skills in Aspen, then eventually making his way to San Francisco, where he was encouraged to chase his entrepreneurial dreams by the founder of Noah’s Bagels.

After launching the first Extreme Pizza in 1994, Todd admits he made every mistake imaginable. He had the wrong business model, a poor location, was under capitalized, and had to navigate a nasty breakup with his original co-founder. We discuss how he overcame these challenges, what he learned from them, and how he would do things differently if he were starting Extreme Pizza in 2023.

Big props to Todd for being honest and vulnerable as he shared his journey, and not sugar coating anything for anyone looking to get into the restaurant industry.

Please enjoy my conversation with Todd Parent of Extreme Pizza!


Where to find Extreme Pizza:


Where to find Todd:


Where to find Bryan:


Where to find Kitava:


In this episode, we cover:

  • Life before Extreme Pizza
  • Todd’s first restaurant job washing dishes, to managing 3 restaurants
  • Gaining more restaurant chops in Aspen
  • How working at Noah’s Bagels nudged him to start his own restaurant
  • The genesis of Extreme Pizza as a concept
  • The first steps Todd took to start Extreme Pizza
  • Raising money through a private placement offering
  • Everything that went wrong with his first location and early business plan
  • Dealing with co-founder conflict and how he resolved it
  • How location #2 got their name on the map
  • Rebounding from a rocky start to opening up multiple units
  • Why it took 4 locations before deciding how to grow
  • The infrastructure needed to manage a multi-state franchise operation
  • How Todd would start Extreme Pizza in 2023
  • Keeping the business fun with “Customer Abuse Day”
  • On The Fly Segment