The Story of Santa's Pizza

It’s probably fair to say that all businesses have a story, but the story of Santa’s Pizza is a particularly interesting one…

It all began in 1990 when a misheard couple of words between the former owner and a signage company accidentally began the brand. After ordering what he thought was a sign that said “Pizza Centre”, due to his accent being American after spending some years living in the States, the sign arrived saying “Pizza Santa”. Begrudgingly, the owner decided to stick with the name.

Current owner, Ishrat, had heard from his brother about a job becoming available there as a delivery driver. During this time, Ishrat was studying at university and wanted some extra cash. He ended up taking the job, but it quickly changed from being just a delivery guy, and into him being a bit of an all-rounder at the Burnley-based shop - the only one at that time.

Ishrat’s rise within the business was somewhat meteoric, with him doing regular stints as a manager with the then-owner deciding to leave England.

The owner decided to leave England and move to the Middle East, giving Ishrat the opportunity to buy the business. It took some real convincing for Ishrat’s family to provide him with a bit of money to secure the shop, as they’d expected him to have more of a “shirt & tie” job after leaving university.

Since purchasing the one shop in Burnley as “Pizza Santa”, Ishrat changed the name to Santa’s Pizza and the Burnley store fast-became one of the most popular takeaways in the town, known for its consistency and fast delivery times. Since then, the brand has grown stronger and stronger, to now having six stores across Lancashire.

Santa’s has won multiple awards over the years, including ‘Takeaway of the Year England’ in 2015, and regularly donates to charities across the North West. We’re proud to be associated with a business that works as hard as its inTouch system does on a Friday night (8 orders a minute - seriously!)

A Q&A with the owner

How does the inTouch system help your business?

Before we started with Integer and before we had the inTouch system, everything was hand-written, so while you’re taking an order you’re taking a pizza out, you’re talking to staff, you’re doing three or four things at the same time. It was difficult, then you have to add everything up, take delivery address details, etc. With the inTouch system it was doing everything - keep in mind, this was 20-odd years ago, and it’s definitely moved with the times.

Is it fair to say that Integer has been a part of your growth as a business?

Integer has helped us grow - no doubt about it. As we’ve grown, the support we’ve had from them has helped us a lot. They’ve always been willing to change things to suit us and the way we want to do business. If there’s a change we want within the system, it’s just done. The team there is really good, always willing to help - really good lads. They really feel like a part of the business, very approachable, local, but the support is always there out-of-hours.

How about value for money? Was that ever a factor for you?

Yes, they’re not looking to make extra money here and there. The fact that there’s no hidden costs and there’s a proven track record of Integer being a local, family company makes a big difference.

You’ve mentioned the service - can you elaborate?

If anything’s gone wrong for us in the past, which obviously things do go wrong from time to time, they’ve stepped in. It’s so important that Integer is a U.K. firm, the support line is UK-based, so you’re not going to be talking to someone on the other side of the world, the lads really know what they’re doing. It’s also really comforting to know that the support guys aren’t always coming and going. The same ones have been there for a long time, so that says a lot.

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