Pita Pit Joins Forces with CarbonClick to offer Climate-Positive School Lunches

We're making our Ka Ora, Ka Ako healthy school lunches climate positive by partnering with CarbonClick! This means that emissions from the 600,000+ school lunches for term 3 will be offset by investing in environmental projects such as preserving and regrowing the Arawera native forest in Taranaki, NZ.

Through the Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunch Programme, we're providing 60,000 school lunches a week to approximately 11,000 children at 50 schools across the country. CarbonClick has calculated the carbon footprint of our school lunches, which is an account of all the carbon emissions generated in the production and distribution of the lunches. We're 'double offsetting' the carbon emissions of the lunches to make them climate positive (they are a net good for the environment, rather than being a net harm or neutral). The carbon footprint of our school lunches during term 3 will be 780 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (carbon), so we'll be offsetting 1,560 tonnes of carbon.

“We love the fact that our Ka Ora, Ka Ako school menu provides kids with nutritious meals enabling them to be more involved at school. And with CarbonClick we are also able to help protect their future through NZ reforestation and renewable energy projects. It’s programmes like this that make our Pita Pit community very proud to be able to do what we do for current and future generations.” Duane Dalton, co-founder of Pita Pit NZ.

The offsets will be invested in three projects that fight climate change, including creating hot water with solar energy in Bangalore, India; supporting the creation of biogas generators that turn waste into energy in Guizhou, China; and preserving and regrowing Arawera native forest in Taranaki, NZ. By working to restore this forest, biodiversity is increased in the area, resulting in a healthier habitat for native insects, frogs, reptiles and birds, while native tree species thrive. Because these trees are healthier, more carbon is taken out of the atmosphere.

How Carbon Offsetting Works:

CarbonClick calculates the carbon emissions generated in the production and distribution of the school lunches. Each ingredient in the lunch has its own carbon footprint, or emissions factor. The other main emissions source is the distribution of the lunches to the schools. By knowing how many lunches are distributed and to where, we can calculate the carbon emissions from the burning of fuel to drive the trucks. The other emissions sources are the packaging and the power and water consumption where the lunches are assembled. By using all of this data, and then including safety buffers to account for hard to find emissions, we can determine the average carbon footprint of our school lunches.

Offsetting is the process of buying carbon credits that represent carbon emissions that are either removed or avoided from entering the atmosphere, with the aim of balancing a Carbon Footprint and therefore reducing the environmental impact. For every lunch that is distributed, Pita Pit is double offsetting that carbon emissions of that lunch. CarbonClick call this 'Climate Positive', meaning that each lunch is having a positive environmental impact by cancelling out it's own emissions, and then doing it again.

The Projects:

Arawera Native Forest: This project conserves an area of rich indigenous forest in South Taranaki, capturing carbon from the atmosphere and providing a habitat for native wildlife. This is a carbon reduction project, where carbon is stored in the trees grown on previous farmland. Co-benefits are very important, and this project is great for biodiversity, acting as a habitat for native insects, frogs, reptiles and birds.

Creating Hot Water with Solar Energy: This is a carbon avoidance project, delivering solar water heaters to Indian communities and businesses which means they do not have to rely on the coal based, frequently failing local electricity grid. The major co-benefit here is the job creation, as this project has created 660 jobs, and businesses in the area, like silk factories, have benefited from a free, reliable source of hot water.

Biogas Energy Project: this is another carbon avoidance project, where the funds for this project are helping create biogas generators that turn farm waste into energy, providing a cheap source of energy for rural Chinese farmers. Manure creates methane emissions, but when turned into biogas and burnt, the environmental impact is greatly reduced. The biogas is used for cooking purposes, replacing dirtier coal used for household cooking. The biogas generators provide a free, organic source of fertilizer for farmers to grow food.

Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chefs Pair up at Pita Pit

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes at Pita Pit recently. A tasty collaboration of meaty proportions to be exact! When chefs Jack Crosti and Tejas Nikam get together you can bet your taste buds that something incredible is going to be created. You see both Jack and Tejas are Ambassador Chefs for Beef + Lamb New Zealand. This is an accolade awarded to only the best chefs in New Zealand who know a thing or two about cooking with our delicious home-grown beef and lamb.

So when the chance came to collaborate with Pita Pit and Lisa Carrington to design two new menu items for Lisa’s Pick’s Menu, they jumped at the chance.

Italian born Jack, is executive chef and owner of Number 5 Restaurant in Auckland. He says it was an honour to be involved in this collaboration and a chance to apply his creative skills to create something fresh and new for Pita Pit. Jack says he has the utmost respect for Kiwi farmers producing sustainable world class meat and like our farmers Pita Pit is also committed to quality and flavour, so it was an easy choice to jump into this amazing collaboration.

Jack’s final dish of a smoked chipotle steak pita and salad bowl features perfectly cooked steak with a touch of chipotle spice and fresh salad. Jack says he was inspired by the Texas style of cooking smoky brisket over a grill and he knew Lisa liked her steak a little bit smoky, so this combination went down a treat with her.

Jack says it has been a really enjoyable process playing around with flavours and ideas to create something new for Pita Pit and getting to work with such a great athlete as Lisa has been a highlight.

Waikato Chef, Tejas Nikam is originally from India. He grew up watching his dad cook which inspired him to follow a career path as a chef. His culinary journey eventually led him to New Zealand, where he learned from the ‘King of Fusion’ himself, Peter Gordon, when he spent three years working at The Sugar Club.

It was here that Tejas really came to appreciate the incredible produce which New Zealand grows and how well it pairs with international flavours. He wanted his dish to reflect what he had learned during his time working with Peter Gordon and set out to create a showcase of fusion with an exotic blend of North African spices with New Zealand lamb, fresh veggies, dukkah, feta, crunchy almonds and a creamy yoghurt dressing.

Tejas says New Zealand lamb with its mild flavour is the perfect vehicle to carry the spicy flavours of Harissa to create a nice balance of flavours. This proved to be a winning combination for Lisa Carrington who couldn’t wait to include it on her Lisa’s Pick’s Menu.

Tejas says the opportunity to work alongside his fellow Ambassador, Jack, and Lisa Carrington and the team at Pita Pit was a great experience. His favourite part was being on set and filming with Lisa. He says being in the kitchen creating new dishes is the easy part, being on set filming was something way out of his comfort zone. However, Tejas said it turned out to be a lot of fun working with Lisa and the crew made him feel right at home in front of the cameras!

So what are you waiting for? Get along to your local Pita Pit or order online, and try for yourself the delicious two new Lisa’s Pick’s menu items. Available from now until 15 September.


Keep the Kids Busy with these Fun at Home Activities

Looking for some fun at home activities to keep your little ones occupied? Download and print these fun activity sheets to keep the kids busy this week. Send us a photo of your finished designs and we’ll feature your creation on our social channels, plus there’s awesome Pita Pit spot prizes for the best submissions. Send a photo by private message on Facebook or Instagram or tag us @PitaPitNZ.

Simply download these files here:

Pita Pocket Burger Colouring-in pdf

Fillings Activity Sheet pdf

Crossword Activity Sheet pdf

Take care,

The Pita Pit Team

Fast-food battle - how to make bad food good

What happens when you're the one in the family who wants a healthier option or the entire flat is looking for a healthy takeaway meal?

Food expert Tony Small says Pita Pit is one of the healthier fast-food options in New Zealand.

"Pita Pit’s saving grace is its use of free-range chicken, bacon and ham, which Small says gives the meat a higher quality” says Small. 

The top spot awarded by nutritionist Tony Small is taken out by Pita Pit because there are options for free-range meat, dressings with good fats, not the bad stuff, fresh vegetables and gluten-free bread.  

Read more on how Pita Pit got voted the healthiest take out here.

What’s Healthier – PP or Subway?

For this fast-food battle, advanced nutrition and lifestyle coach Tony Small analyses two fast-food chains (Pita Pit vs. Subway) that are marketed as fresh, healthy alternatives to their greasy takeaway counterparts. 

In the battle of the breads, Pita Pit wins with its gluten-free options and its simple dough recipe that has less additives, Small says. 

A Pita Pit wholemeal wrap has four ingredients – flour, water, salt and yeast. Subway's wheat bread has more than 12 ingredients.

Read more here on how Pita Pit came out on top.


Pita Pit, From Risk to Reward Case Study

From Risk to Reward is a study commissioned by Suncorp to look at what is important to New Zealand businesses, what might be holding them back, how they feel about risk and how they see their businesses evolving over the next five years.

Building healthier families was part of what drove Chris Henderson and Duane Dalton to open their first store in Takapuna in 2007. Today Pita Pit boasts a national footprint in New Zealand, with 110 stores, and another 13 in Australia.

Besides the healthy, fresh ingredients and emphasis on ‘full disclosure food’ (moving to 100 per cent free-range chicken and eggs, and ethically-farmed bacon and ham for all outlets across New Zealand), Dalton says there is a real focus on making sure that the 1200 people in the business are enabled and empowered to deliver on the philosophy of open, fresh and authentic product – and service.

Tokoroa Opening

A great looking new addition to the Township of Tokoroa. Owned by a young local couple Jemma & Mike the opening week has gone off without a hitch. 

Locals have really flocked to see this highly anticipated store and have received it really well. Many faces were becoming more and more familiar by the day and the smiles were getting bigger and bigger. All the best to Jemma and Mike for what I am sure will be a successful addition to the Tokoroa landscape.

Pita Pit Tokoroa Store Opening

Pita Pit Roady with NZ Surfing Magazine

We are proud to be sponsoring the Pita Pit Roady with NZ Surfing Magazine. Their most recent trip was to Taranaki with some of the country's best surfers including the current national champ; Kehu Butler, Billy Stairmand, Jarrod Hancox, and their crew. 

We were happy to support the boys on the road and fuel them with Pita Pit whilst on their journey. We believe Pita Pit it is what their body needs for just one more wave!

Check out Billy Stairmand and Kehu Butler in the New Plymouth store for a post surf dinner. Shaka Boys! 

Pita Pit Surfing Sponsorship

Westfield Albany Opening

A fantastic and busy opening this Queens Birthday weekend! We are very privileged to have a prime spot in the one of the country’s busiest food courts. The feedback from Mall staff and shoppers was very encouraging for Pita Pit to be “finally here” in the food court and was also humbling to have many first time customers!

Pita Pit Albany Store Opening Pita Pit Albany

We've set a new benchmark for convenience food

Here at Pita Pit we have a commitment to transparency with our "full disclosure food" initiative - moving to 100 per cent free range chicken and eggs and ethically farmed bacon and ham, for all outlets across New Zealand. Pita Pit was founded on the principle of such openness and reflects the ethos of a food business with nothing to hide. 

Director, Duane Dalton says the move to free range and ethically sourced products has been in the pipeline for about 18 months. "It really is a reflection of our commitment to 'full disclosure food, we had been formulating the idea for some time but it's taken a while to ensure we have the quantities available for our needs."

We're committed to using only locally sourced products (another cornerstone of the Pita Pit ethos) and ensure the farming practices are sound. After months of preparation, we are happy to launch "fully free-range and ethically sourced" proteins. All chicken and pork is sourced from farms- Patoa Farms in Hawarden, North Canterbury providing the pork, and Tegel free-range farms providing the chickens. All eggs are from local free-range suppliers close to each of the 113 Pita Pit stores. It's not just animal products we source locally, our vegetables are too throughout the country, we’re committed to keeping things close to home; we choose New Zealand-based suppliers when possible.

Our "full disclosure food" philosophy ensures we are transparent around nutritional values, allergen information and sourcing of our products, so customers can make an informed decision about what they consume. We have also recently made the choice to change our sauces to reducing the sodium and sugar content. 

As former teachers, both Director’s Duane Dalton and Chris Henderson have long been committed to improving dietary choices available to families. Our desire to see young people thrive has shaped decisions around the Pita Pit brand.

Free Range Gif

Upper Hutt Opening

We had a great opening on Friday 26th May which consisted of many locals coming in trying Pita Pit for the first time. We were fortunate enough to have Mayor Wayne Guppy open the store for us alongside a couple of Council members and the local National MP. 

The first four days have been very encouraging and the feedback from the community has been amazing. Our store manager Shenaye and the team are superb and early signs are positive, may the honeymoon last.

Pita Pit Upper Hutt Pita Pit Upper Hutt Store Opening

Pita Pit serves up 23,700 meals to World Masters Games volunteers

Pita Pit provided 23,700 meals to volunteers – known as the ‘Pit Crew’ throughout the World Masters Games tournament – during the 10-day Games period, with people devouring a whopping 1,300kgs of free-range chicken; 800kgs of New Zealand beef; 100kgs of New Zealand lamb; and over 1,100 litres of sauces.

Meals were made and delivered fresh daily to the 48 World Masters Games sites across Auckland, with the regular free-range chicken pita proving to be the most popular lunch choice.

“Auckland has been lucky to host an event like the World Masters Games, which has provided so many inspirational stories of people getting out there and getting involved – regardless of their age and circumstances. The event felt like a real celebration and every participant should be proud of their involvement.

“The Masters Games could not have happened without the support of the thousands of people across the city that generously gave up their time to ensure it was a successful event, and Pita Pit was proud to able to be able to provide them with healthy and nutritious lunches.”

As part of the Games, Pita Pit also had a base down at the Games Village in the Viaduct that saw Silver Ferns Storm Purvis, Maia Wilson, Anna Harrison and Bailey Mes all turn their hands to making pitas for hungry visitors, signing netballs and giving away Pita Pit vouchers.

Chris Henderson, Pita Pit Director says that the World Masters Games were a fantastic occasion that demonstrated the importance of staying healthy throughout your life through exercise and a balanced diet.

Pita Pit World Masters

At Pita Pit, we believe in Full Disclosure Food

At Pita Pit, we make it easy for you to know exactly what you’re eating, so that you can make the right choices for you. We use the best local produce, free range chicken and eggs, and free farmed bacon and ham – all locally sourced right here in New Zealand. Choose your own fillings from fresh, authentic, ingredients you can see – and all made in front of you exactly how you like it. Visit and use the nutrition calculator if you want to check calories, carbohydrates, sugars or other dietary requirements, so you know exactly what you are putting in your body.  Its honest, full disclosure food, that’s still full of taste.
To help launch our Full Disclosure Food, we loved having our friends down to Britomart to roll their own pitas using the best local produce, free range chicken and eggs, and free farmed bacon and ham – all locally sourced right here in New Zealand of course #eatyourselfhappy   #fulldisclosurefood
Check out what's in your meal by logging on to our nutrition calculator at

Healthy Eating Pita Pit Near Me

That's a wrap: How Pita Pit went from one NZ store to more than 100 in a decade

When Canadian food chain Pita Pit opened in New Zealand a decade ago, it was the first time a store had been tried outside of North America. But now, there are more than 100 stores across the country, 14 in Australia, more than 80 franchisees, and upwards of 1200 employees. 

Pita Pit New Zealand director Chris Henderson reckoned this was no way near "peak" pita, however.

Pita Pit NZ franchise co-owners Duane Dalton, left, and Chris Henderson brought the chain to the country about a decade ago.

"I think it depends on every move we make from now.

"Because if we did the same thing as yesterday we get the same results - and that's good, don't get me wrong, but if you look around every other industry, every food offering is doing something healthy.

"And that's not good enough, healthy is not good enough now, it was good 10 years ago, but it's now a point of entry just to open a food shop."

Henderson brought Pita Pit, which makes customised pita wraps and originated in Canada 10 years earlier, to the country in August 2007, after turning his one-year OE into six seasons as a ski instructor in California.

As a fan of the food, he figured there might be a commercial opportunity in New Zealand, where there was not a lot of "healthier, better choices".

Together with Duane Dalton, the teachers-turned-business partners secured the rights to Australasia and opened the first store in Auckland's Takapuna: one they still own.

"It was a massive learning curve bringing a new brand, that hadn't been proven around the world, except in Canada and America."

Henderson said customers responded well in the first few years, but as the global financial crisis hit at about the same time, the resulting credit crunch made it hard to attract franchisees until 2010.

Then, the real growth came, with Pita Pit "rocketing" up by 15 to 20 stores on average every year.

Henderson said this was ahead of its agreement with head office in Canada, and ahead of his own expectations as well.

"We had to open a lot of stores, but not 100.

"I guess we're proud of that because a lot of people could have just thrown in the towel after a year or two."

Henderson believed Pita Pit's surge in popularity was because it was a healthier option for consumers, with lower sugar, grilled meats and healthier fillings.

This was enough to differentiate it from "another sandwich chain in the market, the largest one in the world".

The company appeared on the Deloitte Fast 50 rankings in 2013 and 2014 when its sales growth was above 200 per cent, and last year Henderson and Dalton were finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Sales growth over the last three years had averaged 25 per cent.

There had not been any store failures yet, "touch wood", but with 51 in Auckland and a New Zealand target of about 150, store growth would mostly come in Australia, where he thought the opportunity was huge.

"We could keep going, but we're very mindful of our local store owners and making sure there's a good territory for them and profitability.

"When it starts to get too big, like other brands have done, you start to internally erode."

Henderson said the company invested a lot of time into its franchisee support, and two years ago developed a business coaching network.

Each coach looked after about 20 outlets, and the company's 80 or so franchisees were very diverse.

"That coach needs to understand the nuances of every single franchisee and how he or she can work differently with every single franchisee, rather than paint a brush over every franchisee expecting every franchisee to be the same."

Pita Pit franchisee Grant Henderson, no relation, opened a stored in Lower Hutt in 2012, had owned one in Petone, and was about to open another in Upper Hutt.

He said he and his wife looked around various business opportunities, but settled on Pita Pit because it was a new brand which he thought had potential.

Head office had been supportive, and there had been a lot of changes over the years, but he said it was incumbent on franchisees to do the hard work.

"Unless you're prepared to live the franchise and work it the way they tell you, don't bother. I'm still passionate about the brand, otherwise I wouldn't be opening another store."

Last month, Pita Pit went free-range chicken, eggs and free-farmed bacon in its stores, as it shifted its focus to innovation in a world where being healthy was no longer good enough.

Henderson said it had invested in total disclosure about its food from field to plate, and was on a path towards sustainable packaging, which the franchise had taken the hit on, rather than the customer through increased prices.

"I know consumers want it, it's important, it's important to us, ethically. And secondly it opens up with the volumes.

"For example, with the 350 tonnes of chicken that we'll do this year, 55 tonnes of bacon and 100,000 eggs around the country, it allows the smaller guys, smaller food operators to be able to come in off the back of those volumes to make it easier and affordable to purchase ethically sourced foods."

 - Stuff (Hamish McNicol, 09 April 2017)

Pita Pit Franchise

Pita Pit opens on Manganui Rd, Mount Maungani

It will now be even easier for residents and visitors to Mount Manganui to enjoy the fresh, healthy taste of Pita Pit with the opening of a new store this week at 217 Manganui Road.

Aaron Bennett, owner of the new Manganui Road store, says Pita Pit is a great fit for the area with its healthy ‘full disclosure food’ philosophy aligning well with the active, outdoors lifestyle that people enjoy in the Mount.   

“Growing demand for a healthier alternative to traditional high-fat, high-calorie fast food has seen Pita Pit become one of the fastest growing food outlets in New Zealand in recent years, and the decision to open another store in Mount Manganui area reflects it’s popularity here.

“Pita Pit’s healthy food and healthy living approach really resonates with the people in the area, and I think locals will appreciate now having even more choice when making good food decisions on-the-go.”

There is plenty happening in-store throughout the week to celebrate the opening, including giving customers the opportunity to ‘spin the wheel’ to win Pita Pit vouchers. A new mural installation, which will depict stories of the local community, is also set to be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

In the short term, the new Manganui Road store will create up to 12 full and part time jobs. The team is also looking into starting school lunch deliveries in the area to help provide healthy choices for local children, which may lead to further job opportunities.

Aaron says that Pita Pit is also committed to supporting the local community by providing Player of the Day vouchers to local spots teams, and will actively be seeking other local initiatives to get involved in.

The new store coincides with the recent introduction of free range chicken and eggs, and free farmed bacon and ham, at all 107 Pita Pit stores across New Zealand.  All of Pita Pit’s free range and free farmed ingredients are sourced locally from within New Zealand – a decision the company hopes will help support local producers and further shift the dial toward ethical farming practices in this country.

Pita Pit Mount Maungani Store Opening

Famous faces serve up Pita Pit’s Diabetes Choice Range to round out Diabetes Action Month

Some of New Zealand’s most well-known sports stars and politicians will be serving up lunch at Pita Pit stores around the country today to mark the last day of Diabetes Action Month and celebrate the launch of our new Diabetes NZ Choice Menu.

Black Sticks player Gemma Flynn, NZ Triathlete Andrea Hewitt, Labour MP Louisa Wall, and Silver Fern Leana de Bruin will each be behind the counter at their local Pita Pit store, promoting the new menu and supporting those with diabetes and all New Zealanders to make healthier food choices.

And all day today in all Pita Pit stores, we are also offering customers the chance to Round Up their purchases to the nearest dollar, with the proceeds going to Diabetes NZ, and we will match the public donation!

Stores and Times for Diabetes supporters appearances:

Black Sticks player Gemma Flynn– Pita Pit Wairakei, CHCH 12pm – 1pm 
Triathlete Andrea Hewitt – The Palms, CHCH 1pm – 2pm 
Crusader Jordan Taufua – Hereford St, CHCH 2.30-3.30pm
Silver Ferns player Leana de Bruin – Pita Pit Hamilton CBD, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
Labour MP Louisa Wall – 12.30pm – 1.30pm, Pita Pit Lambton Quay, 82 Lambton Quay Wellington

Pita Pit Nutrition

Pita Pit launches Diabetes NZ Choice range

Food and nutrition is another critical component in helping people to live well and to celebrate Diabetes Action Month, Pita Pit is launching a Diabetes NZ Choice range of products.

“Pita Pit’s range of fresh vegetables, grilled proteins and salad options are in-keeping with our healthy plate promotion and Pita Pit can provide choices suited not only for people with diabetes but also for those wanting to make healthier food selections.” says Crew.

The ‘Diabetes NZ Choice’ symbol will be promoted throughout Pita Pit stores nationwide and will help people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to easily identify which Pita Pit products are more suited to them and even those just wanting to follow a healthy, nutritious diet.

"Pita Pit is very committed to increasing awareness for New Zealanders of the range of healthy food options available to them,” emphasised Duane Dalton, Director of Pita Pit in New Zealand.

“We are thrilled to be in a position to help educate Kiwis about Diabetes by dishing up information around the importance of making good food choices. We serve up healthy food, not health food, and our menu includes plenty of fresh vegetables, grilled proteins and salad options, and we hope the Diabetes New Zealand Choice range in-store will make it even easier for people to make a the best food choice for them."


Healthy food, healthy business (from ASB Bank blog)

You wouldn’t think there is much in common between sprint kayaking, Canadian ski instructing and a Chick ‘N’ Fala pita, but ASB customers Duane Dalton and Chris Henderson are living proof that there is.

In 2006 the Kiwi business duo left their sporting careers and brought the Pita Pit franchise to NZ, the first time it had operated outside of North America.  Last year they opened their 100th Australasian Pita Pit store and this year they are celebrating 10 years in business together.  ”We’ve been through a huge learning curve,“ Duane reflects and their success speaks for itself.

The pair initially approached Pita Pit in Canada about bringing the healthy food franchise to New Zealand. “Back then we were just so hungry for success – we had no fear of failure,” reflects Chris. “Blissfully ignorant!” laughs Duane. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the pair were able to apply their expertise on the sporting field to business. “A game plan versus a strategic plan is not too different.” They opened their first store in Takapuna in 2007 and now they have over 100 stores across New Zealand and Australia.

Refusing to settle

However if you think that running a franchise follows a cookie cutter method, you’d be wrong. The pair quickly found themselves on a steep learning curve, “We were taught how to run a store, not a country operation.” Adapting an overseas operation for New Zealand meant they needed to ‘New Zealandise’ Pita Pit for local customers and communities, something that had never been done before. There is a clear passion in this duo, and it has existed from the start. When designing a new store, they hit a hurdle getting the existing store design into the space available. The store designer told them it couldn't be done. But Chris and Duane stayed and worked all night to nut out a solution and a way to make it fit. “We refused to settle.”  This meant many long nights and plenty of hard work but 10 years later they can look back on their success with well-earned satisfaction.

Making good food irresistible

Delivering healthy food - at scale - is something the pair strive for. “We provide food that makes your body reach out and give your mind a hug,” enthuses Chris. From Whangarei to Invercargill you can get the same Pita Pit experience - something industry competitors struggle to replicate. While artisan brands and food suppliers are now plentiful, they often serve a local market but haven’t extended their food offering nationwide as Pita Pit has. And that is where the real business growth is. “We are constantly innovating at scale.”

The constant swirl of change

Change is constant in every business and for Pita Pit this is no different. Change drives innovation and in today’s world of easily available paleo snacks and clean eating, customers demand more and more. “We are restless in our approach towards innovation,” says Chris. “Customers are more aware of what they are eating and how they are eating it, so innovation is entwined through everything, whether it be sourcing suppliers, lowering salt and sugar levels or social and corporate responsibility.” Recently the pair introduced free range chicken tenders into their menu, something customers have snapped up. And innovation also comes from customers – Pita Pit has noticed the recent ‘menu hack’ of ordering a garden salad then adding chicken tenders to it. Customer driven trends like this help shape future menu options and supplier choices.

Successful partners

So how does a successful business partnership like this survive? “Our partnership is like a marriage. Our marriage is 10 years old and most marriages don't last that long,” Duane laughs. But joking aside, their relationship was formed on a backbone of mutual respect. “Doing what is right, not what is easy. If it is good for the brand then it is ultimately good for us.” Personal agendas are put to one side, and decisions are made together. Ego has no place in their business.

So, from peeling off saucepan labels in the middle of the night to running a franchise of over 100 stores… in just 10 years. Pretty good for a couple of Kiwi blokes.

Duane Dalton and Chris Henderson are finalists in the 2016 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards which ASB is a proud sponsor of.

Healthy Food – Healthy Business

New Website Now Live

We are very excited to launch our brand new website! Take a look around, we think you’ll find it easier to find your way around and more useful. Don’t forget to check out our handy Nutrition Calculator to find out exactly how good your favourite pita is!

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