According to Telsey Advisory Group, pizza will be the next trend in fast-casual dining. Perhaps the reason this is not yet a craze in fast casual concepts is because the cooking time for pizza is typically longer than say a sandwich or a burrito. A research firm, NDP Group, has showed that new pizza chains are using smaller ovens that can cook pizza in a shorter amount of time. Tom Ryan, founder of Smashburger, also is the founder of a fast-casual pizza chain called Live Basil Pizza. In it’s six restaurants the company uses gas-fired brick ovens that enable the pizzas to be produced at a faster pace. According to Tom Ryan, another reason the chain is successful is because guests are opting for Neapolitan pizzas over deep-dish pizzas which have a longer cooking time.
Warren Solocheck, vice president at NPG states that, “The concept of being able to have a fast casual pizza restaurant has been proven..it is now all about who has the capital to expand.” Buffalo Wild Wings has invested $9 million dollars in an L.A-based pizza chain, PizzaRev, and now operates 11 locations throughout California as well as five franchised restaurants in Utah and Minnesota. Chipotle has also invested in Pizzeria Locale which is mostly focused in Denver.
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