With Pizza Chains increasing in popularity, it’s time we looked at some of the trendsetters for 2013:
Blaze Pizza: Pasadena, CA Web: www.blazepizza.com
With 13 more opening this year, Blaze Pizza is up to 56 franchised locations. A lot of its expansion is outside of CA this year with upcoming openings in Detroit and Chicago to name a few.
Their menu has some interesting pizza combinations, and a make your own pizza selection. Interestingly, the veggie option includes unlimited vegetables, which I have never seen before. I could see that being a definite plus for the health conscious or vegetarian crowds, so it’s nice to see on a pizza menu.
800 Degrees: Los Angeles, CA Web: www.800degreespizza.com
Just starting out in California, 800 Degrees utilizes a wood-burning oven and claims that they can bake your pizza before you even leave the counter. At 800 Degrees, they use local products, including locally made Mozzarella, wild yeast, and high-end toppings, such as bacon marmalade, rosemary ham. Complemented by Gorgonzola or Boschetto di Tartufo, and lovely Italian truffle cheese, it sounds heavenly. Look for the new locations at LAX and in Santa Monica.
MOD Pizza: Seattle WA Web: www.modpizza.com
With 8 locations, this Seattle, WA based pizza franchise is aimed at the 20-something crowd. Each pizza is $6.88; and with ingredients such as Asiago, roasted red peppers, and artichokes it is a great price point. Rounding out the menu are several salads and knots in garlic or cinnamon as well as handspun milkshakes, beer and wine. The name is homage to the British “MOD” subculture; they dub themselves “young, retro and slightly irreverent”. The pies and the atmosphere sound just plain fun.
Live Basil Pizza: Denver CO Web: www.livebasilpizza.com
The brainchild of the founders of Smashburger and Quizno’s, Live Basil made its debut in the Denver, CO market in May of this year. Another quick fire pizza style chain with its roots in Naples, Italy, the sauce uses San Marzano tomatoes and a natural 3 cheese Italian blend (Mozzarella, aged Provolone and Grana Padano). The restaurant’s namesake, basil, is grown onsite and picked daily to top your pie.
Brixx Pizza: Belmont, NC Web: www.brixxpizza.com
With 23 East Coast locations and some coming soon, they must be doing something right. Georgia is the latest foray for the Belmont, NC based Brixx Franchise Systems LLC management team. A word play on a winemaker’s term, Brixx has an extensive wine and beer selection that sets it apart in the fast casual segment. Technomic name this concept the one to watch for 2013:
Go Roma: Park Ridge, IL Web: www.goroma.net
Go Roma, with 6 locations in the greater Chicago Area, is a quick service Italian restaurant that features soup, pasta, salads and of course pizza. All items are made in the back of the house and use simple, fresh ingredients.
Naked Pizza: New Orleans Web: www.nakedpizza.net
Touting their pizza as all natural, and to your door in 25 minutes, they are trying to save your health, one pizza at a time. With a crust made from 10 grains, such as quinoa, oats, buckwheat and brown rice, the focus here is on good for you, great tasting pizza. Now serving customers at 13 locations across the US.
Pieology: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Web: www.pieology.com
Opening 6 locations in the near future, Pieology guarantees your pizza within 5 minutes. From James Markham, the same guy behind MOD Pizza, they offer a great array of toppings and after bakes.
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza: Kansas City, MO Web: www.spinpizza.com
With 5 locations in Kansas City, and 2 more in California, they offer Gluten-Free and Vegan menu selections with a complete wine and craft beer list as well as signature in-house Sangria in your choice of 3 flavors.