Papa Murphy’s, the grand daddy of the take and bake concept, has been the trailblazer in this sector of the pizza industry since they invented the idea in 1981. Their recent addition of a pan pizza that they call “fresh pan pizza” debuted in February of this year to all markets. It has received good reviews so far, and this addition has served to round out the menu at Papa Murphy’s.
With the success of such a well-known chain, several other chains are capitalizing on the improved margins from the take and bake model.
Godfather’s Pizza just announced that they are opening a take-and-bake concept this spring called Big Vinny’s Take & Bake Pizza. Set to open in Lincoln, NE, the concept will showcase fresh dough and premium ingredients to create customized pizzas for their customers.
ZPizza, a chain that is one of the first to use organic flour and organic tomato sauce, just recently launched a take and bake option in gluten-free and wheat crusts. The bonus? The gluten-free crust is just as tasty as the wheat crust.
Figaro’s, an Oregon-based chain, claims to be the first chain to have offered gluten-free take and bake pizzas to its customers back in 2011. They also offer take and bake lasagna and calzones with baked or take and bake options.
Noble Roman’s has 22 locations that offer take and bake pizzas (traditional, SuperThin, and deep-dish Sicilian), breadsticks, chicken wings, cookies and cinnamon rounds. At the end of 2013, 56 franchise agreements had been signed for new locations. They feature fresh-made sauce from crushed tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and spices. To grab a larger share of lunchtime pizza revenue, they are also testing the “You Bake or We Bake” concept in a 3 store test.
Mama Mimi’s is an award-winning small pizza chain based in Cincinnati, OH. They have won “Pizza of the Year” at the National Pizza Festival in Las Vegas as well as the “Best Gourmet Pizza in North America” at the prestigious World Pizza Championship in Italy. With 6 locations in operation, and award-winning pizzas like Mama’s Marmaletta Amore (apricot glaze, mozzarella, chicken, caramelized onion, basil, red pepper flake and gorgonzola), they definitely define gourmet take and bake pizza.
Several companies have taken a different approach to the desire for take and bake. By offering nationwide shipping on their pizzas and other products, the following chains seek to further widen their customer base into new territory:
Donato’s Pizza recently came out with a line of gluten-free pizzas and flatbreads to complement their regular take and bake options. These are offered in-store but also in Kroger’s and on Amazon’s online store to be shipped right to your door. This allows them to extend their customer reach while still providing the quality pizzas that their customers expect.
Lou Malnati’s is the king of the deep-dish pie in Chicago. And they will ship you a pie anywhere in the country via the website www.tasteofchicago.com . They also offer a Pizza of the Month Club for those who cannot get enough Lou Malnati’s.
Whichever delivery method a chain chooses, great quality take and bake is the pizza of the future. It should not be underestimated by operators as the trend in ‘gourmet at home’ becomes more and more popular.