&pizza Chinatown location in Washington, D.C. Photo by &pizza.
RCS: Tell us how focusing on the East Coast will help &pizza expand the brand, when other chains that started in D.C. have decided to open stores on the West Coast concurrently. AH: We believe that in the near-term, a focus on East Coast expansion will help us grow faster by leveraging our key strengths. Anchoring our expansion to our existing shop base will help us maintain our existing supplychain discipline, promote future leaders from within, and create more economies of scale for our brand and the causes for which we continue to support. As we expand westward and internationally in the future, we know there will be a market for &pizza and we’ll be confident doing so based on a strong East Coast presence. RCS: How will Erik Bruner-Yang help reinvigorate the menu? AH: As a fellow product of Northeast D.C., we’ve been neighbors with Erik since our
original shop on H Street opened. We have a mutual respect for him and his business; we see eye-to-eye on many things like aesthetics, vibe, and food as an extension to other areas of culture like music and clothing. We both have pretty distinct styles, so we brought him on to revamp our menu. There will be new categories with new pies, courtesy of Erik, but we’re also introducing non-pizza items like a stromboli and garlic knots for the very first time. RCS: Tell us about new prototype stores and how they relate to the cube kiosk model at Union Station. AH: We’re always trying to figure out the right model for the right location. A cube was perfect for Union Station, which is in a food court in the bottom of a train station. Wall Street made perfect sense for people looking to order ahead or grab pies on the go, so we built it for the location and focused on speed— i.e., no seating. RESTAURANT C-SUITE 13