Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Winter 2020

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Pizza continues to be a hot and beloved food in America, but the category has become hyper competitive. Photo by Louis Hansel.

Editor’s Note What’s the state of pizza today? When it comes to foodservice, the answer is that pizza is going strong, but sales are being scattered among many brands, service segments and channels. Third-party delivery services are throwing a wrench into things by introducing yet another channel of access to pizza delivery and takeout. Fast-casual pizza chains have mostly matured and seen their best days go by. However, fast-casual pizza is still a threat to traditional QSR pizza chains such as Domino’s, and to independent pizzerias all across the United States. Pizza restaurants have strong brand recognition. According to research firm Packaged Facts 2019 Eating Trends: Restaurant Use report, 19.4 percent of U.S. adults form the consumer base for Domino’s-that’s one in five adults–with 16.4 percent preferring Pizza Hut and 13.0 percent Little Caesar’s. Once a leading pizza chain in shopping malls, Sbarro dropped to 1.9 percent of consumers by 2019. Packaged

There are a growing number of chains vying for a piece of the pie, and increased ways consumers can access their preferred slice. Facts also found that consumers living in the South were more likely to frequent QSR pizza and pasta restaurants. Although the dining landscape is changing, pizza chains still rank within the top tiers. Domino’s and Pizza Hut are the top 10th and 13th overall

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restaurant chains ranked by adult usage, according to data from Packaged Facts. In addition, Domino’s has been a leader in gaining consumers over the last decade: the Ann Arbor, Mich.based chain took third place behind only Chick-fil-A and Chipotle. In short, pizza still provides a strong value proposition within foodservice. However, there are a growing number of chains vying for a piece of the pie, and increased ways consumers can access their preferred slice. This new complexity is a major reason this issue was put together: to delve deeper into the pizza category and offer insights into the latest developments.

Rick Zambrano Executive Editor contactrick@eaterypulse.net