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New players in the growing segment — Social Life Pizza, Custom Fuel Pizza, and Garage Brewing Co. & Pizzeria — expand upon traditional offerings with craft beer or a full bar.
The fast-casual pizza niche is about to get a bit more crowded with the launch of three concepts that are upping the ante with the addition of craft beer or a full bar.
Over the past two years, a growing number of fast-casual chain concepts have sprouted up around the country featuring a customized, build-your-own pizza model that produces artisan-style pies in less than five minutes.
Chains with aggressive growth plans include MOD Pizza; Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza; Pie Five Pizza; PizzaRev; Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint; Your Pie and Live Basil Pizza, just to name a few.
More recent entrants in the race include Social Life Pizza, which debuted in San Diego last week; Custom Fuel Pizza, which opened in Washington, D.C., in August; and Garage Brewing Co. & Pizzeria, which is scheduled to open in Temecula, Calif., on Oct. 15.
In a recent report, market-research firm Technomic Inc. said the new cluster of fast-casual pizza players tend to court lunch customers more than traditional pizza brands, as well as those looking for fresh or better-for-you products.
These new players, however, are positioned to also capture a strong dinner business with the enhanced bar component, which also boosts the average check.
Here’s a look at three of the latest players in the fast-casual pizza game.