Author Topic: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?  (Read 3393 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Gags

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« on: November 14, 2013, 06:44:11 PM »
Hi All,

As I'm sure they're popping up in other sections of the country, Southern California is seeing the rapid expansion of the "Chipotle-style" fast casual approach to Neapolitan Pizza.

These new chains include 800 degrees and Blaze.  Also, I read the Project Pie story in last month's PMQ, similar story.


To me, they give the customer what they want - choices and a chance to create their own.  So I guess in that respect, the market has spoken.

Yet, the pizza-romantic in me feels like this cheapens the genre...

How soon before Chipotle, McDonalds, Yum Brands, or some other corporation buys these out or launches their own brand?

What are your thoughts on these shops?
"I'd trade it all for just a little bit more"


Offline Ronzo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1408
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Leander, TX
  • Beer, Whiskey, Freedom n' Pizza...
    • New Texian Brewery
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 08:40:41 PM »
You answered your own question. Artisanal is not mass market.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Offline gabaghool

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 513
  • Location: GLASTONBURY, CT
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 12:22:06 PM »
You're right, CHIPOTLE STYLE service in pizza is cranking, mostly out on the west coast.   However, the vast majority are not trying to put out Neapolitan style pies.   Many are using wood ovens, but not all.  800*, which started in Westwood, by the Unami burger people recently expanded to a second location.  Yelp reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

  They use top notch ingredients, while keeping the prices ridiculously low.  Recently they have raised the price on a few pies.  IMO, i think this is the main reason why their expansion has not kept pace with other fast casual pizza concepts.  There new location has also added a deli, featuring italian style subs, as well as an assortment of italian food products.  While i LOVE the italian deli concept, I think complicating the original concept is an attempt at upping gross sales......but again, my opinion.  Their pricing, while using basically the same quality products used by the big boys, is saying something......either they wouldn't be able to keep selling at those prices, or other neapolitan places are using the current craze in order to charge top, top dollar.
I never could understand the pricing philosophy of neapolitan pizza......but, you charge as much as the customer is willing to pay....we will see if it's sustainable.

Non neapolitan fast casual places put out all styles of pies, using all kinds of ovens, most charging a set price for all or most of their pizzas.  It's a cool concept, but not all that revolutionary, IMO.  They are basically normal pizza joints minus a separating wall, with the toppings line visible to the customer and where a pizza is ordered by pointing instead of an employee writing it down.

I have serios doubts on whether its can cross over cities with a rich pizza history, especially the Northeast.

Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 434
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 02:52:30 PM »
That's interesting... Blaze is opening a large amount of chains in Chicago area, which had me a bit annoyed since I had planned to pursue the fast-casual market within the next year.  (Let's not argue if Chicago is a city with rich pizza history...)  With Blase opening 15 locations across Chicago, I decided to retrench and pursue a more evening style dining atmosphere instead... well, that and some sage advice from one of my mentors.

http://chicago.metromix.com/venues/mmxchi-blaze-pizza-venue

Looks like Blaze has plans for some of the east coast as well:

http://www.blazepizza.com/locations/chicago/

I think in major cities, both will survive... you'll always have folks looking for the cheaper, lower quality, fast service/fast food joint, while others are looking for the kick back, serve at the table, and have a nice conversation with your date/wife/friends joint.  Both are viable, as they market to different crowds.

At some point, the public will begin to realize that the $5 little caesars you can get on the corner isn't as good as the $15 margherita made in a Ferrara oven... and the lines will be drawn... much like how folks know that McD's is far from a high quality burger. 

Chipotle style fast food is hot and trendy, and growing fast.  But there's a sacrifice for quality when the focus is speed... the question is, how long before the average consumer can tell the difference?

Offline gabaghool

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 513
  • Location: GLASTONBURY, CT
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 03:38:13 PM »
Cool......someone who is considering this.......if u are in the right area...it's DEFINATELY something to take seriously......and....simply IMO, Chicago will forever be know, by the general public, as a THICK CRUST TOWN.....with the population, the amount of foodies, the foot traffic, the business environment.....I think u r right on with the thought that  chi town would be perfect......I can DEFINATELY understand your thinking.....u mite b on to something............hats off at having the cajones....it's ALWAYS the first, and rarest, trait.

Love to hear your progress......
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 03:40:05 PM by gabaghool »

Offline gabaghool

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 513
  • Location: GLASTONBURY, CT
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 03:41:52 PM »
Don't be to concerned about the speed....the right oven and the correct procedure will take care of that....PRICE will be your make or break point.   

Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 434
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 04:53:20 PM »
Cool......someone who is considering this.......if u are in the right area...it's DEFINATELY something to take seriously......and....simply IMO, Chicago will forever be know, by the general public, as a THICK CRUST TOWN.....with the population, the amount of foodies, the foot traffic, the business environment.....I think u r right on with the thought that  chi town would be perfect......I can DEFINATELY understand your thinking.....u mite b on to something............hats off at having the cajones....it's ALWAYS the first, and rarest, trait.

Love to hear your progress......

For now, I've put the "Chipotle style" Neapolitan pizza idea on the backburner until I see how Blaze plays out a bit.  If their quality is high enough, it's going to be too hard to compete being the 2nd to market, and an independent at that...  Thus, I'm going to go with the laid back evening place that serves up phenomenal pizza and some great local brews instead. 

The idea isn't gone completely yet, and I have partners who may help execute on it... but for now, it's being put int he back pocket.

Offline pizzaboyfan

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 05:38:56 PM »
Umami Burger (parent of the Blaze) recently announced that they plan to open 150  Burger spots around the US, with the help of $ 20 million in venture capital.

Perry

Offline deb415611

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1116
  • Location: CT
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 05:53:31 PM »


Looks like Blaze has plans for some of the east coast as well:

http://www.blazepizza.com/locations/chicago/



interesting, if the target on that map is where they are planning for CT they are looking at Waterbury (very close to where I live). Small city and not a lot of $.  In fact in the last 5 or so years Applebees, Ruby Tuesdays and 99 (similar to applebees but I think a northeast chain) have all closed. 



« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 05:55:40 PM by deb415611 »

Offline Gags

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 06:13:41 PM »
For now, I've put the "Chipotle style" Neapolitan pizza idea on the backburner until I see how Blaze plays out a bit.  If their quality is high enough, it's going to be too hard to compete being the 2nd to market, and an independent at that...  Thus, I'm going to go with the laid back evening place that serves up phenomenal pizza and some great local brews instead. 

I like the concept - focus on experience and food quality rather than speed, convenience, and price.
Going to the local Neapolitan place, for me, is an experience - not just a place to get a bite.
They are from Naples, have great team Napoli souvenirs on the walls, good wine, good microbrews, and great dessert.  And they engage all of their customers.  It's a fun evening...

Obviously, one critical item is to ensure the fixed costs don't bury you, particularly for a place that is dinner-oriented and, with the Italian-style protracted dinner experience, may not turn the tables quickly.

Good luck and keep us posted!
"I'd trade it all for just a little bit more"


Offline JConk007

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 3721
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Lovin my Oven!
    • Flirting with Fire
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 09:58:22 PM »
I hate this concept especially because I don't have Millions to startup 50 places around the country, Will it work ? probably However  I feels it destroys the Artisan quality of true Neapolitan pizza ! It will wipe out the sole proprietor with a passion and the Mom and pop Neo joints. The people with $20 Million to spare make all the money  andthe rest of us have to price our pizza at $5.95 to compete ??
Heres another one I was holding out on but now we have proper thread so here goes Just announced Some big guns  from Smash burger and Quiznos ! oh boy
www.livebasil.com another boat  load of money and plans for 150 stores  :'(
have a look at those pics and be honest.
Not what I want to put out !
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline gabaghool

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 513
  • Location: GLASTONBURY, CT
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2013, 10:51:30 PM »
John....that's exactly what I mean......those pies aren't neapolitan....they may call them that.....but.,....PROVELONE??

So far, 800 is the only one that can say they put out a neapolitan pie....and they ARE cheap.  But, they arent expanding like the rest...why??  Gotta be the price.  They just got 12 million for expansion.....IMO, they simply aren't charging enough for the quality they use.  They are crazy busy, positive feedback, professional company.....and 2 locations???? Maybe potential investors are seeing numbers that bother them.

I wouldn't sweat it, John.....real neapolitan pizza, IMO, will always be a foodie item.   Most americans will always head out to NY and GDB styles...again, IMO.

Offline Sirius

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 78
  • Location: Wangen/Allgäu Germany
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 05:04:34 PM »
Is umami really the mother of blaze? I thought they were involved with 800degrees!

Offline TonyK

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 24
  • Location: Canada
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2013, 05:50:09 PM »
Well it shouldn't be surprising - Naples has been like this for quite a while. Cheap ingredients or blended with cheap ingredients is the norm. Very few places do it right anymore.

Offline gabaghool

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 513
  • Location: GLASTONBURY, CT
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2013, 08:35:52 PM »
Is umami really the mother of blaze? I thought they were involved with 800degrees!
[/quote
yep....i think unami is 800*...but i mite be wrong

Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 434
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 12:28:12 PM »
Is umami really the mother of blaze? I thought they were involved with 800degrees!

From what I understand, Umami is with 800 degrees.

The first few Blazes came from Wetzels (of the Wetzel Pretzel company) and I believe others are buying the franchise opportunities.  (The owners of Quizno's and Smashburger are helping expand Blaze, and in Chicago, the Levy family has purchased rights in the area.  Levy family owns/operates Spiaggia, Fultons, Wolfgang Puck cafes, etc.) 




Offline acbova

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 145
  • Location: York, PA
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 08:17:58 PM »
There was a place called Pizza Persona in Chicago started by a few guys that I went to mobile pizza class with. They closed the business early last year.  I think it had the Chipotle style thing going. 

Offline Serpentelli

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1170
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • Bat Man vs. The Penguin
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2013, 03:10:59 PM »
That Blaze Pizza site looks horrible.

"Hi, Welcome to Blaze, how would you like your movie theater/airport-style pizza cooked today? What's that you say? You don't care? Heavens, you are the perfect customer! Neither do we! Whoops, gotta go, I think the pilot light on our :o 450 degree :o gas flame just went out...."
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 434
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2013, 09:48:51 AM »
There was a place called Pizza Persona in Chicago started by a few guys that I went to mobile pizza class with. They closed the business early last year.  I think it had the Chipotle style thing going.

Yup, I checked it out as well.  They had the Chipotle style thing going, but couldn't seem to draw a crowd properly... which is a shame, the location was decent in a retail district... Likely not enough revenue for the price of their location?  (Just hypothesizing here...)  Their pizza was mediocre to okay... definitely not Neapolitan.

Offline pizzaboyfan

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: Are artisinal Neapolitan Pizzerias going to be mass market soon?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2013, 11:32:34 AM »
Sorry for the mistake.
Unami is indeed the parent of 800 degrees..and here they come, to NYC
Perry


Umami Restaurant Group Bringing 800 Degrees to New York Next
12/5/13 at 11:25 AM Comment
The L.A.-based restaurant group that brought Umami Burger to town announced yesterday via press release that its 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria will be up next. The "build-your-own," assembly-line-style, quick-service restaurant (think Chipotle), which happens to have a super-hot oven at the end that cooks $5 to $7 pizzas in about a minute or so, will land in Nomad. And look, they even have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine! Seriously though, the arrival of Adam Fleischman's Umami Burger somewhat improbably made a big splash in a town already saturated with a zillion hamburger restaurants. Will 800 Degrees co-creator Anthony Carron be able to pull off the same in a town with dozens of Neapolitan pies?

http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/12/800-degrees-pizza-opening-new-york.html