Pizza's Global Footprint
Robert Malone, 02.21.07, 6:00 AM ET
Pizza has gone global, and it is governed by a heavy commitment to contemporary logistics.
In India, one pizzeria manager, Pavan Bhatia, describes his Pizza Corner Domino Pizza store as "more a logistics company than food service, since supply chain management is the factor that differentiates the winners from the losers" in this business.
Bhatia's Pizza Corner store in New Delhi gets its potatoes from Canada, where it is shipped to ports in Mumbai and Delhi. Pizza Corner pepperoni comes from Australia, and jalapeno requirements are fulfilled from Spain. Cheese is sourced closer to home--from Bangalore. Pizza may be an Italian cuisine, but it is the last word in global supply chains.
The hungry citizens of the United States eat 350 slices of pizza a second, or 400 acres (17.4 million square feet) per day. Don't even think of the geographical scale of a year's pizza!
As an industry in the U.S., pizza tops $30 billion. The country's 69,000 pizzerias make up 17% of all restaurants. The nation eats 3 billion pizzas in a year--that's pies, not slices; 93% of Americans eat at least one pizza per month. That's 23 pounds (including the toppings) of pizza a year.
Americans' favorite topping is pepperoni (36% of all orders), and that means a lot of sausage must be transported. Other favorite toppings are mushrooms, extra cheese, green peppers and, of course, onions.
On the other hand, specialty or gourmet toppings are becoming popular regionally in the U.S. Some pies come with shrimp, chicken, artichoke hearts, eggplant, sprouts, crayfish--even duck and Canadian bacon.
Mozzarella cheese accounts for 30% of all pizza cheese, but other favorites include provolone, ricotta, parmesan and romano. The amount of cheese used runs into the hundreds of millions of pounds.
Pizza Hut, a part of Yum! Brands ($9.56 billion in sales 2006), is the world's largest pizzeria franchise. It has 34,000 outlets in over 100 countries (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Israel, Hong Kong and Serbia, to name but a few). The chain's most popular pizza is the deep-dish Pan Pizza. Each year, Pizza Hut uses 300 million pounds of cheese, 525 million pounds of tomatoes, and 200 million pounds of pepperoni, which, if sliced, would girdle the Earth twice and still have enough over to reach the moon.
Domino's Pizza has only 8,000 stores in 54 countries and sales of $4.6 billion. It is known for its development of centralized ingredient logistics systems.
One of these central logistics systems is PWC UAE Logistics. It works with Specialized Services Establishment and Domino's restaurants in Bahran, Qatar, Saudia Arabia and Jordan. An order fulfillment center is used to service these places.
"By creating a centralized order fulfillment center, we will be able to provide real-time response to all our GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council states] and Levant-based outfits," says Ibrahim Al-Jammaz, the managing director of Specialized Services Establishment.
The inbound logistics delivery of pizza ingredients involves the use of sea lane container ships, aircraft for specialty items, and trucks, trucks and more trucks for pizza deliveries.
Outbound logistics from stores all over the world make use of scooters, bikes, fleet-footed delivery boys and vans.
The last word: The first pizzeria in New York, according to Italian history, was John's on Bleeker Street. The son of the original owner drove a Lincoln whose license plate read, "NO SLICES."