If I told you, without any context, that an up-and-coming pizza chain was selling their pies for under $3, you’d probably have some pre-conceived opinions on what the quality of that meal would be. To then tell you that they’re selling 9-inch pizzas at that price in San Francisco and utilizing high-quality ingredients to do so would blow such assumptions out of the water.
This is exactly what disruptive new pizza concept apizza is achieving. Less than a week into their grand opening, they’re already drawing crowds at their SF location because of how good the pizzas have reportedly been at such a low price. It’s already led some local outlets to describe apizza as “The In-N-Out of Pizza,” something apizza Chief Financial and Development Officer Jason Thompson both loves and shies away from.
“In-N-Out does a great job, I’d be proud to be the In-N-Out of pizza,” Thompson told Foodbeast. “[But] our quality is something that isn’t even available at In-N-Out.”
It’s what apizza’s mantra is all about: Bringing high-quality pizzas to the people, but at an affordable price. Their team comes with the experience to make it possible, too: Thompson and his family have franchised across multiple fast food concepts over the years, while co-founder Nicolas Bernadi is a partner at La Boulange, the celebrated bakery chain once owned by Starbucks. Bernadi, co-founder Pascal Rigo, and their team spent about 3 years ideating their business to create a chain that optimized costs everywhere else to bring the best quality pizzas possible.
That includes utilizing compostable bags over pizza boxes, which helps cut down on packaging costs. It does mean your personal pie comes served folded, but it makes it much easier as an on-the-go option, whereas pizza is usually a sit-down affair. apizza has also sourced a bunch of their ingredient manufacturing to food producers that can make the quality they want at scale, which helps lower costs as well. This means that a $2.75 margherita pie can be made with organic dough and tomatoes, ingredients that traditionally come at a higher price point.
For comparison, Blaze Pizza, one of the larger and more competitive chains in the pizza scene right now, sells their basic pizza for $5.55. That puts apizza at about half the price of its current competition. The most expensive pizza on apizza’s menu is the mufuletta at $6.49, which is still about $2 less than comparable options at Blaze.
Apizza also makes their own Italian sodas in-house, and offers drink discounts if you bring your own cup. For dessert, they’ve got Loving Cup frozen yogurt, which you can custom make by the small portion or pint. No option on the menu is higher than $9 as a result, even if you factor in adding toppings like a poached egg ($3) or substituting Impossible plant-based meat ($3) onto your pie.
So far, apizza seems to be disrupting the pizza scene through its optimized business model, and it hopes to build on that to create a chain that brings these affordable pizzas everywhere. They’re already off to a strong start, with a second location in Belmont, California already slated to open at the end of this year. Other locations will also be confirmed in the coming months.
Written by Constantine Spyrou. Published with permission from FOODBEAST.com.