The annual Nation’s Restaurant News Top 200 is out, and it contains a surprise that should totally not be a surprise based on what this pizza-loving human knows of other pizza-loving humans: The two fastest-growing restaurant chains in the country are both fast-casual pizza restaurants.
The undisputed champ this time around is MOD Pizza, which has experienced 80-percent(!) year-over-year growth. Its total sales now top $270 million, which, as NRN notes, places the chain only (psh, only) $9 million behind Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, its nearest rival.
A little about MOD, if you’ve never had the pleasure:
MOD is the original superfast pizza experience—a pioneering fast-casual concept that puts you in the driver’s seat. Artisan-style pizzas and salads are individually sized, made on demand, and ready in just minutes. Choose from over 30 toppings—the price stays the same no matter what you pick. At its heart, however, MOD is a platform for doing good. The idea? If we take care of our employees, they’ll take care of you, and our business will take care of itself. We call it Spreading MODness, and after opening stores across the U.S. and U.K., we think it’s working.
Speaking of ol’ Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, it’s the runner-up on this list, with 50.8 percent year-over-year growth. Not bad, but not 80 percent. What this tells me, an expert on reading easily comprehensible lists, is that we Americans like pizza and we like it even better when someone cooks it really quickly for us.
Third on the list is Shake Shack, which does not sell pizzas.