MOD Pizza and the rise of Fast Casual pizza chains

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Brian Lutz
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MOD Pizza and the rise of Fast Casual pizza chains

Post by Brian Lutz » May 21st, 2019, 9:24 am

https://www.businessinsider.com/mod-piz ... ons-2019-5

MOD Pizza, a quick-service pizza chain founded by a former Starbucks executive, is continuing with ambitious expansion plans, aiming to reach 1,000 locations in the US (from their current 400) within five years, and aiming to add roughly 100 locations a year. They just announced that they have received an additional $160 million in funding to help expand. They have been interesting to watch as they got their start in Seattle, and I've been a regular customer since they had only three locations. It's a bit pricey compared to the usual delivery places, but the pizza is much better, and you can add as many toppings as you want for the same price.

Naturally, the rise of MOD pizza has inspired competitors, most notably Blaze Pizza, operating on a very similar concept and expanding quickly as well. Don't know a whole lot about them since they haven't reached this area yet so I've only tried it once (the Disney Springs location at Walt Disney World) and the experience was less than stellar. They seem to be expanding at a similar pace though.

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Re: MOD Pizza and the rise of Fast Casual pizza chains

Post by SamSpade » May 21st, 2019, 3:51 pm

Blaze went under after opening in Beaverton, Ore. (don't know why). We also have the other California competitor as a locally-franchised store, Pieology.
https://www.pieology.com/locations
They seem to be trying to differentiate themselves.

I find MOD quite enjoyable, and in Portland, around $8-10 is a typical lunch or fast casual stop at this point.

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Re: MOD Pizza and the rise of Fast Casual pizza chains

Post by storewanderer » May 21st, 2019, 8:59 pm

I had MOD back when they only had a few locations, up in Bellevue. It was well under $5 for a mini and seemed like a great deal. The place ran like a well oiled machine and it was just really really good.

MOD eventually showed up in Reno. Pricing is much higher now. I went once and while it still ran like a well oiled machine, it wasn't very good and I did not go back.

Blaze later showed up in Reno. I went once. Pricing was a little below MOD. The employees were slow and disinterested. It didn't seem very clean. My request for "more sauce" about 3 times was met with a final look from the employee as if my pizza may hit the floor before I get to eat it. Yet as far as the taste went, I liked it better than MOD.

There is some other place in Reno called My Pie. Similar concept. It opened before MOD and Blaze in a lousy location. It was really busy, until MOD and Blaze opened. But it is still open, and I've heard good things. I keep getting buy one get one free coupons from them in the mail, so I have to think MOD and Blaze have hurt them.

I do think these places have a place, and will probably impact the regular pizza concepts like the Dominos, Pizza Hut, etc. significantly long term. People are more used to getting what they want and the concept of having to have 2, 3, or even 4 people decide on a pizza type is a pretty foreign concept at this point.

I hate to say it but I think the full size standard (not the Reserve ones) Safeway Select thin crust frozen pizzas are excellent and rival what most of these chain pizza places offer. It is no harder to throw one of those in the oven than it is to stop off in one of these places and purchase.

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Re: MOD Pizza and the rise of Fast Casual pizza chains

Post by babs » May 22nd, 2019, 9:13 am

SamSpade wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 3:51 pm
Blaze went under after opening in Beaverton, Ore. (don't know why). We also have the other California competitor as a locally-franchised store, Pieology.
https://www.pieology.com/locations
They seem to be trying to differentiate themselves.

I find MOD quite enjoyable, and in Portland, around $8-10 is a typical lunch or fast casual stop at this point.
Several of the Pieology locations in Portland have closed as well including the downtown Fox Tower and Hollywood locations. Mod is usually much busier than Pieology.

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Re: MOD Pizza and the rise of Fast Casual pizza chains

Post by buckguy » May 23rd, 2019, 6:47 am

"&pizza" is the DC equivalent. They have proliferated like crazy. The pizza itself isn't very good, but DC is a place where pizza has long been pretty bad--bland sauce, cheap toppings and a crust that gets rubbery if not eaten immediately.

Blaze is in Pittsburgh and they seem marginally better than &pizza.

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