Pizza Sales Up – For Two Big Chains

Dec. 7, 2021
Pizza sales rose during 2020, but much of that growth was concentrated among two of the biggest restaurant chains.

Pizza sales rose during 2020, but much of that growth was concentrated among two of the biggest restaurant chains, according to data from Technomic.

Overall, U.S. pizza sales among limited-service chains were up 6% in 2020, to $27.5 billion. This seemingly reflects the natural advantages of pizza chains in the pandemic: They already had a takeout/delivery model in place and fully functioning.

However, as Restaurant Business reports, if results for Domino’s (No. 1 by sales) and Papa John’s (No. 4) are removed, the remaining 40 chains show a loss of $300 million. The median sales for chains in its ranking dropped 4.3% last year. The situation was reflected in some high-profile bankruptcies during 2020, including Chuck E. Cheese and a major franchisee of Pizza Hut.

Nonetheless, some chains are using pandemic success to invest in the future. Little Caesar’s, which saw sales rise 3.5% during 2020 to $3.9 million, plans to open more than 200 new stores, an executive told QSR Magazine. And the owner of Roberta’s, a New York City pizza restaurant, said that not only is he opening new locations, but sales of Roberta’s frozen pizzas nearly doubled during the pandemic.

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