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.