&pizza (company)

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&pizza
IndustryRestaurants
Founded2012
Founder(s)Michael Lastoria (CEO)
Steve Salis

&pizza (pronounced "and pizza") is an American fast casual pizza restaurant chain, with 30 locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Miami and Virginia.

History

&pizza was founded by Michael Lastoria and Steve Salis, with the first shop opening in July 2012 on H Street in Northeast Washington, DC.[1] Lastoria serves as CEO and creative director.[2] In 2016, the restaurant received a $25 million investment from AVALT, to expand into New York City,[3] opening its first location there in June 2017.[4] In July 2017, &pizza and the bakery Milk Bar announced a joint venture, to open in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[5] In October 2017, &pizza announced funding from RSE Ventures.[6][7]

The restaurant has advocated in Congress for a $15 minimum wage by 2023.[2][3][8]

Description

The restaurant sells personal and customizable oblong-shaped pizzas.[9][10] They tailor each location to its neighborhood, with local artists designing the interiors.[2][3][11] Some locations serve beer, wine, and cocktails.[12]

Reception

The Washington Post called the restaurant "the pizza shop for the 21st century", describing it as "Chipotle for pizza".[1] It was named best pizza in the Washington City Paper Best of D.C. in 2017;[13] was #12 on the Restaurant Business 2017 Future 50 list of fastest-growing small concept restaurants;[14] and was on the Fast Company World's Most Innovative Companies 2018 list.[15]

Marketing

Since 2015, the restaurant has held an annual Pi Day tradition, where they hold weddings in their pizza shops, offering free pizza, cake, alcohol, officiants and photography.[16][17] In 2018, &pizza hosted over a dozen weddings at locations in DC, Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia.[17] For employees who want it, the restaurant pays for them to get a tattoo of its ampersand logo.[17][19][20] The advocacy group Our Harvard Square has criticized &pizza for encouraging tattoos of its logo on employees and for referring to employees as "tribe members".[22]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Matt McFarland, Matt McFarland, "Free tattoos, elixirs and hopped cola: Is this the pizza shop for the 21st century?" Washington Post, December 3, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Eillie Anzilotti, "'We Want To Be The Best Neighbors': &pizza Reinvents The Pizza Parlor," Fast Company, October 31, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Debra Borchardt, "&pizza Heads To NYC With A Slice Of Social Consciousness," Forbes, November 15, 2016.
  4. Venessa Wong, "The Next Generation Of Pizza Is Descending Upon New York," BuzzFeed News, June 15, 2017.
  5. Nicole Fleming, "A legendary NYC bakery is teaming up with a Washington, D.C. pizza chain for a local venture," Boston Globe, July 6, 2017.
  6. Serena Dai, "Popular D.C. Chain &pizza Plots Up to Six More NYC Locations," Eater New York, October 30, 2017.
  7. Jonathan Maze, "&pizza scores investment from firm with NFL ties," Nation's Restaurant News, October 25, 2017.
  8. Kate Taylor, "Meet the CEO of an up-and-coming pizza chain who is actually fighting to raise the minimum wage," Business Insider, April 20, 2017.
  9. "How &pizza Is Reinventing Your Traditional Pizza Parlor," Fast Company, February 27, 2018.
  10. Hollis Johnson, "We tried a new fast-pizza chain that's expanding across America – here's what it's like," Business Insider, November 20, 2017.
  11. Shaye Weaver, "D.C.-Based Pizza Joint That Offers Free Tattoos Opening Second NYC Site," DNAinfo, July 7, 2017.
  12. Josh Novikoff, "New &pizza In Chinatown Comes With Cocktails and Table Service," DCist, October 5, 2016.
  13. "Best Pizza 2017," Washington City Paper, 2017.
  14. Future 50: &pizza, Restaurant Business, 2017.
  15. "Most Innovative Companies: &pizza," Fast Company, 2018.
  16. Katie Rogers, "Weddings at the Pizza Parlor? That's Amore," New York Times, April 14, 2017.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Sarah Meehan, "&pizza will transform to a wedding chapel on Pi Day," Baltimore Sun, March 6, 2018.

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