Denver Westword I Fast-Casual Pizza Chains Vie for a Slice of the Denver Market

pizzaRestaurateurs around Denver are really hoping you’ll get on board with their fast-casual pizza concepts; time and money are being spent perfecting dough recipes, building health-conscious angles, and firing up custom ovens to blister crusts in the amount of time it takes you to swipe a debit card. Businesses are welcoming comparisons to other successful fast-casual operations — after all, if consumers have made the lowly burrito the king of the quick lunch, success seems more likely for newer chains if they mimic Chipotle’s service model and goals. Pizzeria Locale, Modmarket and Project Pizza are all competing for a slice of the pie market and are learning as they go.

Boulder-based Modmarket just announced that it has retooled its dough recipe, adding stone-ground wheat to the mix along with sea salt, olive oil, agave sugar and an overnight rise, which, according to the company’s press release, adds more flavor and strength to the finished dough. The new dough is now available at all eight Colorado Modmarket locations. A recent article on Thrillist included Modmarket in a list of small chains that could someday reach Chipotle-like proportions. The company also builds sandwiches and salads, capitalizing on the healthy-food trend in case the fast-casual pizza boom fizzles.

This comes right as the latest Pizzeria Locale opened in the West Highland neighborhood and owners Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (both of Frasca fame) announced that they’ve rolled out a new 100 percent stone-ground wheat dough, some of which is actually ground in-store in a custom-built mill. Pizzeria Locale plans to retrofit its original fast-casual restaurant on Broadway with the same equipment and processes to make the new dough, which will also be the standard for all future locations. Comparisons with Chipotle are accurate when it comes to Pizzeria Locale; Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson teamed with the burrito giant to streamline the concept, based on their original Boulder pizzeria, for the fast-casual market.

Read more: Denver Westword I Fast-Casual Pizza Chains Vie for a Slice of the Denver Market
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group
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Denver Post: Denver-based Smashburger ranks No. 2 for restaurant chain growth

ImageDenver-based Smashburger is the second-fastest-growing restaurant group among the nation’s largest 200 chains, according to data from industry analyst Technomic.

Smashburger’s 2012 estimated sales of $171 million were up 42.5 percent from $120 million in 2011. The “better burger” chain operated 193 restaurants in the U.S. in 2012, representing a growth rate of 35.9 percent from the prior year, according to Technomic.

Smashburger is owned by Denver-based investment firm Consumer Capital Partners.
Ranking just ahead of Smashburger in the Technomic data was Dickey’s Barbecue Pit with 2012 sales growth of 46.5 percent and a 40.4 percent increase in the number of restaurants.

The largest Colorado-based chain on the list is Chipotle Mexican Grill, ranked No. 19 with U.S. sales of $2.72 billion.

Read more: Denver Post: Denver-based Smashburger ranks No. 2 for restaurant chain growth
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group

QSR Magazine I A Quick-Serve Rebound?

Dickey's Barbecue Pit enjoyed the best growth among quick service restaurants.Technomic report shows strong growth for some chains in 2012.

In a sign that the economic landscape might finally be rebounding for quick serves, early results from Technomic’s upcoming “Top 500 Restaurant Chain” report reveal that the fastest-growing limited-service restaurant chains in the U.S. realized average sales increases of 22.3 percent between 2011 and 2012.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit was the fastest-growing quick-service chain, enjoying a sales increase of 46.5 percent to $249 million, along with unit growth of 40.4 percent. Firehouse Subs sales spiked 33.5 percent to $380 million, followed by Jersey Mike’s Subs (26.3 percent to $348 million), Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers (26 percent to $260 million), and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop (24.6 percent to $1.27 billion). Chipotle (a 20.2 percent sales increase to $2.716 billion) was not far behind.

“For most of these chains, it is not a change in what they are doing; it is what they have been doing successfully year after year,” says Mary Chapman, director of product innovation for Technomic. “Regional chains that are doing well are able to get high-quality financiers, and then are able to grow quickly.”

Read more: QSR Magazine: A Quick-Serve Rebound?
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group