Pizza Today - May 2016 - 57

and Renegar saw opportunities to be
early adopters in their local markets.
For Gresser, a light-bulb moment
when the first Chipotle opened in
D.C. took years to become realized
while she focused on her full-service,
three-unit Pizzeria Paradiso.
Kueber says he was drawn to "the
opportunity to be the first to the
market in many trade areas." Unlike
major metropolitan cities, the fast
casual pizza concept is still a fairly new
phenomenon in secondary and small
markets, for now.
With only one other fast-casual
pizza concept in Oklahoma City,
Renegar watched it very closely. "Pizza
is something that we hadn't done so we
talked about how we would do pizza
and what we would do to set ourselves
apart," he says, "and going back to what
we know with fast casual that it was a
fit for us."
Gresser admits: "I frankly was struck
by the inefficiency of doing the Chipotle model for pizza, because it takes
quite a while for a customer to progress
down the service line.
"The transition from old school
American pizzas that cook in 10 to 15
minutes to having a pizza at Paradiso
- the pizza cooks in about five minutes, so just sort of seeing that increase
in production, in speed of cooking,
made the light bulb go off. I thought,
'I bet we can decrease the cooking time
and that it would work to be able to
serve people more quickly.' It could
fulfill the speed market - I'm going to
call it - that has developed."
Gresser built the Veloce model to
deviate from the service line approach

and have the customer experience begin
with the cashier. "I decided to move
away from the customer walking down
the production line so we actually have
a cashier that takes the order and then
it's sent to the kitchen. So the difference, to me, is that at the end of most
fast-casual models, at the end of the
production line your food is ready. In
the pizza model you go through the
production line and then the pizza

needs to be cooked." The adjustment,
she says, saves time. The average time
from order to service is five minutes at
Veloce.
Spinning off of Pizzeria Paradiso
provides a point of separation for
Veloce from its fast-casual competition,
incorporating the same chef-driven and
high-quality Neapolitan-style pizza and
high level of customer service as
Veloce's parent pizzeria. The fast
casual's marketing and branding reflect
its ties to Pizzeria Paradiso. In fact, it's
name, Veloce by Pizzeria Paradiso, carries nearly 25 years of brand familiarity
in the D.C. market.
The fast-casual environment, Gresser
says, is nothing like her three full-service pizzerias. "Once we started down
the process, it just surprised me about
how different a business we were opening. The only thing really that was the
same was that it was pizza. Every other
piece of what we had to put into place
was completely brand new to us.
"I'm a person that likes puzzles and
challenges so it was kind of fun thinking through each step and making it
the best it can be and we are incredibly happy with the way the operation
performs. It's just really worked exactly
the way that we wanted it to."
Still in its infancy, Topp't is savvy
about promoting itself, BTO (build-

to-order) pizza and its highlights
on social media. Going beyond
just BTO pizza by offering salads,
unique beverages and desserts differentiate the brand. Topp't is also
able to adjust to its demographics
quickly.
"Independents can be much more
nimble and can stay on the forefront of advances in the category,"
Kueber says. "They typically can also
provide greater customer service."
Renegar agrees. Being an indie
in the fast-casual pizza space has
its advantages. A local concept, he
continues, has more freedom to
innovate. "(It's about) staying on
top of what people are wanting and
trying new things and being able to
keep up with the wants and needs
of our customers."
Sourcing local ingredients, making as much as possible from scratch
and stretching dough in front of the
customer has helped elevate Revolve,
Renegar says.
Its unique dueling ovens with rotating stones also provide an impacting
visual for Revolve guests.
Finding other revenue streams is one
way to stand out from the fast-casual
chains. Some have turned to third-party
delivery to add revenue. Revolve's catering program that they've offered since
opening has consistently picked up
steam, Renegar says.
Highlighting product sourcing and
processes of creating the food in the
restaurant also provides points of separation. "Larger restaurant groups have
a lot better buying power. When you
are getting into the pizza market and
pricing is really crucial, that is huge. We
don't have that. You have to find other
ways to make your mark." n
DENISE GREER

Today.

is associate editor of Pizza

PizzaToday.com
MORE the trends that are feeding
the fast-casual craze
Pizzatoday.com/more/fastcasualtrends/
M AY 2 0 1 6 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 5 7


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Pizza Today - May 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - May 2016

Pizza Today - May 2016
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Trending Recipes
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Liability Issues?
The Grandma Pie
Lowering the Sodium
Trending at International Pizza Challenge
First Steps to Selling a Pizzeria
The Fast-Casual Pizza Players
Indies in Fast Casual
2016 Pizza Expo Wrap-up
Pizza Today on the Road: Slyce Pizza Bar, Tampa, FL
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Snapped
Pizza Today - May 2016 - CT1
Pizza Today - May 2016 - CT2
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Pizza Today - May 2016
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Cover2
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Commentary
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 4
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 5
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Contents
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 7
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 8
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 9
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Contributors
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 11
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 13
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Interact
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 15
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Conversation
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 17
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 19
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 21
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Trending Recipes
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 23
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Destinations
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 25
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 27
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 28
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 29
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Liability Issues?
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 31
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 32
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 33
Pizza Today - May 2016 - The Grandma Pie
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 35
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 36
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 37
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Lowering the Sodium
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 39
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 40
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 41
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 42
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 43
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Trending at International Pizza Challenge
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 45
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 46
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 47
Pizza Today - May 2016 - First Steps to Selling a Pizzeria
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 49
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 50
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 51
Pizza Today - May 2016 - The Fast-Casual Pizza Players
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 53
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 54
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 55
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Indies in Fast Casual
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 57
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 2016 Pizza Expo Wrap-up
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 59
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 60
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 61
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Pizza Today on the Road: Slyce Pizza Bar, Tampa, FL
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 63
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 64
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 65
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 66
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 68
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 69
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 71
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 72
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 73
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 74
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 75
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 76
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 77
Pizza Today - May 2016 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 79
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 80
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 81
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 82
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 83
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 84
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 85
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 86
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 87
Pizza Today - May 2016 - 88
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Snapped
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Cover3
Pizza Today - May 2016 - Cover4
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