With the dramatic emergence of the fast casual industry in the past two decades, the way we eat burgers and burritos has changed for good. What food is up next for a fast casual revamp? Industry experts are betting that pizza will create the next wave of popularity. These restaurants manage to combine affordable price points with higher quality dishes, making them popular with millennials.
Some consulting firms estimate as many as 2,000 new fast casual locations could spring up with a focus on pizza in the next half a decade. The prep and cooking times for pizza are a little longer than other common fast foods, so the restaurants are slower at embracing it. But improved ovens are turning out speedy results without reduced quality. This means time strapped diners may soon munch down on cheese and pepperoni with only a short wait for freshly cooked food.
Restaurants across the country are already managing to cook small pizzas in just over two minutes. As the equipment spreads to a wider range of locations, the classic Neapolitan style is sure to pop up in unusual places. Industry leading fast casual chains, like Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings, are currently putting their money behind up and coming pizza opportunities.