Pizza Marketplace has released its 2009 State of the Industry report.
The 2009 State of the Industry report features commentaries by experts in the areas of management strategy, human resources, point-of-sale systems and pizza toppings, an in-depth look at the outlook for commodities costs and the results of an in-depth survey of nearly 500 pizzeria operators, vendors and other industry experts.
The report also features a list of the top 100 pizzeria companies ranked by number of units. The top 100 listing also includes information ranging from systemwide sales, average unit volume and whether or not the company offers online ordering.
"As the restaurant industry approaches 1 million locations and more than $560 billion in sales, pizza is a vital part of its fast-paced growth," said Paul Barron, publisher of PizzaMarketplace.com.
"Pizza is one of the few segments that crosses the entire spectrum of the restaurant industry," he said. "Pizza is everywhere, spreading from the quick-service segment to the fast casual and casual dining areas. It is even represented by gourmet and fine dining."
View the table of contents here.
Trend toward technology
The 2009 State of the Industry report expands on information collected during a similar study conducted by Pizza Marketplace in 2007.
For example, while in 2007 pizzeria operators reported that cheddar and mozzarella/cheddar blends were the types of non-mozzarella cheeses seeing the most growth in popularity, this year operators reported that feta cheese had taken the lead.
Which sauces, other than tomato, are offered on your menu?
Barbecue sauce seems to be gaining in popularity as an alternative to traditional pizza sauce, with about 20 percent more operators reporting they offer it compared with the 2007 survey. Alfredo and garlic-butter sauce appear on twice as many menus as they did during the 2007 survey.
Pepperoni remains king of pizza toppings, with more than 98 percent of operators pegging it as their most popular topping. Italian sausage came in at No. 2 and chicken came in at No. 3.
While the industry is again seeing a desire for "better-for-you" options on the part of consumers, there are subtle differences in the latest trend. Rather than simply looking for "diet" or "low-fat" menu options, consumers are looking for pizza topping options that support good nutritional principals.
"Given the choice, consumers interested in better-for-me options may order a pizza with lean beef or chicken strips, roasted vegetables and locally made organic cheese on a whole-wheat crust," said Liz Hertz, marketing director with precooked meats supplier Burke Corp.
Most popular meat/seafood toppings
Operators seem to be getting a handle on turnover, according to the report. The number of operators who reported an annual turnover rate of 50 percent or less has increased by 15 percent since the 2007 survey. Slightly more than 45 percent of operators reported an annual turnover rate of 25 percent or less, while about 30 percent of operators reported a turnover rate of 50 percent or less.
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And technology continues to be a driving force in the industry as more and more operators move to online ordering and e-mail and text-based marketing, according to the report.
"It's clearly paying off," said Jennifer Wiebe, marketing manger with Lynden, Wash.-based POS supplier SpeedLine Solutions. "One of our customers routinely sees 40 to 60 percent redemption rates on is subscription-based text coupon program through in-store redemptions alone."
The report is available for a limited time for a special price of $595, a savings of $200 off the retail price of $795.