What you need to know

Pizza has a long history in the United States as a favorite dish for diners of all ages. And while pizza restaurants are ubiquitous, there has been a surge in activity in recent years as fast casual pizza restaurants have emerged on the scene and other, established, pizza restaurants are responding to new competition. Regional fast casual pizza places have begun fighting for market dominance. Technology has become the battleground among the QSR pizza brands as the major players vie for the best and fastest app. There also has been no shortage of flavor innovation, as chains have released both traditional versions of pizza, international mash-ups, and indulgent offerings. Both consumer and menu data reflects the evolving tastes surrounding the pizza category.


The purpose of this report is to examine the pizza restaurant segment. It builds off of last year’s report, Pizza Restaurants – US, November 2014.

This report focuses both limited and full service pizza restaurants; it includes quick service restaurant (QSR) pizza (eg Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s), fast casual pizza (eg Blaze Pizza, PizzaRev, Pieology), and full service pizza restaurants (eg Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill, California Pizza Kitchen). Additionally, the report will also touch on pizza from non-pizza specific restaurants (eg pizza served at T.G.I Friday’s), pizza at convenience stores (C-stores), as well as take-and-bake pizza restaurants (eg Papa Murphy’s), though these segments will not be covered as deeply as the aforementioned pizza segments.

This report excludes any detailed analysis on retail pizza (eg frozen pizzas, take-and-bake pizza from a grocery store). For information on retail pizza, please look to Mintel’s Pizza – US, October 2015.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following restaurant definitions.

  • Limited service restaurants (LSRs) – These establishments provide food services where customers usually select and order items and pay before dining. Food/drink may be consumed on-premises, offered as carry out, or delivered to the customer's location. They may also sell alcoholic beverages. LSRs include both QSRs and fast casual restaurants.

  • Full service restaurants (FSRs) – These establishments have waiter/waitress service in which customers order and are served while seated. They may also sell alcoholic beverages and offer carry out services.

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