MOD Pizza

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MOD Super Fast Pizza LLC
MOD Pizza
Private
Industry Restaurants
Genre Fast casual
Founded 2008; 10 years ago (2008) in Seattle, Washington
Founders
  • Scott Svenson
  • Ally Svenson
  • James Markham
Headquarters Bellevue, Washington, United States
Number of locations
330[1] (March 2018)
Areas served
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Key people
  • Scott Svenson (CEO)
  • Ally Svenson (Protector of the Purpose)
  • Bob Barton (CFO)
  • Tracy Cioffi (CMO)
Products
Website modpizza.com

MOD Pizza is a fast casual pizza restaurant chain based in the United States.[2][3] Founded in Seattle, Washington in 2008, MOD has more than 330 locations[4] in the United States and United Kingdom.[5] MOD is a company that is claimed by its owners to be "more about the people than the pizza" and to focus on paying living wages and providing employees with opportunities to give back to the community.[2]

Concept and products[edit]

MOD Pizza offers individual, artisan style pizzas, which are baked for approximately three minutes in an 800-degree Fahrenheit (425 °C) pizza oven.[3] Customers can build their own pizza or salad, which cost the same no matter how many toppings they choose. MOD also offers 10 classic pizzas, a pizza salad, and a seasonal pizza. MOD’s pizzas and salads are offered in three different sizes – Mini, MOD, and Mega. MOD pizzas are made with fresh pressed dough by King Arthur Flour, the oldest flour company in the United States.[6] MOD also serves hand-spun milkshakes, fountain drinks, beer and wine.

The decor and layout of MOD restaurants has been described as "family-friendly," with Zagat observing it has a "simple and functional vibe that ties in nicely with its DIY theme."[7] The interior of each MOD restaurant is unique and "locally inspired."[8][9]

The acronym "MOD" in the company's name stands for "Made on Demand." Its menu features pizzas made with organic dough and gourmet ingredients that are cooked in three minutes using stone ovens at 800 °F (425 °C).[10][11] Customers specify which ingredients they want included on their order, and watch the preparation process, though the restaurant also offers recommended combinations. Restaurant trade publication QSR News has characterized the concept as the "Chipotle of the pizza industry."[12]

The interior of a MOD Pizza restaurant, pictured in 2014.

Blaze Pizza, Pieology, Pizza Rev & Project Pie are all considered direct competitors to MOD Pizza.[13][14]

History[edit]

MOD pizza was established in 2008 in Seattle, Washington by co-founders Scott and Ally Svenson. The Svensons previously founded Seattle Coffee Company, a successful UK-based coffee company that sold to Starbucks in 1998. Afterwards Scott stayed on as President of Starbucks Europe. The Svensons also helped found Carluccio’s Ltd., an Italian restaurant in the UK. After moving back to their hometown of Bellevue, Washington, the Svensons started MOD Pizza after being unable to find fast, affordable healthy meals for their four sons. James Markham, who had previously started pizza parlors in San Diego, California and Shanghai, China, was also a part of the founding team and helped developed the house recipes used by MOD.[15] The restaurant's first location was in Union Square and was followed by additional Seattle locations. [16]

The first MOD Pizza location, at Union Square in Downtown Seattle, Washington.

By 2010, Markham had left MOD Pizza due to what he later characterized as a dispute in direction with the Svensons. He subsequently started a California-based chain set on MOD's "DIY" pizza concept called Pieology.[15]

In 2013, the restaurant chain was named one of the United States' "Top 50 Breakout Brands" by Nation's Restaurant News.[17] The same year, it added its first location outside of Washington, with a restaurant at Cedar Hills Crossing shopping center in Beaverton, Oregon.[18]

By 2014, MOD Pizza had 31 locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. The same year the company secured $15 million in private investment. Notable backers included Dunkin' Donuts president Paul Twohig and TOMS Shoes Chief Executive Officer Jim Alling.

Growth and expansion[edit]

In 2015, MOD Pizza raised $40 million in new funding for a total of $70 million in investment capital to fund an aggressive national growth strategy.[19] The main investor was a private equity fund, PWP Growth Equity. MOD’s growth is also accelerated by the addition of several franchise partnerships.[20] The "purpose-led fast casual concept" reached the 1,700 employee milestone mark in August 2015.[21]

In March 2016, MOD Pizza announced that they had secured $32 million in a funding round and had plans to expand to 190 stores.[22] In June, the company opened their first international location in Leeds, United Kingdom.[23]

Additional expansion in the UK with joint venture partner Sir Charles Dunstone and his business partner, Roger Taylor is in planning. MOD named John Nelson, formerly of Nando's UK, as their CEO of UK operations in January 2016.[24]

In January 2017, MOD Pizza had open its 200th location, which was located in Frederick, Maryland. At the time of the opening, the company had locations in 20 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, along with five locations in the United Kingdom.[25]

Awards[edit]

  • #7 of Fortune Magazine's 20 Best Places to Work in Retail in 2015.[26]
  • 2015 Community Impact Award for "Job Creation and Workplace Development" by Seattle Business Magazine.[27]
  • FEAT Reach for the Stars Award for Best Employer
  • 50 Breakout Brands by Restaurant News in 2013[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mod Pizza Store Directory". 
  2. ^ a b "Eastside Entrepreneurs Create a Family Business - 425 Magazine". 425 Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Eastside Fastest-Growing: MOD Pizza grabs slice of quick-service pie - Puget Sound Business Journal". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  4. ^ "The guy making your Mod pizza may once have been serving time". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  5. ^ "MOD Pizza aims for British Empire". The Seattle Times. September 13, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ "MOD Pizza introduces new non-GMO pizza dough flour". www.fastcasual.com. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ "MOD Pizza". zagat.com. ZAGAT. 
  8. ^ "MOD Pizza Expands to San Jose with 3 Locations". QSR Magazine. June 16, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Seattle-based Company Expanding Brand within Local Community". Ballard News-Tribune. October 31, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Yuasa, Mark (January 13, 2012). "MOD's pizzas are fast, tasty and inexpensive". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on January 15, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2017. 
  11. ^ Tice, Carol. "Rising Crust: Why VCs Bet $15M On Seattle's MOD Pizza". FORBES (May 10, 2014). Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Top-your-own pizza chains emerging fast". Pizza Marketplace. January 29, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ Gonzalez, Angel (March 17, 2014). "MOD Pizza raising $15M in expansion effort". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ Oches, Sam (September 2013). "Pizza's Arms Race". QSR Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Hynum, Rick (October 2013). "Fast-casual pioneer James Markham blazes a bold new trail into pizza's future". Pizza Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Eastside Fastest-Growing: MOD Pizza grabs slice of quick-service pie". Puget Sound Business Journal. July 19, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  17. ^ Caley, Nora (January 28, 2013). "Breakout Brands: MOD Pizza". Nation's Restaurant News. 
  18. ^ "MOD Pizza expands beyond Washington State". FastCasual. January 14, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  19. ^ "MOD Pizza snags $40 million for plan to go national". The Seattle Times. March 5, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  20. ^ Mod Pizza c.2014 CNTV, November 4, 2014, retrieved January 15, 2016 
  21. ^ "MOD Pizza Reaches Hiring Milestone and Continues to Spread Its Unique Culture Across the Country". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  22. ^ Garnick, Coral (March 16, 2016). "Mod Pizza brings in another $32M, plans to double store count". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  23. ^ Garnick, Coral (June 8, 2016). "Mod Pizza continues its rapid rise, makes international debut". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  24. ^ "MOD Pizza appoints new UK CEO". www.fastcasual.com. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  25. ^ "MOD Pizza Celebrates 200th Store". GlobeNewswire (Press release). January 23, 2017. 
  26. ^ "The 20 Best Workplaces in Retail". Fortune. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  27. ^ "The 2015 Community Impact Awards: Job Creation and Workforce Development | Washington and Puget Sound Business News Source | Seattle Business Magazine". Seattle Business Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Breakout Brands: MOD Pizza". nrn.com. Retrieved January 15, 2016.