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Texts, tattoos and food trucks: &pizza’s unconventional approach to growth

The pizza chain looks to double locations by 2020 without losing its edge

&pizza — the 35-unit, Washington, D.C.-based, fast-casual pizza chain led by entrepreneur and political activist Michael Lastoria, has become equally recognized for being at the forefront of industry labor reform and taking risks with new technology as it has for its oblong pizzas with creative toppings.

Founded in 2012 as an edgy counter-culture pizza brand, &pizza is driven by the success and happiness of its employees: About 20% of &pizza’s “tribe members,” (as employees are known) have the company’s titular ampersand tattooed on their body. On the technology side, the company has switched entirely to text-based communication and has invested in non-customer-facing food trucks to support delivery.

&pizza is one of five emerging brands honored by Nation’s Restaurant News in this year’s class of Hot Concept award winners. The awards program is sponsored by V&V Supremo. Winners will be celebrated during the annual MUFSO conference in October.

&pizza’s menu features oblong pies topped with trendy ingredients, such as the American Honey pie made with hot honey and goat cheese, or the limited-time short rib macaroni and cheese pie. Almost any pie can be made gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan.

The brand has already spread to multiple major markets across the United States, including Boston, Miami, and New York, and has plans to double in size by 2020.

Get a closer look at this growing brand.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

MUFSO sponsors:
Kitchen Hero Cookoff Sponsor: Texas Pete 
Presenting Sponsors: Shift4 Payables, Shift Pixy, QU and Valyant AI
Norman Award Sponsor: PepsiCo
Sponsor Partners: 505 Southwestern, Appetize Technologies Inc., CardFree, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Compaction Technologies, Daiya, Exponential Interactive, Greenberg Traurig, J.R. Simplot Company, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, OpenTable, PACO Collective, Tundra Restaurant Supply, Upshow, Royal Cup Coffee, V&V Supremo and Ventura Foods

Presented by Nation’s Restaurant News, the 60th Annual MUFSO Conference brings together the restaurant industry’s top leaders to share business insights that are laser focused on moving the restaurant industry forward.  MUFSO is scheduled for October 14-16, 2019 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. For more info visit For sponsorship/exhibit information contact [email protected]   

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