20 Pizza Brands to Watch

By Rick Hynum

There’s no science to branding a pizzeria successfully. There is a bit of art to it, of course, but mostly it’s about knowing your customer base—and knowing yourself. If you’re a single-unit operator, you are your brand. Pour your personality, passions, values and life experience into marketing your restaurant, and you’ll likely build a pizzeria brand to watch. That is certainly the case for the companies listed in this article (in no particular order). Even the larger brands started out with key individuals who believed in what they were doing, whether or not they had a long-term vision for growth.

You will have heard of some of these pizza brands; others might be unfamiliar to you. The PMQ editorial team chose them based on a certain set of criteria. Consistent, innovative, on-trend and/or creative marketing was the big one. (Sorry, but if your store doesn’t have a website, that’s a major negative.) We also took into consideration each brand’s corporate values, community involvement, growth/expansion and uniqueness of concept. (For our purposes here, the quality of the food, obviously paramount to any restaurant’s success, is taken for granted.) So read on, learn a little bit and keep building your own brand—with authenticity and a firm belief in your food, your team and, above all, yourself.

Mamma Ramona's

Mamma Ramona’s
Ramona, CA

As a kid, Andrew Simmons would go trick-or-treating on Halloween and later sell his candy to other kids. He is, in other words, a born entrepreneur. And as owner of the fast-growing Mamma Ramona’s (also called Pizza Roboto), he’s also one of the most visionary innovators in the pizza segment today. Simmons took over Mamma Ramona’s, formerly just another hometown pizza joint with a homey name, several years ago and has since transformed it into a tech-forward concept built around automation, including the Picnic Pizza Station, high-speed ovens from TurboChef and even robotic bussers, with a small footprint (less than 300 square feet) and minimal labor. He now has three Mamma Ramona’s locations, including one that opened last December in San Diego and a brand-new store in Philadelphia—yes, on the opposite side of the country—with two additional licensees getting ready to launch, plus two more of his own stores set to open soon. The concept is growing at such a blazing-hot pace, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest developments. Maybe that’s because Simmons has made it so affordable to jump on board. The cash requirements for select licensees are $95,000, with a total purchase price of $165,000. He has also developed a pizza subscription service for $199 a year, offering one pizza (12” cheese or pepperoni) to each subscriber per week; in Ramona alone, he says, he has been selling an average of $40,000 annually in subscriptions. There’s even more to his story, so if you want to follow Simmons’ wild journey and learn a thing or two, follow him on LinkedIn. Every post offers a valuable lesson in reinventing the pizza business.

Mattenga's Pizza

Mattenga’s Pizzeria
San Antonio, TX

Mattenga’s Pizzeria founders Hengam and Matt Stanfield are an energetic couple with a lively social media video presence that puts hip young employees—and sometimes their own super-cute children—front and center, often to laugh-out-loud effect. Now a six-unit brand, Mattenga’s opened four new stores in 2022 alone, with more in the works. It’s an amazing success story, considering the Stanfields had no pizzeria experience when they bought a failing joint in 2014. In fact, Hengam is an electrical engineer by training, while Matt is a former civil engineer. But brainy engineers, it seems, make brainy pizza marketers. With their amiable, fun-loving on-camera presence, they’re like everyone’s favorite aunt and uncle, and their video output, with help from a trend-savvy marketing team, is prodigious. Last year, they recruited a local high-school cheerleading team to make up a routine just for Mattenga’s. Other Instagram Reels and TikTok videos showcase their team members in brief comedic skits. Employees A.J. and Marcus, for example, tease each other while reviewing key menu items. In a Reel posted in February, a staff member demonstrated how Mattenga’s caters to lovelorn customers on Valentine’s Day. “Upon request,” he says, ripping a heart-shaped pizza in half, “we even tear it up, LIKE THEY DID TO YOUR HEART!” It’s funny stuff, and it makes Mattenga’s one of the industry’s most watchable brands on social platforms.

Pink Panties Pizza

Pink Panties Pizza
Detroit, MI

The founder of Detroit’s Pink Panties Pizza is a mysterious figure—he wouldn’t even divulge his real name for this article. But his customers know him as Motown’s DELCO dealer of (perfectly legal) weed-infused pizzas in boxes featuring a “sexy” slice clad in panties, fishnet stockings and high heels. His pies can be ordered with THC levels ranging from 500mg all the way up to 1,200mg. And if you order one for carryout, chances are the Pink Panties founder will follow you outside and interview you for his popular “What Up Dough” videos, one of which went viral in May 2023, with more than 1 million views on TikTok (let’s just say that customer looked like he might have already eaten a slice or two of his 1,200mg pepperoni-and-sausage pie). The enigmatic owner formerly managed cannabis dispensaries in Ann Arbor. “During my time there,” he tells PMQ, “I encountered a lot of patients that had painful ailments—MS, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, cancer. They would travel from different states to our dispensary to get THC oil and edibles. A lot of them would tell me how great the edibles worked for them, but they contained too much sugar. We only had brownies, cookies and gummies. I had a plan to create some kind of food that people could eat, enjoy and not worry about the sugar.” After leaving his dispensary job, he launched Pink Panties Pizza in September 2017. What’s next? “We recently purchased an RV that we’re renovating to create a lounge where people can smoke and chill while they wait for their order,” he says. “It should be finished by fall of this year.”

Blue Square Pizza

Blue Square Pizza
Hoptinkon, MA

Established in 2022, Blue Square Pizza touts itself as Massachusetts’ only pizza shop where customers can get three distinct pizza styles—Detroit, New York and grandma—on a sourdough base. With that kind of menu diversity, it’s no wonder the company reports that it logged 205% comp sales in 2023 and revenue totaling $1,843,000, all in a 1,200-square-foot off-premise format. This tech-forward brand employs AI software to process 90% of its incoming phone orders, and 89% of all orders are automated, whether via mobile, web, third-party or AI ordering channels. In the kitchen, digital bump screens help keep employees on track, while a status board lets customers keep track of their pizzas’ progress and how long they’ll be waiting. Owner Tony Sproul, an alumnus of the acclaimed OTTO Pizza in Portland, Maine, studied the craft under Tony Gemignani and bakes his Detroit-style pies in real-deal blue steel pans. He also pays his employees a living wage and categorizes all tips as charitable donations for local nonprofits.

Kitchen 17

Kitchen 17
Chicago, IL

Kitchen 17 is surely the world’s only pizzeria founded by a woodchuck trying to impress his little woodland friends. So the myth goes, anyway, although the credit really goes to owners Jennie Plasterer and Don Clements. They have proclaimed Kitchen 17 the “birthplace of the original vegan Chicago deep-dish” and a bastion of “ethical decadence”—which is to say, the pies feel extravagantly indulgent without a smidgen of pork or beef. Housemade vegan cheeses and meat alternatives shine on pizzas like the Jalapeño Popper (marinara sauce, cheddar, jalapeños and seitan bacon) and the Plant-Eater (marinara, mozzarella, artichokes, onions, spinach, green pepper, za’atar and minced garlic) in deep-dish, pan and New York styles. The restaurant supports animal-welfare nonprofits, and even the loyalty program has an ecological theme: Forest Friends. At night, the restaurant transforms into the Fallen Log, a “woodland space cowboy cyberpunk food and music exploratorium” with live shows. Kitchen 17 also ships frozen vegan pizzas around the country, which boomed business in the pandemic. Then there’s the gorgeously surreal website video, in which a young woman in a druid-like robe and cowl places an order by phone, then rushes off into the lush green forest, observed by anthropomorphized flowers and plants along the way, to pick it up. Part fever dream, part pro-environment message, it’s one of the coolest pizza-shop videos on the internet today.

Pizzeria da Laura

Pizzeria da Laura
Berkeley, CA

When Laura Meyer, a protégé of Tony Gemignani, opened Pizzeria da Laura in March 2023, many of her fans probably thought, “It’s about time.” In 2013, she became the first woman—and the first American—to win the Pizza in Teglia (pan pizza) division at the World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy, and went on to win the Non-Traditional division at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas the next year. And in 2019, she won the Caputo Cup in Naples for the best American-style pizza. Her pop-up venture, Focaccia da Laura, had only one problem: She kept selling out of pizzas. Naturally, lines stretched down the block when Pizzeria da Laura opened last spring. Over the past decade, Meyer has become a name brand, celebrated by top food writers at the San Francisco Chronicle, The Mercury News and SFGate.com, while Eater.com called her “the pizzaiola [who is] changing the face of pizza.” Meyer humbly describes Pizzeria da Laura as “a corner pizza joint,” but that little corner in Berkeley might feel too little in the coming years.

Truly Pizza

Truly Pizza
Dana Point, CA

John Arena, co-owner of the four-store Metro Pizza in Las Vegas, has made pizzas for five U.S. presidents. Chris Decker, his longtime managing partner at Metro Pizza, is an acclaimed master pizzaiolo in his own right. And The Las Vegas Review-Journal once said Michael Vakneen, partner and head pizzaiolo at ØØ Pie & Pub, “might be making the best pizza in Vegas.” What happens when this powerhouse trio teams up? You get Truly Pizza, where guests can dig into 12” hearth-baked pies—both rounds and squares—on a garden patio or sip wines on the rooftop. Backing the concept is D&S Partners, owned by hospitality veterans Donna Baldwin-Muller and Steve Muller. Truly Pizza creates memorable social experiences at its Community Table events, featuring food and wine pairings for groups in the garden, and the inside of every pizza box has a typed note. “We thought of you today as we made this pizza,” it begins. “For us, a pizza is so much more than dough, sauce and cheese. Our pizza is a wonderful collaboration between sunlight, rain, earth, local farmers and artisanal food producers….At our pizzeria, you will always be drawn into the loving embrace and restorative spirit that is found in the fire-heart of pizza, the world’s great communal food.”

pi00a

pi00a
Los Angeles

There’s only one other pizza concept in America—maybe the world—like pi00a (pronounced pie-oh-ah) in Los Angeles: Mozzeria in Washington, D.C. But Mozzeria wouldn’t exist if not for its founders, Melody and Russ Stein, who now operate pi00a with a mission that goes beyond serving amazing Neapolitan pizza with an Asian twist. pi00a (think of the word “pizza,” then replace the Zs with the numerals 00, as in 00 flour) is a Deaf- and CODA-owned concept that provides career and job training opportunities to Deaf individuals. (CODA stands for Children of Deaf Adults, and the Steins’ kids, Taysia and Rylan, are co-owners with their parents.) pi00a eliminates communication barriers for Deaf employees by using an automated touchscreen ordering system, offering pickup and delivery only and using American Sign Language in the store. In 2014, Melody and Russ became the first-ever Deaf pizza makers to earn AVPN certification and built Mozzeria into a nationally acclaimed pizza destination in San Francisco. They later partnered with Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) to open the D.C. location, then sold the concept to CSD a few years ago (the San Francisco dine-in location ultimately met its demise during the pandemic but continues as a food truck). At pi00a, the Stein family pleases discriminating palates with classic Neapolitan pies like the Marinara, Soppressata and Quattro Formaggi. But Melody’s Hong Kong roots show in unique fusion items like the Hainan Chicken (pickled English cucumbers, poached chicken, ginger-leek sauce and crispy rice) and the Miso Eggplant (roasted eggplant, miso, sesame and leeks).

Dough Boy Pizza

Dough Boy Pizza
Birmingham, AL

Featured on PMQ’s August 2023 cover, Dough Boy Pizza is one woman’s vision of the future of pizza. Currently boasting three locations (Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama, and Decatur, Georgia), founder Erica Barrett creates franchisee opportunities for fellow entrepreneurs by reducing the largest barrier to entry: franchise and operational costs. Her dough is made in Naples, Italy, and her own company, Southern Culture Kitchen, creates the sauce. Customers place their orders using kiosks, and the pies are topped and baked in fast-cooking compact, ventless ovens. When the pizza is ready, Barrett’s automated system shoots off a text message to the customer. No fuss, no muss, and no need for a bunch of employees; on slower days, one employee can do it all, and, at the most, three are working on a busy shift. “Our franchise fee is $25,000,” Barrett says. “A typical build-out is between $25,000 and $40,000. So, all in, you’re probably looking at about $60,000 to $80,000, which are low numbers. The kiosks are financed through Toast, so there’s no up-front cost with that. And we lease our ovens from our dough supplier, so the same company that’s making our dough also offers the ovens, free of charge.” That’s about as smart as a “smart restaurant” can get, without robots doing the cooking.

Down North Pizza

Down North Pizza
Philadelphia, PA

Muhammad Abdul-Hadi says he and his Down North Pizza team make “Philly-style” pizza: Detroit-inspired squares with a chewy crust. But he’s also making a difference in the lives of formerly incarcerated people who are making a new start in a world that often distrusts them. His executive chef, Michael Carter, is one example. Carter, also known as the Flavor Regulator, spent more than 12 years behind bars; today, he’s one of Philadelphia’s most celebrated chefs, has appeared on NBC’s Today and the Food Network’s Chopped, and spearheaded “A Match Made in Philly” with notable chefs like Marc Vetri. At Down North, every pizza takes its name from hip-hop songs written by Philadelphia artists. And Abdul-Hadi lets new hires live in two furnished apartments above his pizza shop for up to six months. “There’s a unique set of needs for people who are formerly incarcerated, but I don’t know a thriving company that’s not supportive of their staff,” Abdul-Hadi says. “Where companies are thriving, look at what they do for the people who are working for them.”

Much Ado About Pizza

Much Ado About Pizza
Pleasanton, CA

If pizza be the food of love, play on. That’s not exactly how Shakespeare put it in Twelfth Night, but it’s the philosophy behind Much Ado About Pizza, a whimsical carryout concept inspired by the Bard of Avon and owned by Kira and Mark Zabrowski. Ranked at No. 51 on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat this year, business has skyrocketed for the Zabrowskis. Made with a 72-hour-fermented sourdough crust (forsooth, they dubbed their starter Shakespeare), their pies allude to the world’s greatest playwright with names like Taming of the Chew, Henry the 8 (eight meat and veggie toppings), O’Thello’s Obsession (featuring a housemade pesto sauce called Beatrice) and the chicken-based Fowl-staff. Kira taught theater and English for 25 years before she and Mark bet their savings and launched Much Ado About Pizza in 2022. Shall we compare their food to a summer’s day? Let’s just say Kira took second place in the Southwest Traditional division and fourth place in the world overall in the Traditional category at 2022’s International Pizza Challenge, not to mention her top-10 finish in PMQ’s 2021 Virtual U.S. Pizza Cup. In our book, that’s much ado about something.

Atlanta Pizza Truck

Atlanta Pizza Truck
Atlanta, GA

There’s no mistaking Alessio Lacco’s accent: The pizzaiolo behind Atlanta Pizza Truck is as Italian as they come. He and his wife/partner, Sofia Arango (founder of Latinos en Pizza on social media), now live in Atlanta, where they cater to movie and TV stars filming in the area (most recently, Neil Patrick Harris) as well as everyday folk with a hankering for authentic Neapolitan pizza. Lacco was the first food truck operator to receive certification from the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) and now leads that association’s Atlanta outpost. As if all that wasn’t enough, Lacco and Arango have developed an innovative business franchising model specializing in Neapolitan pizzas sold from vending machines by Quikza. The machines provide additional revenue possibilities through LCD screens on the front, so pizzerias can sell advertisements that play while customers wait for their pies to bake. Pizza recipes require some tweaking for the vending format, but Lacco has trained pizzaioli across the United States and the world. If anyone can make it work, it’s him.

Slingin’ Pizza

Slingin’ Pizza
Little Elm, TX

Like so many newcomers to the pizza business, Audrey Jayne opened Slingin’ Pizza just in time for the pandemic. Unlike many pizza pros, she started out as a delivery driver, then went on to learn the pizza making craft from every angle in both the mom-and-pop-shop and chain environment. In 2019, she opened Slingin’ Park in Laguna Park, Texas, but by 2021 she felt the need to grow her business in a larger market, so she moved it in 2021 to Little Elm, north of Dallas. Today, Jayne, a competing member of PMQ’s U.S. Pizza Team, puts her dough slinging acrobatic skills to good use in marketing her pizza shop; passersby often spot her tossing dough in the parking lot while sitting astride the shoulders of a lime-green ET-like creature (not a real one, we’re pretty sure). But Jayne was born for the pizza kitchen, where she and her team make pies like the Peppy’s Cheeseburger (beef, onions, tomatoes, bacon and cheddar) and the Apollo (with housemade garlic Parmesan sauce, meatballs, onions, bell peppers and black olives).

Pizza Man Dan’s

Pizza Man Dan’s
Southern California

Dan Collier isn’t afraid to look silly. In fact, it’s become his trademark, and it sets his Pizza Man Dan’s eight-store chain apart. He turned his flashy 1972 Corvette into a rather unsightly pepperoni pizza on wheels and drives it all over Ventura County. Clad in pepperoni pants and sporting a mullet, he occasionally mugs his way through Instagram Reels reminiscent of the corniest used-car commercials of bygone years. In one video, he orders Pizza Man Dan’s $9.99 large carryout special, only to get reprimanded by a cartoon-style voice for trying to eat it inside the restaurant; he then falls asleep and dreams that the special has been changed to dine-in and delivery as well. Upon awakening, he finds that his dream has come true. For a Veterans Day Reel, he recited a humorously clunky poem that was both a tribute to America’s military heroes and to the cheesy goodness of his restaurant’s fare: “Piping hot with your favorite toppings of choice/pizza’s just another way to express your freedom of voice.” But it’s all an act. Dan the Pizza Man is a highly respected businessman and trade show speaker who starts his general managers at a base pay of $60,000, then sweetens the deal with generous monthly bonuses tied to sales, food and labor costs, and even Yelp reviews.

PizzELLA

PizzELLA
Miami, FL

The Miami New Times hailed PizzELLA owner Larry Galper as the city’s “newest lord of the pies” in 2022. More recently, his Miami Beach food truck landed at No. 40 in 50 Top Pizza’s list of the best in the U.S. last year—a rare feat, indeed, for a pizza vendor without a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Galper gave up a 15-year career in corporate entertainment to enroll in culinary school and started making pies for his friends and family during the pandemic, then sold them from a tent outside Imperial Moto Café in Little River. After one food writer rated his pies among the best in Miami, he bought an old FedEx truck and later took over the Neapolitan oven at Time Out Market. Even Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports Fame, who isn’t a big fan of Neapolitan pizza, gave it a 7.5 score. Meanwhile, Galper recently announced he’s searching for PizzELLA’s forever home—a brick-and-mortar location where he can continue to offer the kind of service that 50 Top Pizza deemed “perfect, familiar and professional.”

Pizza X

Pizza X
Bloomington, IN

Jeff Mease’s college-town concept, Pizza X, has been thriving for years under the One World Enterprises umbrella. It’s a seven-store brand that’s famous across the state—everyone knows superhero mascot Xpress Man when they see him—and a must-try during Big 10 games at Indiana University. That means sports fans from every state in the Big 10 conference knows Pizza X, yet it has never gone corporate—and likely never will, as long as Mease owns it. A self-described “dirt-worshipping tree hugger,” he just isn’t that kind of guy. His black-and-red Pizza X truck shows up at tailgate parties during football season to give away free slices, while Pizza X logoed cups can be found in virtually every dorm room on the Indiana University campus. But 42 years of success doesn’t mean Mease has been resting on his laurels; he keeps growing with the changing times. The One World KitchenShare facility is a food business incubator that has helped numerous aspiring restaurateurs and mobile operators get their start (Bloom Magazine hailed it as a “culinary Bat Cave”). Mease also created Hive, a spot for “comfort food with an international flair,” offering eggs, beef, pork and chicken from local growers. And every Pizza X box comes with a proof-of-purchase tab worth 25 cents (50 cents during National Education Week) to raise money for local schools.

Nemec Brothers / Zazas Pizza

Nemec Brothers / Zazas Pizza
Chicago and Geneva, IL

PMQ first reported on Zazas Pizza in March 2022, just a few months after the restaurant, founded by brothers Chadd and Brett Nemec, opened in the Windy City. Now we feel like prophets. The Chicago Tribune praised Zazas as “the New York slice shop Chicago needs,” while Dave Portnoy, visiting there in August 2022, gave it a score of 8.2, adding, “I think this is my favorite pizza in Chicago.” On December 1 of last year, the brothers followed up with a new co-branded shop, Nemec Brothers Pizza, offering another taste of the Big Apple in Geneva, Illinois (Chadd and Brett are all about the New York and grandma styles, not Chicago). The shrewd marketers started getting their pies in the mouths of online influencers several weeks before the Nemec Brothers location opened. And those influencers went nuts, promoting the new store with Instagram Reels that likely reached hundreds of thousands of potential customers. “Trust me, it’s the absolute best,” raved Chicago pastry chef Sherrie Tan, who has 85,600 followers on Instagram, in a Reel that logged 46,600 views, 807 likes and 476 shares on Instagram. And there’s more to come: A second Nemec Brothers store will open this spring. Gazing into our crystal ball, we see great things in their future.

PIZZALEAH

PIZZALEAH
Windsor, CA

When she was a child, PIZZALEAH owner Leah Scurto once told PMQ, “I had the palate of a 50-year-old man who smoked a lot. Extra cheese and garlic were my go-tos.” Today, her tastes are more refined. A member of PMQ’s U.S. Pizza Team, Scurto was crowned the grand-prize winner of the Real California Pizza Contest: Tournament of Champions in October 2023. But her entry, called the Nut-torious F.I.G., wasn’t exactly lacking in flavor. It featured mozzarella, Fontina and feta, plus black mission figs, Italian sausage, chopped almonds, julienned sage leaves and, yes, minced garlic. Even before that victory, Scurto was becoming known as the pizza maker’s pizza maker, thanks in part to her bravura performances in other national and international competitions. In 2022, she competed on Hulu’s Best in Dough, spreading her fame nationwide. Scurto is living proof that a single-unit pizzeria owner is the brand, especially when they keep bringing home trophies and kudos from around the country and the globe (she also finished No. 13 in the World Pizza Championship’s Pizza a Due competition in 2019). She is now building a strong rep as a pizza making instructor, teaming up with Laura Meyer of Pizzeria da Laura on classes offered through Pizza University. Next month, she’ll teach her craft to home cooks at Wind & Rye in Sonoma County, and she’ll compete in the 2024 Caputo Cup on June 17 to 19 in Italy. Every contest makes Scurto a better pizzaiola—and PIZZALEAH a better and more watchable brand.

Billy Bricks Wood Fired Pizza

Billy Bricks Wood Fired Pizza
Chicagoland, IL

A brand doesn’t have to be constantly growing to thrive. At Billy Bricks, founded in 2005 by Bill and Donna Wilson and now managed by their son, CEO Ric Gruber, cutting back the total number of units recently proved the smart thing to do, Gruber says. Selling Neapolitan and New Haven styles in tavern-crust and deep-dish country, the brand currently has seven brick-and-mortar stores after dropping a few underperforming franchise operations “to really focus in on our core stores and areas where we can re-expand.” Four restaurants and another pizza truck should open by the end of 2024. Billy Bricks provides regular pay raises, bonuses and a 401(k) match program so employees “can make a career and a life” at the company, Gruber notes. And women play a leading role in the company. Lindsey Hartline, for example, was hired straight out of college less than three years ago. Today, she’s the CMO and brand manager and has dramatically improved Billy Bricks’ social presence, especially on TikTok. A single video spotlighting a catered pizza wedding last September garnered more than 7.4 million views, while two similar ones earned 4.4 million and 1.2 million. “I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, truly learning our business from dishwasher to CEO,” Gruber says. “What a ride it has been thus far!”

Flour + Water Pizzeria

Flour + Water Pizzeria
San Francisco

Flour + Water was an acclaimed Bay Area brand before Flour + Water Pizzeria came along. Thomas McNaughton, who co-founded the original pasta-centric Flour + Water, had a cookbook bearing his name (Flour + Water: Pasta) and his own Wikipedia entry (which is in dire need of an update). But when Ryan Pollnow joined the brand’s team, he and McNaughton turned their attention to the world’s greatest food—and mastered it. At their stylishly elegant pizzeria (which shares a building with the quick-service/carryout Flour + Water Pizza Shop), guests can peer through a glassed-in dome and watch dough being made after the hostess seats them and the bartender has poured their cocktails. In PMQ’s January-February 2024 cover story on the concept, McNaughton said plans call for four additional Flour + Water Pizzerias, with that dough facility serving as a commissary. The hub-and-spoke model “allows us to evolve so that we can go into smaller 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot spaces,” McNaughton said. And as the brand grows, these pizzaioli want to make sure their employees grow with it. Water + Flour Pizzeria offers a 401(k) benefit, grants for the arts and education, and annual financial planning meetings for their staff. As Pollnow put it, “We want to elevate and make any position in restaurants a job that people should be proud of and can look at as a career.”

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