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Which Pizza Chain Had the Fastest AUV Growth in 2021?

Average unit volume for California-based Mountain Mike's Pizza jumped by more than 30% in 2021 compared to 2019, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

  • Mountain Mike Pizza’s average unit volume reached nearly $1.1 million last year, an increase of more than 30% compared to 2019. 
  • The chain, headquartered in Newport Beach, California, says it’s on track to surpass that record-breaking sales level in 2022.

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Mountain Mike’s Pizza, headquartered in Newport Beach, California, had the fastest growth in average unit volume (AUV) of the country’s top 30 pizza chains last year, according to Nation’s Restaurant News’ (NRN) 2022 Top 500 Report.

In 2021, Mountain Mike’s AUV reached nearly $1.1 million, an increase of more than 30% compared to 2019. The company says it’s on track to surpass that record-breaking sales level in 2022. First-quarter AUVs showed the top 25% of Mountain Mike’s stores averaging $1.62 million in sales and the top 50% of locations averaging nearly $1.4 million.

According to the company, AUVs systemwide have grown nearly 40% in the past four years.

Mountain Mike’s also jumped 17 spots to be ranked at No. 139 in NRN’s list of the country’s top 150 restaurant brands.

Chris Britt, Mountain Mike’s co-CEO and owner, has a lot to brag about. “When Ed St. Geme and I acquired Mountain Mike’s Pizza in 2017, we had a vision to transform the then-39-year-old pizza chain into a pizza category leader and an attractive franchise opportunity for entrepreneurs and their families,” Britt said in a statement. “In the five-and-a-half years that we have owned the brand, we have exceeded our greatest expectations and are extremely proud of our franchise support team and incredible franchisees, without whom this growth would not be possible.”

Mountain Mike’s has opened 10 new locations across five western states this year. The company says it’s on track to open a total of 25-30 new restaurants by the end of 2022. At present, Mountain Mike’s has more than 255 locations nationwide and aims to reach 400-plus locations before the end of 2025.

Last year’s total system sales broke a record at $254 million, and the chain has its sights set on the $300 million mark in 2022. At the end of the first quarter, same-store sales and total system sales were up 7% and 10% respectively, putting that goal well within reach.