Pizza Alone Not Cutting It: Chains Roll Out New Entrees

According to a news report from detnews.com, “Your local pizza carry-out isn’t peddling just a selection of pies and bread sticks anymore.”

“Domino’s, Pizza Hut and other pizzerias are expanding their menus — with sandwiches, pasta and other grub — to broaden their appeal and bolster sales this year after a soft 2008. Like other industries, pizzerias are getting creative to lure cash-strapped customers through their doors. Ann Arbor-based Domino’s, the second largest pizza chain in the United States, added oven-baked sandwiches at $4.99 a pop to its menu,” said the story. “The pizza business is “extremely competitive,” especially in Michigan, which is home to two national brands — Domino’s and Little Caesar’s — as well as several regional chains, said Andy Deloney, a spokesman for the Michigan Restaurant Association. This year could be the first time in recent history that the industry sees more pizza shops close than open, hindered in part by frozen credit markets, analysts said. “Americans are eating more pizza than ever before,” said Harry Balzer, vice president at NPD Group, a market research firm based in Port Washington, N.Y. “They’re just getting it from the frozen food aisle at the supermarket.”

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