Pizza Store Geography

Did you know that less than 30,000 pizza operators own all of America's 60,000 plus pizza stores? That's what PMQ found during the last couple of years in the process of refining our pizza ownership mailing list and in the development of this report. Currently, the average American Pizza Operator owns 2.24 pizza stores. This varies greatly depending on what part of the country is being studied. In Connecticut, the average pizza operator owns just 1.41 pizza stores. In Mississippi, where pizza was introduced by the big chains, the average pizza operator owns 5.42 pizza stores.

The last time we took a look at U.S. Pizza Geography was in our Winter 97/98 Issue when we reported that there was one pizza store for every 4610 residents. The number of pizza stores has increased recently so that there in now one pizza store for every 4330 residents. The number of known unduplicated active pizza stores was 57,493 compared to a 1996 US population of 265,295,760. That compares with today's updated count of 62,398 pizza stores nationally serving a 1998 population of 270,298,524. Maine continues to have the highest number of pizza stores per capita, showing one pizza store for every 2,312 of its state residents. Mississippi remains in last place with a pizza store for every 8906 of its residents. California continues to have the most number of pizza store with 5,593, up some 176 stores since our last report.

The Mom and Popness
of Pizza in America.

When you compare the list of pizza store owners* with the list of pizza stores you get a profile of the "Mom and Popness" of America. Independent operators holding ground in their native North East. In the South and West the chains are stronger as a result of their ability to grow rapidly over that last few decades. Connecticut is the most Mom and Pop of all states. Here, there are 1103 pizza stores with an ownership base of 824 owners. That means that the average pizza store owner in Connecticut owns 1.41 pizza stores. Also in New England is Maine, where there are still more pizza stores per capita than any other state. The average pizza store owner in Maine owns 1.51 pizza stores. Other North East states are similar with New York at 1.68, New Jersey at 1.63, Pennsylvania at 1.63. The management span of control in this region is tighter than the West or South. Mississippi not only has the fewest pizza stores per capita but it also has the highest ratio of ownership to the number of pizza stores. The average pizza owner in Mississippi owns 5.42 stores. In Alabama the average is 3.58, Oklahoma 4.29 and surprisingly Washington DC pizza operators own an average of 4.37.

U.S. Pizza Stores 62,398 Pizza Store Owners 26,538

Number of Pizza Stores Owned by the Average Owner

American Pizza Stores Per Capita

Number of Pizza Store Per 10,000 Population

*Unlike the list of pizza stores, the list of owners is not an exact knowable number. The information used for the analysis was provided by InfoUSA. According to InfoUSA's Bryan Mutum (800-321-0869) the pizza store count we have sighted includes all of the pizza stores with a current yellow page listing under the heading of pizza, with active phone numbers. Mutum warned that when comparing this list to the one of two years ago it is possible that some of the change may be attributable to the quality of the list. The list of owners is defined as those key contacts for those pizza stores with the title of owner. Although this information is not official or audited it does seem to mirror the relative influence of independent pizza operators from one area of the country to another. When this list of owners is combined with the list of Dun and Bradstreet owners, the Chain Store Guide list of multi-unit pizza owners, and the CEO's, VP's of Marketing and Marketing Directors of the top 200 Pizza Organizations, the list of owners and operators aftertaking out duplications is less than 30,000.

Change in Pizza Store Count During Last 2 Years