zpizza Plans Makeover

According to the Orange County Business Journal, "Sid Fanarof of Irvine-based zpizza International Inc., which bills itself as a health-conscious pizzeria, is planning a makeover of the chain he started 25 years ago."

"Fanarof plans to remodel the company’s seven restaurants and work with franchises to redo theirs. The chain includes 94 pizzerias, including 87 run by franchisees. About 20 are in Orange County. 'With the economy the way it is, you have to have brand differentiation to survive,' Fanarof said. 'We are just emphasizing what we have always been.' Zpizza, which has yearly sales of about $50 million, already is something of a standout. The restaurants serve vegan, organic and gluten-free pizzas. The pizzas are made of natural, local ingredients, including whole-wheat crusts. The food is a reflection of Fanarof, a self-described bohemian who started zpizza in 1986 in Laguna Beach. 'Our niche is health-conscious pizza,' Seth Simchowitz, Fanarof’s stepson and franchisee of the chain’s remodeled prototype in Irvine. 'We’re catering to people in a different way than most pizzerias.'