The State Of The Slice: Build Your Own, Or Just Order The Slice?

There’s a certain iconography with pizza. Thin or deep, it’s a perfect food for many restaurants, and for many, it’s the only thing you sell. The Daily Show will mock politicians if they order the wrong type of pizza, or even eat it with a knife and fork.

Two changes in the restaurant world will change how you actually order your pizza, though.

The Associated Press reports that Pizza Hut will open two locations, York, Nebraska and Pawtucket, Rhode Island (home of Pawtucket Pat Beer in Family Guy), that will begin by selling single slices. The price of these slices will be from $2 to $3 each, taking 3-4 minutes to prepare, and will be more similar to thin pizza pies.

The move is in-line with restaurants attempting to become like the successful “Chipotle” model, where customers can get food they like quickly and cheaply. Chipotle themselves are attacking the pizza market with their own methods with Pizzeria Locale. Major competitor Domino’s has also begun single-slice pieces as a test.

The biggest hurdle appears to be that Pizza Hut’s traditional pizza ovens takes about 7 to 10 minutes to cook, which is longer than the ideal time, especially for a single slice.

While major chains may be trying to do single-slice dishes, there are still people that want an entire pizza, and more than enough restaurants are ensuring they’ll get them fresh, according to NBC News. The aforementioned Pizzeria Locale joins with PizzaRev, Blaze Pizza, Pie Five, and Pieology. These restaurants all feature one basic thing in common: your pizza pie isn’t started until you place the order, is customized to your exact specifications, and only takes minutes to cook.Additionally, these pizzas tend to be a bit smaller in price than the major chains.

There’s a common key with all these changes to the pizza industry; in response to customer demand, you’re finding more and more customized and smaller plates. If you have three friends, for example, you may all be able to agree on a basic pepperoni or cheese pizza at 12 inches, but nobody will really be happy with it. Take two slices for each person and have it customized to the tilt, and everybody’s happy, or even just split it up between two quick and ready-to-go pies and people are still happier. Most of the time, people end up taking some pizza home and having leftovers; with these smaller dishes, you’ll make sure the pie is eaten at the height of freshness, not days later cold in the morning on the run out the door.

Does your restaurant sell pizza? Have you considered going to a more “special order” approach than you have in the past, with customers able to put the “custom” in their title to good use with the exact dishes they want? It may be the way the plates are spinning in the future.