The Pizza Category During the COVID-19 Pandemic
For all that the economy has suffered due to COVID-19, several industries and brands have seen increased sales throughout the pandemic. Pizza is one of the industries, and Mountain Mike’s is one of the brands.
When restaurants closed to dine-in business in early 2020, carryout and delivery orders multiplied, and brands that already provided such services saw the greatest immediate increase in sales. Pizza, with its long and reliable delivery tradition predating the internet, was in high demand. “The pandemic proved … that pizza is the most popular comfort food,” noted Food News Media, “and while many restaurant segments struggled to pivot, pizza chains were inherently poised for take-out and delivery from day one.” (The Best Franchise Deals of 2021, Special Report from the Editors of Food News Media, ©2021, p. 20.)
Mountain Mike’s Pizza was no exception: although we have traditionally emphasized the dine-in experience, we adapted quickly to COVID-generated market needs. 2020 proved to be our best sales year to date, with total system sales exceeding $200M. The momentum continued in 2021, our first quarter of that year achieving yet another sales record (business topped the first quarter of 2020 by 23.4 percent). With the COVID shutdown period now coming to an end, we are increasing business further through restored dine-in and event options.
Mountain Mike’s grew, and has continued to grow, sales throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by emphasizing:
Consistently reliable ordering and delivery systems. Our Contactless Delivery protects the health of customers and delivery drivers by enabling orders to be placed and paid for online, then placed at front doors without the need for direct contact—and, to make sure delivery customers still get their orders fresh and hot, drivers wait to visually verify the boxes are taken inside the home. For carryout pizza, we offer skip-the-line ordering for maximum efficiency and convenience. In addition, our mobile loyalty app (introduced May 2021) can personalize special offers according to individual tastes.
People first. Mountain Mike’s has always prided itself on the family-friendly (and overall guest-friendly) atmosphere of our restaurants. We place top priority on quick service and being responsive to concerns. We also provide hand sanitizer stations to ensure a healthy environment for dine-in guests (and for our team members).
A quality product. Our “crispy curly pepperoni” remains a brand trademark. Our pizza menu includes mountain-themed options such as Pike’s Peak (six meat toppings), Mt. Veggiemore (five vegetable toppings) and Snowy Alps (pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and green onions on garlic sauce). We also offer five flavors of chicken wings in classic and “boneless” versions, plus meaty and pizza-themed sandwiches—and, for dessert, a choice between bite-sized churros, cinnamon dessert pizza and our special Family Style Chocolate Chip Cookie “pizza.”
Still Growing and Expanding
In addition to increasing sales at individual locations, Mountain Mike’s has continued throughout COVID-19 to open new restaurants and expand into new territory. A longtime California icon (our first location opened in Palo Alto in 1978), we now have existing or in-development locations in Utah, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and other states. Restaurants are projected to number 250 by the end of 2021.
As sales and locations continue to increase, so will space and opportunities for new franchisees. Now is a great time to become part of the Mountain Mike’s brand!
Want to be Part of the Mountain Mike’s Success Story?
If you’re a Western U.S. entrepreneur interested in the pizza business, there’s never been a better time to join the Mountain Mike’s brand and help bring “Pizza the Way It Oughta Be” to an ever-larger market. Learn more at our franchise FAQ page.