As many fast-casual pizza chains continue to struggle, one such concept announced today it is reconcepting and dropping “pizzeria” from its name entirely.
800 Degrees Pizzeria is now 800° Woodfired Kitchen, with a revamped menu and wood-fired rotisserie ovens headed to all units. A range of wood-fired pizzas will remain, as will the upscale fast-casual format, but pizzas will be joined by items such as a roast beef plate with roasted potatoes and caramelized Brussels sprouts, and a roasted porchetta sandwich.
The menu will also include appetizers, desserts and cocktails highlighting the wood-fired ingredients, the company said in a release.
"We have conducted extensive consumer research on the new 800° Woodfired Kitchen branding,” said Tom Bartsch, chief marketing officer, in the release. “According to our findings, the new 800° Woodfired Kitchen shows significant guest preference, drives a much broader consumer base, and attracts new users through strong appeal across multiple age demographics.”
The brand’s unit in downtown Los Angeles has opened with the new branding and equipment. Several other legacy stores are in the process of being updated, and all newly built stores will operate under the new brand.
The move comes less than a year after the chain named former Rockfish Seafood Grill CEO Tommy Lee as head of the company, replacing former Cheeseburger in Paradise President Steve Overholt. Bartsch, also relatively new to the brand, was appointed to his role last month.
The fast-casual customizable pizza chain was founded in 2012 by Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman and chef Anthony Carron. In 2015, the chain launched a unit in Dubai. In addition to its seven U.S. units, 800 Degrees currently has multiple restaurants in Dubai, Tokyo and Qatar.