Martina, a new concept from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, is carving out a niche in the crowded fast-casual pizza segment—call it “slow casual.” Here's how.
A quicker clip
Each of its made-to-order pies takes seven to 10 minutes to cook. The speedier sibling of full-service Marta, Martina is drawing comparisons to Shake Shack, but reps say there are no current plans to expand. “I’m not trying to create the Shake Shack of pizza,” says Nick Anderer, Martina’s executive chef. “I’m trying to create the Martina of pizza.”
‘Coursed’ fast casual
About 60% of Martina’s guests order a starter (suppli, crochette, salads and more), or they order beer, wine or other beverages, Anderer says. It sources many of the same ingredients as full-service Marta, but cooks its pizzas over gas, for more efficient temperature control than the wood used at Marta.
Boxing up quality
Guests can order Martina’s 10-inch pies to go, but about 70% dine in. “We always encourage people to try the pizza first in the restaurant,” Anderer says. For takeout orders, Martina sources boxes that have a reflective nonstick coating and 20 small vents that allow steam to escape.