Fast-casual pizza concepts occupy a number of slots on this year's Future 50 list, with Rapid Fired Pizza coming in at No. 17. The concept added three stores in 2018, and sales surged by almost 42% year over year. But unlike its competitors, this brand's future expansion plans include a foray into the grocery segment. In March 2019, Rapid Fired Pizza partnered with Kroger Co. to launch venues in select supermarkets across Ohio. The first one opened in a Kroger Marketplace in Mt. Orab, Ohio.

Rapid Fired's menu is also more extensive than some of its competitors. Last year, the concept introduced a selection of calzones and pasta bowls to offer more variety. Sides, desserts and beer are available, too. And at the Kroger location, customers can purchase take-and-bake pizzas along with customized personal pies and chef-composed craft pizzas—all with the benefit of fast cooking at high heat. The chain is pitching franchises to fuel future growth.

LocationKettering, Ohio
2018 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)$25*
YOY Sales Change41.5%
2018 U.S. Units27
YOY Unit Change12.5%
2018 Average Unit Volume ($000)$1,015*
Future 50 Year2019

*Technomic estimate

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