Pizza is superhot! Traffic at fast-casual pizza joints rose 9% this year, and top-your-own concepts grew with backing from established chains including Smashburger and Sbarro. Other hot pizza business trends this year include digital and mobile ordering, expansion to international markets and the ongoing rise in take-and-bake and carry-out sales.
Fast-casual franchise Smashburger announced Tuesday that it will receive a $35 million external capital infusion from equity firm Golub Capital that could allow the 210-location franchise to open as many as 80 new locations next year. The company plans to focus on new markets in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Toronto, the U.K. and Australia.