As retailers and restaurants open up to greater capacity, consumers have apparently been starved of one type of cuisine: Italian food, specifically pizza. According to foot traffic data from Zenreach, pizza restaurants “have seen an increase in foot traffic of nearly 50 percent nationwide since early 2021,” the company said in a research report.
At the regional and urban levels, Los Angeles saw a 156 percent increase in foot traffic from year to date, while the entire state of California swelled 120 percent. Chicago pizza restaurant foot traffic has increased by 85 percent and is pushing out New York by 82 percent. State-wide, Zenreach said New York has seen a 92.2 percent increase in traffic, well ahead of Illinois’ 80 percent gain.
Other notable data was Texas with a gain of 29 percent. But Florida saw only a 8.8 percent increase.
“Nationwide, we’ve seen a 49 percent increase in restaurant foot traffic this year to pizza and Italian restaurants, which bodes well for our economy,” said Megan Wintersteen, vice president of marketing at Zenreach. “With mandates for indoor masks beginning to lift, Zenreach expects these numbers to continue to rise.”
According to the trade publication Pizza Magazines 2021 Pizza Power Report, global pizza sales increased by approx. 11 percent to $ 132 billion. The publication noted in its analysis that the industry was hit hard by restaurant closures at the start of the pandemic, but bounced back quickly despite the recession. The report stated that the pizza industry “as a whole proved to be both recession-proof and pandemic-safe.”