MOD Pizza, the Seattle-based pioneer of the fast-casual pizza segment, opened its first store in downtown Seattle in November 2008 with 17 employees (or “MOD Squaders”). MOD now announced that the MOD Squad has grown to 1,700 strong, a 100-fold increase from its founding and a three-fold increase from December 2014. This explosive growth has allowed MOD to spread its unique culture to 62 communities across the United States while allowing MOD to build momentum behind its true mission: to become a force for positive change in the lives of its team members, the communities it serves, and the broader food service industry.
“When you create an environment where people are motivated by a purpose beyond profit, it is incredible to watch what they can accomplish,” says Scott Svenson, cofounder and CEO of MOD. “While MOD pioneered the rapidly emerging made-on-demand pizza category, we judge our success not by the number of stores we open or the amount of revenue we generate, but by the number of lives we impact, which is why we are celebrating the growth of the MOD Squad.”
Before the end of September alone, MOD intends to hire a further 450 team members and open 15 new stores. The company anticipates having nearly 2,500 MOD Squaders and 100 stores by the end of 2015.
Cofounder Ally Svenson adds, “We strive to provide people with an opportunity to improve their lives by offering them a job and focusing on where they want to go, not where they have been. By surrounding them with acceptance and opportunity and modeling what it means to do the right thing, we believe we are providing the platform upon which the MOD Squad can thrive. Our people are the face and spirit of the MOD brand, and by putting them first and encouraging authenticity, we are building a stage on which inspiring stories of service and gratitude are being created. These stories keep our culture alive and are infectious; they spread throughout the team and inspire others to do the right thing.”
In keeping with its focus on doing the right thing, the company has committed to being a positive influence in the communities in which it operates. To date, MOD has donated more than $225,000 to support over 50 nonprofit organizations, with a focus on at-risk youth and families in need. Whenever MOD opens a new store, it donates 100 percent of all pizza sales from the grand opening to a local nonprofit, and each year over the week of Thanksgiving the company marks its birthday by donating $1 from every pizza sold during its annual “Spreading MODness” celebration.
“Our product may be pizza, but our purpose is people,” Ally Svenson says.