The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has launched a new Pizzeria Industry Council to engage the operator community and address the concerns and issues specific to pizza operators.

The group is modeled after the NRA’s Fast Casual Industry Council, formed in 2009.

The NRA’s Industry Councils address priority issues of specific industry segments and underscore the importance of collaboration within the diverse restaurant industry to reach common goals.

“With a workforce of more than 13 million and total sales of $660 billion in nearly one million locations, the restaurant industry is vast and diverse with a range of opportunities and challenges,” says James Balda, senior vice president of Innovation and Business Development for the NRA.

“We are excited to launch our Pizzeria Industry Council to better serve our members in the pizza operator community and improve the benefits and resources we offer to these restaurants,” he adds.

“We look forward to working with the NRA on key issues that impact pizza operators, such as implementation of the new menu labeling and health care regulations and how to address elevated food costs,” says Marla Topliff, CEO of Chicago-based Rosati's Pizza and chair of the NRA’s Pizzeria Industry Council steering committee.

“We will be working to produce resources and tools to help pizza operators increase profitability and productivity, as well as raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges that are unique to our industry segment,” she continues.

The goal of the Pizzeria Industry Council is to convene senior executives from the pizza operator segment of the restaurant industry to discuss common concerns and advise the NRA on how the overall industry’s priority issues would impact their restaurants. 

As one of the first events involving the group, members of the Pizzeria Industry Council joined NRA staff at a White House meeting last week to discuss the need for flexibility to be considered in upcoming menu labeling regulations. 

The group will also serve as a networking and educational venue, and provide input on research and NRA member benefit program development.

The council’s founding members include: Topliff; James Greco, Sbarro; Richard Wolf, Papa Gino’s Pizzeria; Pete LaChapelle, International Pizza Expo and Pizza Today; Adam Goldberg, Fresh Brothers Pizza; Anthony Rosati, Rosati’s Pizza; Don Vlcek, Marco’s Pizza; Eric Greenwald, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria; Ivan Matsunaga, Connie’s Pizza; Janelle Reents, Monical’s Pizza Restaurant; Scott Anthony, Fox’s Pizza Den; Shane Womack, Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza; Trey Hester, Rocky Rococo Pizza and Pasta; Geoff Goodman, CiCi’s Pizza; Sam Facchini, Metro Pizza; Michele DiMeo, Squisito Pizza and Pasta; and advisor Louis Basile, Wildflower Bread Company.


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