California-based pizza innovator Pieology and TZG Partners on July 29 opened China’s first fast casual pizzeria in the center of downtown Shanghai, with plans to rapidly expand its presence throughout the most populous country on the planet.
Located at 258 Hengfeng Road in Jing'an District, the opening is just the first of a major initiative to introduce Pieology’s personalized pizza experience to China-based diners. A second opening in Jing’an District is set for August 18.
Last October, the company announced a major strategic alliance with Shanghai-based TZG Partners. Along with other master franchisees in Mexico and Spain, the company expects to more than double in size in the next five years.
The opening has generated a lot of positive attention on Chinese social media as well as excitement from the TZG team and guests. Pieology added more than 1,100 loyalty members in just two days during the soft opening.
“The store is a living, breathing example of Pieology’s brand purpose of Serving Individuality, with a custom loyalty program, regionalized crust and topping offerings, and a one-of-a-kind store experience that resonates with the residents of Shanghai,” says Pieology CEO Gregg Imamoto. “We’re very confident in TZG Partners and the team they’ve built to strategically grow our brand long-term.”
He adds that Pieology believes opening in China will also provide the company with a gateway for opening restaurants in neighboring Asian markets.
Novel menu items targeted to Chinese pizza lovers include but are not limited to Bamboo Charcoal Thin Crust and kimchi as a topping option. The shop offers patrons both digital and analogue games as well as artwork by local artists, featuring dragons and the famous Shanghai skyline.
BC Park, CEO of Pieology China, adds, “We’re excited to partner with Pieology and grow the brand in China. Leveraging our teams deep experience in pizza and restaurant operations and Pieology’s strategy and high-quality product offerings, we’ll be able to create a unique market experience for our local customers and bring make-your-own pizza to life across China.”