Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza has entered the war for the best fast-casual pizza concept and is primed to expand its presence in markets across the country. The brand, which launched its franchise opportunity in 2017, already has three locations open, one in Rochester, Minnesota, one in Ames, Iowa, and one in Grand Junction, Colorado, which opened at the start of this year. The brand currently has deals with franchisee groups in Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, and Minnesota.

“The support that we have received from the Smokin’ Oak Pizza corporate team has been tremendous,” said owner of the recently opened Grand Junction location, Bob Marolf. “From the beginning, we knew that we could work with this team, and they have been with us every step of the way. Their operations manual, intranet systems, and training processes have all been incredibly informative, and they show us each and every day that they care about us and our success. We are proud to be part of the Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza family and are excited to continue developing the Grand Junction market.” 

In addition to the corporate support Marolf has received throughout the opening process, he has seen firsthand how communities respond to Smokin’ Oak Pizza’s food.

“Our new restaurant has been a huge success and the feedback from customers has been incredibly fulfilling,” Marolf said. “People can’t stop talking about how much they enjoy our food, our atmosphere, and our staff. When I wear my Smokin’ Oak Pizza hat out in public, people come up and talk to me about how much they love our restaurant, which just goes to show the level of excitement around the brand. Smokin’ Oak Pizza truly is a unique concept in the fast-casual market, and we are excited to help play a role in the brand’s expansion.”  

Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza CEO Matt Mongoven is thrilled with the brand’s franchising progress so far, and looks forward to entering new cities in addition to developing current markets.

“We have generated a lot of interest in our franchise opportunity because of the popularity of fast-casual pizza options for families across the country,” said Mongoven. “Our growth can be attributed to our strong franchise system, strong profit margins, and our high quality, affordable food. We believe that we make the best wood-fired pizza in the fast-casual industry, and we do it day-in and day-out, catering to everyone, from those who have limited time for lunch, to families who want to make it a pizza night out.”

Franchise agreements have been signed by franchisees across five states.

Omaha, Nebraska—currently under construction and slated to open in May. This restaurant will be located at 220 South 31st Avenue, #3013. It will also be the first to roll out the concept’s new self-serve beer wall, called Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza & Taproom, which provides customers with over 40 beers to choose from​​​​​​.

Cedar Falls, Iowa—a lease has been signed and is scheduled to open in August. The restaurant will be located at 1625 West Ridgeway Avenue.

Denver, Colorado—An area developer has signed a lease for the first of three locations they will open in the Denver market. The first restaurant will open in Broomfield and will be located at 11410 Via Viarra, Suite 300.  

Minneapolis, Minnesota—a location in Apple Valley will open in October. 

Grand Junction, Colorado—a second location, which is also expected to feature the self-serve beer wall, will open in the second quarter of 2021.

“Our expansion into these markets is incredibly exciting and we are proud to have partnered with franchisees that are as passionate about sharing high quality, wood-fired pizza with their community as we are,” said Mongoven. “We are confident that these communities will love our delicious wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and desserts and we can’t wait to open our doors for business.”   

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Pizza