- Peter Piper Pizza is opening new sites without dining rooms and arcades.
- They’ll be 15% of the size of its regular restaurants, focus on speed, and only sell to-go food.
- Peter Piper says delivery and to-go orders account for more than 40% of its sales.
Peter Piper Pizza is opening new sites that are very unlike its others.
The Arizona-based chain, owned by Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company CEC Entertainment, is opening stores that don’t have dining rooms or arcades, only sell to-go food, and are only 15% of the size of its regular restaurants.
“This concept is all about speed,” CEC Entertainment President and CEO David McKillips told Insider.
Each site will have a full-size kitchen with a custom stone-fired oven made by Roto-Flex that Peter Piper says will make more than 200 pizzas an hour.
The company is rolling out the Express locations amid soaring demand for takeout as more people shun dining rooms. Peter Piper says that off-premise sales now account for more than 40% of orders at its full-service restaurant.
McKillips said that Peter Piper had been considering introducing a to-go concept for a while but that this was accelerated during the pandemic.
Other chains have been redesigning their restaurants to adapt to growing demand for collection and delivery, too. Wingstop has unveiled a “restaurant of the future” similar to the Peter Piper Express model, which has no dining area and doesn’t accept cash.
Smashburger is rolling out restaurants with more drive-thru, collection, and delivery options, while Burger King is building restaurants with triple drive-thru lanes, food lockers, and conveyor belts that deliver food to customers’ cars.
Several restaurant chains have pivoted to delivery-only ghost kitchens, too. Some have rolled out virtual brands, which are online-only and sometimes made in the kitchens of other restaurants, like virtual brand Pasqually’s which was launched by Peter Piper’s sister brand Chuck E. Cheese in 2020.
“Our Peter Piper Pizza brand is known for the food and is a food first concept,” McKillips said. “For our guests come who come for the food primarily, we are just making it easier with a new concept so they can just pickup and go.”
The first of the new-look sites, known as Peter Piper Express, is set to open in Phoenix on March 1. Two more are set to open later this year, the company said.
The restaurants will offer a full menu including pizzas, salads, appetizers, desserts, and bottled drinks, though they won’t offer the chain’s lunch buffet.
As well as customers being able to collect food from the new stores, they’ll also offer delivery through third-party platforms. McKillips told Insider Peter Piper would be launching delivery through his own website “very soon.”
By opting for smaller restaurants without dining rooms, like the Express stores, restaurant chains can save on staff, rent, and construction costs.
McKillips said that the company thinks the new concept would be attractive to franchisees and allow it to get further penetration in both new and existing markets with lower startup costs and a “very attractive” rate of returns.