Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2014

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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22 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JANUARY 2014 Americans never seem to tire of piz- za, and based on the recent surge in fast-casual pizza upstarts, the industry keeps creating new ways to give it to them in ever more convenient formats. Now comes something completely different. KONO Pizza, which opened its frst unit last summer in Edison, N.J., not only takes pizza into QSR territory, it also offers a whole new type of product — pizza in a cone. Discovered on a trip to Italy by partners David Ragosa, Carlo Ruggiero and Greg Kinlaw, KONO Pizza seemed a perfect ft for America's pizza-loving, convenience-driven consumer. With the brand already touting 130 locations in 20 countries, the trio struck a deal with its founder, Italian master chef Rossano Bosco- lo, for U.S. franchising rights and established the KONO USA franchise company. "We had been seeing big companies com- ing out with new food-on-the-go concepts, like KFC's Go Cups that ft in your car's cup holder," Ruggiero says. "Our product taps that trend. You only need one hand to eat it." The cones consist of preshaped, par- baked crispy dough. Staff fll the cones to order with fresh ingredients and use special- ized ovens to bake them in 90 seconds. Pizza cones come in several favors — margherita, carni, vegetariano, bianco, pollo parmigiana and pepperoni — and staff can customize them to meet individual tastes. Featuring a thinner crust and low-moisture cheese, the pizza cones have 250 to 280 calories each, says Ruggiero. The menu also features Deli Cones flled with sandwich meats, vegetables and cheeses; Breakfast Cones with eggs, cheese and break- fast meats; and Sweet Cones with Nutella, fruits, nuts and tiramisu cream. The menu also includes side salads, Italian roast coffee and soft drinks. KONO USA franchises traditional stores, kiosks and food trucks. The store prototype calls for 1,000 to 2,000 square feet designed with a contemporary, European aesthetic and community tables with iPads. Kitchens are simple, with two to three of the specialized ovens per unit being the only necessary cook- ing equipment. The company plans to open 2 units in Raleigh, N.C., in early 2014, and has franchi- sees in San Diego, Calif., and Long Island, N.Y., with 15 units in the pipeline as of late 2013. "We also have strong interest from people in northern New Jersey and Hous- ton, Texas," Ruggiero says, "Within the next couple of years our goal is to have 30 to 40 units sold. Given the simplicity of our opera- tions and our relatively low cost of opening, we think that's realistic." CHAIN CHAIN Left: Capitalizing on consumers' desire to eat on the run, KONO Pizza ofers menu items that a person needs only one hand to eat. Below: Consumers can choose from pizza, deli, dessert and even breakfast cones at KONO Pizza. Staf make items to order and bake each cone in 90 seconds. KONO PIZZA HQ: Raleigh, N.C. KONO USA Founders: Carlo Ruggiero, David Ragosa, Greg Kinlaw Menu specialties: Cones (pizza, deli, dessert and breakfast varieties) Segment: QSR Units: 1 open, 15 in development Average unit volume: est. $350,000 to $450,000 Website: konopizza.com quick LOOK

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