Oh, hey. Remember me? I’ve been “dieting.” Somehow, though, I ended up at SPIN! Pizza today and could not resist the #19. Oops. But it was so damn good. As you know, I really, really like it. I also may have gone back to The Boot on Sunday numbers two and three of the No. 4. When I want to put things in my mouth, I will, no matter what kind of stupid, crazy diet I claim to be on.
Speaking of SPIN! Pizza, it’s about to blow up in LA. I’m too lazy to write anything original about it (plus, I have to go sit in a dark corner and emotionally abuse myself for cheating on my diet), so I’ll just repost the press release that landed in my inbox two days ago:
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza’s First Franchise Lands in L.A.
Owner of Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ to Open SPIN! Locations in Southern California
Kansas City, MO (March 20, 2012) – SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza has completed an agreement with Craig Hofman, owner of Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ®, to develop 35 SPIN! ® restaurants in Southern California. Hofman, who has 15 Lucille’s locations in California, Arizona and Nevada, will be the company’s first franchisee.
SPIN! is known for its exceptional, artisan food made from fresh ingredients without the gourmet price, its eclectic, affordable premium wines and its community involvement. SPIN! owners and operators Gail and Richard Lozoff and Edwin Brownell also developed Bagel & Bagel, which started in Kansas City, Mo. and became Einstein Bros. Bagels.
“We opened SPIN! to bring K.C. a warm and fun experience of eating authentic Neapolitan style pizza with friends and family,” says co-owner Gail Lozoff. “We put a lot of effort into the ’behind the curtain‘ operations that give our guests that experience. We’re thrilled that Craig and his team want to take SPIN! into their home market.”
Co-owner Ed Brownell says Kansas City-based SPIN! will be a great fit in southern California. “When we were introduced to the Lucille’s culture and operations, we felt it reflected SPIN!’s and were comfortable that they would do a great job with our brand. Our hope is that a California presence will give SPIN! additional visibility. We’d like to attract culturally compatible restaurateurs, like Craig, who may be interested in bringing SPIN! to other strategically located markets.”
Like SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, franchisee Hofman’s current operations also prize team members and prepare food from scratch. “I was prepared to create my own Neapolitan pizza concept until I discovered SPIN!,” says Hofman. “Their great pizzas and salads were so good that I did not think I could improve the recipes. The culture of quality and excellence that Ed, Gail and Richard have created fits well with our core values for operating restaurants.”
SPIN! has been recognized both in and outside of Kansas City. It recently was named one of the “Rest of the 101 Best Restaurants” in the nation by top foodie website TheDailyMeal.com. Its Margherita Pizza was crowned one of the nation’s best dishes of the year by a national restaurant magazine, its architecture won Best of Show at the Mid America Design Awards, and the SPIN! brand has been featured in numerous graphic design publications.
Since opening its first location in 2005, SPIN! has been awarded “best pizza” by many of Greater Kansas City’s publications. SPIN!’s menu is created in collaboration with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith.
In addition to a variety of hand-spun traditional thin-and-bubbly crust, rustic whole wheat, and gluten-free stone fired pizzas, SPIN! serves an array of appetizers, soups, salads, signature panini and Italian deli sandwiches, and gelato ice creams. All of SPIN!’s soups, salad dressings, pizza toppings and ingredients are prepared daily from fresh produce and meats.
SPIN!’s pizza dough is made fresh every day using several types of flour including one specially imported from Italy. All the toppings – such as mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomatoes, artichokes, even chicken sausage and pancetta (Italian bacon) – are roasted each morning in a stone hearth oven. A variety of cheeses are hand grated. The menu features both traditional Pizza Rossa (red pizzas with crushed roma tomato base) and Pizza Bianca (white pizzas with roasted olive oil glaze).
SPIN! serves a variety of affordable premium wines priced well below traditional restaurant prices.
In addition to its wines and artisan menu, Brownell says that SPIN!’s customer and community focused operations will support its success outside its home market. SPIN!’s unique service system is easier to manage while providing guests with both the comfort of a full-service experience and control over the time they spend in the restaurant. “The usual waiting for servers to take orders, bring drinks and cash out checks is eliminated from our guests’ time at their table,” says Brownell. “We take care of all that at the beginning of their visit, so our distinctive personal approach frees servers to interact more with guests. It helps differentiate our guests’ experience from virtually every other restaurant,” Brownell says.
Lozoff adds that SPIN! is unique in that many small-footprint restaurant franchisors use a rapid market penetration strategy to build a national brand, often addressing local level brand building as an afterthought. “We believe strongly that the building of relationships with staff, guests and our community is key to our success. Programs like our SPIN! Club were created to enhance relationships and communication both inside and out of our restaurants and have been integrated into our operational systems since we opened,” she says.
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza has four Greater Kansas City locations: 4950 Main in Kansas City, Mo., 1808 N.W. Chipman Rd. in Lee’s Summit, Mo., 6541 W. 119th St. in Overland Park, Ks., and 14230 W. 119th St. in Olathe, Ks. Locations are scheduled to open in Lenexa, Ks. and Prairie Village, Ks.
For information, please visit www.spinpizza.com.