Quiznos, Smashburger Founders to Debut Live Basil Pizza Concept

The founders of Quiznos and Smashburger will debut a new fast-casual concept this week that aims to redefine the next generation of pizza.

Live Basil Pizza will open Thursday in Denver and offer made-to-order 11-inch pizzas, baked in less than five minutes in a high-temperature brick oven.

Live Basil is a new concept developed by Consumer Capital Partners, a Denver-based private-equity firm lead by Richard and Rick Schaden, the father-son team that also built the Quiznos sandwich chain. Quiznos changed hands in a debt-for-equity swap last year, but Consumer Capital still operates and franchises the 206-unit Smashburger “better-burger” concept.

The new pizza concept was initially rumored to be called Honest Pizza, but there was a last-minute switch, said Rick Schaden, who is developing Live Basil with Consumer Capital managing partner Tom Ryan.

The name Live Basil better represented what Schaden described as a differentiated positioning within the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza niche, with a focus on freshness and quality ingredients — like the basil plucked from live plants as the pizza is assembled in front of guests.

Rather than calling the concept fast-casual pizza, “We call this the fresh pizza segment,” Schaden said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News.    READ MORE

Posted on May 21, 2013 and filed under Fast Casual.