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