February 03, 2009 // Franchising.com // Newport Beach, CA, — zpizza has finalized a contract with franchisee, Ritu Shah-Burnham, to open three new restaurants in Seattle, Washington. The Southern California-based gourmet pizza chain has built a powerful presence across the United States, earning it the prestigious title of 2008 Pizza Chain of the Year from Pizza Market Quarterly Magazine. zpizza currently has 87 open stores and continues its impressive expansion with 400 more locations in development across the U.S., the Middle East and Mexico.
Ritu is currently focusing on finding real estate in downtown Seattle and plans to target North Seattle and Bellevue for her next two locations. She hopes to open her first location in the summer of 2009 and to have all three up and running by 2012.
"People in Seattle are very specific about food," says Ritu. "I'm from the Midwest and walking into the grocery stores here made my mouth drop open. Everyone wants organic food with no chemicals – it's just a staple here. zpizza will fit into the Seattle food scene perfectly with its organic flexible menu."
zpizza was recently named Pizza Market Quarterly's 2008 PIE Award winner, dubbing zpizza the Pizza Chain of the Year! zpizza also made Entrepreneur Magazine's exclusive 2008 Franchise 500 list for the third time. zpizza has accrued customer choice awards such as AOL City Guide's "Best Pizza" in Orange County, CA and Washingtonian Magazine's "Best Pizza Restaurant" for three years running. PMQ placed zpizza in the top 50 of the 2008 Pizza Power Report, which lists the top pizza chains in America. 2008 was a big year for zpizza as it continues to impress a nationwide customer base and confirm its status as the leading gourmet pizza restaurant in the industry.
Featured on Good Morning America as a healthy dining option, zpizza takes a unique approach to the crowded pizza segment by appealing to traditional pizza lovers, health conscious consumers and gourmet palates alike. zpizza's menu offers 22 tasty and adventurous pizzas as well as sandwiches, salads, calzones and the opportunity to create your own pizza with a selection of premium ingredients —including 100% certified organic wheat crust and sauce, low-fat cheeses, veggies and other creative toppings.