“The Death of the $15 Salad: How pizza won the pandemic—and Sweetgreen got left behind” – Marker

“Salad chains are among the worst-hit food businesses of the pandemic, in part because so many people are working remotely from home and also because salads don’t hit the same comfort-food receptors that pizza satisfies. Me thinks it’s also easier to rely on someone else to make pizza. It’s far trickier for a stranger to create a salad juuuuuust the way you like it.”

pizzaIllustration: Erik Blad

by Moe Tkacik

The best meal I had all pandemic cost $1.14 and took about 90 seconds to make. It was a Margherita pizza inhaled in the car on a desolate day in late April. I know the precise cost because my husband is the chef who made it: 61 cents for a few slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella, 24 cents for the San Marzano tomatoes and salt, a quarter for enough basil leaves to supply the rest of the menu’s needs for free, and just 11 cents for the dough, made from a mix of top-shelf imported Italian flours. In normal times, his restaurant sold a Margherita for $20, but he could get away with selling it for $10 and still reach 10% food cost.

“We are a nation in the throes of an unprecedented eight-month pizza binge that shows no signs of abating. Multiple pizzerias in Los Angeles reported a 250% rise in sales on Election Day, and on Thursday, Papa John’s reported quarterly same-store sales growth of 23.8%. For months now, the underlying forces for the sustained pizza craze have been as hotly debated within the restaurant industry as the election results have been parsed by professional pollsters. Stress eating is a major cause; quarantine-induced failure of imagination and the return of three major-league sports within weeks of one another over the summer certainly didn’t hurt.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

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