the pizza market is exploding and diversifying at BAB

Since 2019, the French are officially the biggest pizza eaters in the world (10 kilos per year), tied with the United States. The Basques are no exception to this trend, and pizzerias, in a market dominated by franchising, which supports the growth of the sector, have mushroomed on the BAB in the last five years. It is difficult to have an exact figure, but it is estimated between 50 and 60 the number of catering places that sell pizzas in the Basque urban area.

Pizzas made by Ossau Iraty

In a few weeks, Bayonne has seen addresses flourish between the two banks of the Saint-Esprit bridge, which represent the three economic segments of the sector: cheap fast food, with Domino’s Pizza, boulevard Alsace-Lorraine, “classic” restaurant pizzeria at the table, with Il Trentuno rue Sainte-Catherine, and premium pizzerias, in seated catering or, more often, in delivery with Pizza Cozy avenue Léon Bonnat.


Last opening in Bayonne, a Pizza Cozy franchise facing the Léon Bonnat garden.

Emilie Drouinaud/SOUTHWEST

“Premiumization” enabled the recovery of the pizzeria sector in 2018, with average tickets on the way, estimated at 17 euros, and a better quality offer. Pizza Cozy illustrates this policy with “a French positioning, fresh and qualitative”, state Loïc Verdier and Dimitri Houpin, the new Bayonne franchisees. You can taste their pizzas made with Ossau Iraty AOP and Espelette pepper AOP.

Parole di Sua Bontà, an Italian restaurant specializing in pinsa, has opened Quai des Corsaires in Bayonne.


Parole di Sua Bontà, an Italian restaurant specializing in pinsa, has opened Quai des Corsaires in Bayonne.

Emilie Drouinaud/SOUTHWEST

During the inauguration, the managers of the franchise revealed some figures: “We have chosen a 100% integrated value chain, confides Florent Mercier, the co-founder. A proven operation that allowed the pizzerias of the network to achieve an average turnover of 730,000 euros exclusive of tax in 2021, i.e. 44% higher than the market average. »

Pizza or pizza

Alongside franchisees, independents, who represent 92% of the more than 20,000 pizzerias listed in France, do well on the BAB. The pizzeria model, close to the fast food model, is very profitable: attractive price, fast rotation of tables, big margin. In Anglet, the success of Angelu Pizza, a business of friends, is undeniable (read elsewhere) and respects this economic triptych.

The first prices of margherita will be less than 10 euros, it is a calling price. The margin rate for a pizza is around 65%. “It’s the classic pizza, tomato and mozzarella and basta”, affirms this pizza maker from Biarritz, who offers it on his menu along with eighteen other pizzas, the most expensive of which exceeds 15 euros. “The most valued are the regina and four cheeses, classic, but they must be qualitative, that’s the basis,” he says.

The strong trend is actually to move upmarket. The raw materials are more expensive and therefore the prices of the pizzas as well. Others rely on know-how directly from Italy. Authenticity and quality as with the Italian chefs Mario Venerdini, La Bottega della Mamma or Gianluca Porcheddu, Parole di Sua Bonta. The latter offers at its new address an alternative to the traditional pizza: the pinsa, with a dough made from soft wheat, rice and soy flour and with yeast. “It’s lighter and crisper,” smiles the Milan native.

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