history of pizza delivery

The history of pizza delivery is a long and winding road with many twists and turns. For some, it began in 1889 when the baker, Gennaro Lombardi, who immigrated from Naples to New York City that year, opened America’s first pizzeria – Lombardi’s Pizza. But others may argue that pizza delivery began much earlier than this! In the medieval era there was often a man on horseback who would ride through town delivering breads baked at his master’s bakery. These bakers would often make breads with a hole in the centre for people to eat on the go.

It was in 1849 that the first combination bakery and pizzeria, Il Forno, opened in New York City. It was not until 1889 that pizza delivery began to be available outside of Italy and New York City. Lombardi’s Pizza made its debut by offering home deliveries by horse and buggy in the New York area. The novelty of pizza led to immediate sales growth within Lombardi’s business. Other pizzerias soon followed in Lombardi’s footsteps. In 1906, Gennaro’s son, Arthur, opened a new pizzeria in New York called Sbarro’s (Sbarro) which has since expanded across the country.

In 1912, the first commercial delivery of pizza was made. The delivery was made by a local barber who worked in Boston named Antonio Valvona. In 1926, Thomas S. Monaghan opened a pizzeria called DomiNick’s Pizza in Ypsilanti, Michigan which is still open today and one of the longest running business’ currently operating out of Michigan. In 1929, Monaghan opened a second DomiNick’s Pizza in his hometown of Flint, Michigan and this location is still open today.

In 1928, Tony and Dominic DeMarco relocated from New York to San Francisco to start a new pizzeria. In order to save money on delivery costs they came up with the idea of using the city’s cable cars to deliver pizza. To celebrate the invention of pizza as cars were not yet widely used for food delivery, they called their business Cable Car Pizza (Cappy’s) and put the slogan ”The Hottest Slice on Earth” on all their menus. This remains the slogan to this day.

1939 saw the opening of Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas by brothers Dan and Frank Carney. In 1958 Pizza Hut opened its first international store in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada which was co-founded by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton. In 1966, an Israeli immigrant named Shlomo Angel opened a pizzeria in Columbus, Ohio called Apizza Scholls that remains open today and is one of the highest rated pizza restaurants in America. In 1986 Domino’s Pizza was founded by Tom Monaghan after he purchased the rights to a pizzeria he named Jiffy Lube after finding that many customers were confused over the name Dominick’s that he had been operating under since 1929. In 1996, Monaghan sold Domino’s Pizza to Bain Capital for $1.2 billion. In 2000, a man named Tony De Nunzio opened a pizzeria called Montana Carmelo in Kansas City that remains open today.

In 2007, a man by the name of Dun Karm in Parma, Italy worked with the local police department to set up the first pizza patrolling unit where he helped aid in keeping crime rates down within his small Italian town while ensuring that his customers received their orders safely and quickly. Also in 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pizza delivery sales in 2006 were $36billion USD worldwide and this number has remained steady since then. In 2008, the first International Pizza Expo was held in Las Vegas and has been held there every year since. In 2012, Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter became the CEO of the company, dropping his chairman spot to become the chief executive officer for a one year time period. In 2013, he returned to his position as chairman of the board but stepped down in 2014 after criticism arose from remarks he had made that were deemed racist by many. In 2015, Pizza Hut had its best sales quarter in the company’s history.

The Pizza delivery industry as a whole has seen some of the greatest business leaders to grace it with their presence. In 1988, Dominick Di Stanislao Sr., who had worked for Pizza parlors that were owned by his father Ed, became a partner in the restaurant industry and bought out all of the rights to all of the Mysore brothers’ family restaurants from its original owner. He set up his own chain called Di Stanislao’s and built many more restaurant locations throughout Arizona and California.

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