By Rieva Lesonsky

A few months ago Burger King apparently officially dropped its “have it your way” slogan. But that doesn’t mean the concept is dead, especially in the fast-casual food sector.

Fed by Chipotle’s phenomenal success, other food concepts, notably salads and burgers (and of course other Mexican restaurants), quickly offered diners the ability to customize their meals.

In fact Nancy Luna, food reporter for The Orange County Register, says the fast-food industry is shifting “to meet consumer demand for consistency and speed…Diners are taking control, choosing to design their own [meals] as customization, value and freshness drive sales in the $34.5 billion industry.”

And now pizza places are jumping on the bandwagon. Where I live in Southern California the battle of what Luna calls “craft your own pizza bars” is on-with an expected 200 units of various outlets expected by year’s end.

This trend is rising rapidly, not only in California, but nationwide as well. If you want to jump on board, you can open your own, or buy a franchise. Some of the chains include Blaze Pizza, PizzaRev, Pieology, MOD Pizza, Project Pie and Pizza Studio. The OC Register gives you the scoop on some of the pizza chains.

An analyst for restaurant research firm Technomic told Luna, “Pizza is going to be a big one…it is the next [food] category we think is going to take off.”

Technomic reports last year sales in the fast-casual pizza sector hit $605 million, up nearly 6 percent from 2012.

Photo Courtesy: Blaze Pizza

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+   and and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.