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&pizza CEO Dissects Expansion Plans, Winning Strategies at MCON

Michael Lastoria discusses success, by the numbers

[Tierney Plumb]
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Michael Lastoria, co-founder and CEO of burgeoning chain &pizza, provided attendees at the sold-out MCON, a millennial conference about social movements, on Tuesday with a break down of where his homegrown restaurant is headed — highlighting how he’s already beating some major players in the fast-casual food scene.

The crash course in pizzanomics took place at MCON, the socio-political gathering that drew about 1,000 to the Newseum this week, including young minds hungry for information about everything from social justice to fashion to, of course, the future of dining.

In true millennial fashion, here are some quick-hit business stats Lasotoria shared on June 6.

Demand is high: The rapidly expanding company receives a whopping 50 to 100 resumes a day, Lastoria said.

Soon to hit 24. The NoMad store — its first in NYC — is set to debut in less than two weeks, he said. And &pizza just announced its next expansion in D.C.: opening a storefront in Adams Morgan at 2465 18th Street NW by mid-August. The new shop, it’s 24th overall and the 12th in D.C., is scheduled to operate until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, giving Jumbo Slice aficionados another late-night dining option.

Pre-election pizza: About a million of its get-out-and vote pizza boxes were distributed between Northern Virginia and Philadelphia. The design of its boxes rotates every 90 days.

Fight for $15: He was recently on Capitol Hill to help reintroduce a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. “I got [Sen.] Bernie [Sanders] really fired up — we were burning the house down,” he said.

Tons of tats: About 75 &pizza employees now rock the iconic ampersand tattoo — and they are typically on the house. “Twice a month we foot the bill,” Lastoria said, with four to five new employees getting inked every month. “They love the symbol and what it stands for.”

Beating burritos: “We have one of the most attractive economic models in the industry,” he said, flashing a set of black-and-white slides. According to Lastoria, recent quarterly filings show that &pizza’s sales per square foot rival that of N.Y. burger giant Shake Shack and are higher than national chain Chipotle.


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