Selling pizza by the slice is a concept that’s been around as long as any other in the industry. Pizza by the slice gives pizzeria owners the opportunity to expand their services and appeal to new customer demographics.

Like many subsectors of the food industry, the pizza business can be ultra-competitive. It’s estimated that pizza businesses compete for nearly $60 billion in annual sales in the United States alone. High competition and selective consumers have led many operators and managers to search for additional ways to bring attention to their own business.

In this article, we will cover all there is to know about selling pizza by the slice. We’ll go over the how’s, why’s, and more. As far as pizza by the slice is concerned, there is a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Why is Pizza by the Slice so popular?

Selling pizza by the slice has been a concept made popular by many pizzerias in major destinations like New York City, but it’s also been gaining traction across the country in recent times. In the last decade, Chipotle took the restaurant industry by storm after they championed a business model that many are referring to as “fast-casual.”

For pizzeria businesses, the best way to adapt to this fast-casual style is by selling pizza by the slice. We’ll dive into exactly why the ‘pizza-by-the-slice’ model is growing so quickly a little later. But to put it as simply as possible, by the slice fits the price, meal type, meal size, speed, and convenience factors that the majority of customers are looking for. 

Pizza by the Slice from a Business Perspective

Why could selling pizza by the slice be such a lucrative business practice for your pizza restaurant?

One reason – it significantly improves customer visit frequency. Because of the speed and convenience factors mentioned above, pizza by the slice would provide your pizzeria business with a steady stream of customers throughout the day.

Speed and convenience are two of the major appeals that many fast food chains have over the traditional pizza restaurant. Selling pizza by the slice affords pizzeria owners the ability to enter the fast food market and capitalize on one of the biggest customer demographics in the industry. 


Is Pizza by the Slice Profitable?

Whether you are thinking about starting a pizza by the slice restaurant from scratch or are simply looking to add a little depth to your already established pizzeria, it can help to understand the by-the-slice economics. 

According to a 2022 survey, the average pizza slice sold in the by-the-slice model goes for between $5 and $6. The actual numbers of your by the slice pizza may vary depending on the size of the slice and location of the pizzeria. 

Here’s deeper breakdown of the cost that goes into the by-the-slice model. Says a pizzerias sell six individual slices from their standard 16-inch(large) pizza. The average cost, including waste, ingredients, labor, and other fixed expenses, was “$15.12 per slice pie.”

Considering an average slice sale price of $5, that would leave you with 50% profit margin – an average of $2.50 per slice.

By-the-slice model works best when foot traffic is highest – typically between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the afternoon. In those hours, you can expect to sell 90-100% of every pizza you make.

It’s important to note that even during slow times of the day, the by-the-slice model is still profitable. During slow hours – typically between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – many pizzeria owners report only selling 50-60% of each pizza.

Pizza by the Slice from a Customer Perspective

We’ve hit on the headlining customer perspective of speed and convenience already, but now it’s time to dive a little deeper. In the age of Instagram and TikTok, the idea of instant gratification plays a bigger role in business than ever before.

Fast food will always have its place in the industry, but that particular niche has never been known for quality. There is now a need for food that’s high quality and fast – which fits the exact idea of the pizza-by-the-slice model.

Customers will still receive the high quality that’s expected with every good pizzeria, but now they’ll have the option to fast-track their order in a way that’s similar to your traditional fast-food chain. Customers can either sit down and eat the slice they ordered, or take it on the go.

The variety of options also accounts for much of the desire on the customer’s part. With the by-the-slice model, customers can try multiple styles of pizza by ordering multiple slices. Normally, this would only be an option if they were to order multiple whole pizzas. The by-the-slice model really does open up the door for variety, convenience, speed, and portion size. The sky is the limit for both customers and pizzeria owners!

How to Sell Pizza by the Slice

In this section, we will not go over the typical step-by-step instructions on how to start a pizza restaurant, but rather go over the strategies that will help your pizza-by-the-slice restaurant succeed!

Here are the best practices for marketing pizza by the slice to your customers:

  1. Offer existing customers new variety: Every restaurant has an existing weekend or weekday customer base that they can regularly depend on. By offering pizza by the slice, you’ll be able to expand your reach with existing customers, offering them more variety, discount prices, and a new way to eat at their favorite pizzeria!
  2. Bounce-back promotions: The biggest mistake restaurant owners make is confusing a single sale with a job well done. The key is to keep new customers coming back. By offering a ‘bounce-back’ promotion either via email, text message, or direct mail, your restaurant will greatly improve its customer retention. To spice up the promotion even more, you can add a deal incentive, such as buy two get one free.
  3. Flash-deals: One of the greatest advantages of the by-the-slice model is the speed and convenience your customers are afforded. To really capitalize on these factors, it’s a good idea to do a regular flash-deal, offering cheaper slices at a moment’s notice. Similar to the bounce-back promotions, restaurant owners can execute this with direct messages, emails, and social media posts as well.
  4. VIP program: This strategy is a unique way to connect with your loyal, regular customers. By offering an even greater discount to your VIP members, you’ll keep your regular customers coming back even more often than they already do!

Pizza by the Slice Pros and Cons

With any new business model, it’s necessary to weigh the pros and cons. With that being said, most professionals in the industry agree that the advantages of the ‘pizza-by-the-slice’ model far exceed the disadvantages. Here is a deeper look at the pros and cons of pizza by the slice:


  • It’s by far the most economical way to eat a pizza – meaning that customers are getting more bang for their buck.
  • It affords the customer more variety in what they choose to eat. They can have multiple different pizza experiences without having to order multiple different whole pizzas.
  • Allows the restaurant to access a new customer demographic.
  • The ‘by-the-slice’ model allows pizzerias to gain access to the fast-food marketplace.


  • Pizzas must be prepared far ahead of time. It forces pizzerias to account for the by the slice orders as they are preparing more pizzas.
  • During slow times, pizza by the slice can cause a significant amount of food waste to pile up.
  • Highly dependent on foot traffic, which means that it might not be suitable for every pizzeria location.

Final Words

Pizza by the slice has been a popular business model for a long time now. In the age of “fast-casual” dining, it’s become more popular than ever. On the customer’s side of things, it’s fast and convenient, providing them with an efficient way to eat at their favorite pizzeria more often. On the owner/manager side of things, pizza by the slice is profitable and easy to manage.

In the end, there is no reason not to try the by-the-slice model! Your customers will love the convenience, and you’ll love the new business that pizza by the slice will bring in.

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