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17% Of All US Restaurants Are Pizzerias

National Pizza Day is observed annually on February 9th. Whether it is thin crust, Chicago-style, deep dish or anything in between, pizza is an American favorite.

Here are some interesting facts about pizza:

  • Pepperoni is the most popular pizza at 36% of all pies ordered.
  • Over 3 billion pizzas are sold in the USA each year.  Add another 1 billion on frozen pizzas
  • 17% of all US Restaurants are pizzerias.
  • There are 70,000 pizzerias in the U.S.
  •  Antica Pizzeria, the first Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.
  •  Gennaro Lombardi, the first Pizzeria in the United States, opened in 1895 in New York City.
  • Americans consume on average 23 pounds of pizza per person each year.
  • The average pizza place uses roughly 55 pizza boxes per day.
  • We consume around 251,770,000 pounds of pepperonis every year. 
  • 93 percent of Americans have eaten pizza in the last month.
  • Kids ages 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups
  • In 1830 pizza truly began with the opening of the world’s first pizzeria. Named Port’Alba, the pizzas were cooked in an oven lined with lava from Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on the Bay of Naples.
  • In the 1800s, most Italians thought of pizza as a peasant meal. That changed when a baker named Raffaele Esposito created a margarita pizza for visiting royalty. The king and queen were impressed by the colors of the Italian flag represented by the pizza’s white mozzarella cheese, red tomato sauce, and green basil. Pizza became fashionable overnight and was soon a staple in restaurants all across the country.
  • Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second?
  • In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi opened the first licensed American pizzeria, Lombardi’s Pizzeria Napoletana, at 53-1/2 Spring Street in New York City.
  • According to a recent Gallup Poll, kids between the ages of 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner.
  • Each year, thousands of people involved in the pizza industry attend Pizza Expo, the world’s largest pizza-only trade show. Pizza Expo is held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Regular thin pizza crust is still the most popular crust, preferred by 61 percent of the population. Thick crust and deep dish tied for second, at 14%. Only 11 percent of the population prefers extra thin.
  • The world’s largest pizza was built on October 11, 1987 by Lorenzo Amato and Louis Piancone. The pizza covered 10,000 square feet and measured 140 feet across. It weighed in at 44,457 pounds, consisting of, among other items, 18,174 pounds of flour, 1,103 pounds of water, 6,445 pounds of sauce, 9,375 pounds of cheese and 2,387 pounds of pepperoni. The pie was cut into 94,248 slices and eaten by more than 30,000 spectators at the baking in Havana, Florida.
  • Saturday is the most popular night to eat pizza.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to order vegetarian toppings on their pizza
  • 61% of people prefer thin crust.
  • During the first few decades of the 20th century, pizza was predominantly eaten and sold by working class Italian immigrants.
  • But after World War II, American GIs came home from Italy with a craving for pizza, bringing the food to a broader consumer base for the first time.
  • Domino’s was founded in 1960. The restaurant chain’s founder, Tom Monaghan, is one of three people in the world who hold an advanced degree in “Pizza-ology” from the “Domino’s College of Pizza-ology”—a business management program he founded in the 1980s.
  • The Hawaiian pizza was invented in 1962 by Sam Panopoulos, a native of Greece who ran a pizza place in Canada.
  • There’s a pizza museum in Philadelphia called Pizza Brain that is home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia
  • The first celebrities that promoted pizza in America were Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante, Jerry Colonna, and baseball star Joe DiMaggio.
  • The record of most pizza deliveries holds the night when American professional football player and actor O. J. Simpson fled from police in his famous car chase.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Foodimentary

Mobile-Cuisine

Sweety High

Mental Floss

Pizza Facts

An experienced TV News manager, Mark Young is highly regarded as one of the most well respected and trusted media leaders in Florida. In over 40 years in the broadcast industry, Mark has managed news operations in small and large markets throughout the United States. As Broward Bureau Manager for CBS4 News, Mark was responsible for all news developments throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Mark now oversees the daily publication of two online news sites “South Florida Reporter” and “Southwest Florida Reporter.”