Crust Restaurant Group plans more locations in 2024 after another strong year

The owner wants to make Crust Pizzeria locations into neighborhood hot spots
Posted at 8:53 AM, Dec 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-21 10:53:19-05

PHOENIX — Michael Merendino, the owner of Crust Restaurant Group, said a few years ago that he wanted to open one new location around the Valley every year until he had 10 stores. In 2023, the expansion efforts sped up when he opened two locations of a new concept that wasn't in the original growth plan.

In revisiting that previous conversation with the Business Journal this week, Merendino said that over the summer he heard a rumor that the local owners of the Artichoke Pizza chain were looking to sell their three Valley locations and he decided to buy two – Phoenix and Tempe – and branded them as Crust Pizzeria.

In 2024, Merendino's goal is to refocus the Crust Pizzeria brand in 2024 and make it a go-to neighborhood gathering spot while offering high-quality wings and the lowest price point among his competition. Chicken wing prices can be quite volatile, but Merendino said he isn’t worried.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.