The rise of “One Dollar Menus” at fast food emporiums has been on the increase around the country recently and especially in New York City. Only the “dollar menu”’ or “99 cent” trend has taken on a new meaning in the Big Apple where a growing number of tiny pizzerias have based their entire operations around the concept of selling 99-cent pizza slices.
A number of food Blogs as well as the New York Times have recently noted that over two dozen new pizzerias based on the dollar-a-slice plan have sprung up in NYC. In a city where prices are always rising and eateries charge whatever the traffic will bear, the new 99-cent pizzerias are causing quite a stir.
While dollar menus have become a staple of many fast-food restaurants in New York, the new low-cost pizzerias have based their entire restaurants around the idea. Many of the dollar-a-slice pizzerias are tiny shops the size of a shoeshine stand. Some of these new “franchises” are even expanding into multiple locations. The action has been so brisk and the public reaction so positive that even some of the established national chains are trying to cash in on the craze and have responded with dollar slices of their own. Papa John’s on 28th Street is now offering dollar slices as a result.
Some pizza fans have said the dollar-a-slice pizza trend is a market-driven counterpoint to high-end pizzas using imported ingredients that had raised the price of an average plain slice of pizza in NYC to nearly $5. Critics have wondered aloud how the new pizzerias can sell such cheap food, with some suggesting they use frozen dough, and skimp on cheese and sauces. However the new pizzerias are not so concerned with quality and more focused on volume. Many of the dollar-a-slice shops make only a dime or two of profit on each pie the sell and must move nearly 500 pizzas a day to stay open.
Some pizza aficionados claim the dollar-a-slice pizzas are as good as anything on the market. Others have said they are only marginal at best. One thing for sure though, very few people have complained about the price of a one dollar slice.