Building a Prime Dynasty w/ Zak Fishman of Prime Pizza LA

Zak Fishman, co-owner of Prime Pizza, shares insights on growing his New York-style pizzeria to 7 locations across Los Angeles. He discusses defining an authentic NY slice, ensuring quality and consistency, strategic expansion, and navigating a viral Dave Portnoy pizza review. Zak emphasizes focusing on great pizza over frills to build a successful multi-unit brand.

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In This Episode

  • Zak Fishman, co-owner of Prime Pizza in Los Angeles, discusses his attraction to pizza from an early age and how a memorable pie from Defara’s in New York inspired him to open his own pizzeria. He learned the craft from pizza consultant Frank Pinello.

  • Prime Pizza has grown to 7 locations in just a few years. Zak emphasizes the importance of having good people, clear communication, and a commitment to quality to ensure consistency across multiple shops. He shares lessons learned about pacing new store openings and staffing strategically.

  • Zak explains what defines an authentic New York slice to him – 18″+ pies, acidic tomato sauce marrying with mozzarella cheese, and offering both round and square slices. Prime has evolved their dough and ingredients over the years to continually improve quality.

  • On the operational side, Zak discusses the decision to partner with UberEats and DoorDash for delivery instead of maintaining their own drivers. He also shares the minimum startup costs to open their smallest ($200K) and largest ($600K) shops.

  • Zak recounts the surprise visit and rave review from Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports, which caused a 30% jump in business across all locations overnight. He credits focusing on making great pizza rather than fancy buildouts for Prime’s success.

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