VIDEO. Is a $5 pizza really a bargain?

Guillaume Grasso widens his eyes: “It’s round, that’s already it…” This Parisian restaurateur, from a long line of Neapolitan pizza makers, has just opened the box of a 5-euro margherita pizza bought in a restaurant of the Five Pizza Original franchise. “Visually, it’s clear that the quality of the raw materials is not there at all. »

He points to the cheese au gratin on the surface of the pizza. “This browning which would supposedly be cheese, that, in Italy, would be prohibited! And to remember that in Naples, the capital of pizza, a good margherita on the spot costs 6-7 euros. “A pizza at 5 euros, especially in France (where they are much more expensive, editor’s note), that means there is a problem somewhere. »

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In his establishment in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, Guillaume Grasso sells his own margherita for 11 euros. He garnishes his pizza dough with a very thick and creamy tomato sauce, adds mozzarella “fior di latte” in strips, grated Grana Padano cheese, a few basil leaves, oil and passes everything for a few minutes in the wood-fired oven, before placing it next to the other.

In comparison, the 5-euro margherita Five pales in comparison. “By selling my product for 11 euros, details the restaurateur, I pay the raw material, the rent, the credits, the payroll, the VAT, the miscellaneous expenses… and I have a margin of around 25% left”. Or €2.75 for a pizza at €11.

What margin does Five Pizza Original generate? We will not know, the brand having refused to participate in this report and not having answered our questions by email. According to the sources, this chain of pizzerias would have been created in 2012 (as it is indicated on the boxes), or in 2015, or in 2018 according to Wikipedia… It would currently have between “more than twenty” and 39 restaurants.

“To sell pizzas at only 5 euros, we have to make very large volumes to be profitable, explains Barnard Boutboul, boss of the consulting firm Gira, and very good connoisseur of fast food. However, 39 stores opened in ten years is far too few! With this kind of concept, it would be necessary to reach the minimum 100 points of sale on French territory, such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s or O’Tacos. In my opinion, a concept like that of Five Pizza Original will not last more than two or three years. If this verdict is harsh for Five Pizza Original, it is even tougher for the many other smaller “low cost” brands, which have taken up the promise of a pizza for 5 euros.

Blind test time

And in terms of taste: can Five’s 5-euro margherita compete with those of historical players Domino’s and Pizza Hut? We ordered three medium-sized pizzas and had them delivered to Nosso, the Parisian restaurant of chef Alessandra Montagne, in order to organize a blind tasting.

” Look ! There’s hardly any tomato sauce in this pizza,” notes the cook, pointing to Five’s product. It shouldn’t cost anything to produce. After blindfolding herself, she tastes the Margherita from Pizza Hut: “The first taste I smell is sugar. “Amazing. The next part is signed Five Pizza Original: “The balance is correct…”. And the last, from Domino’s: “There is a little something more attractive. »

In the standings, it will be Alessandra Montagne’s favorite (€6.99 to take away). Five (€5) comes second followed by Pizza Hut (€12). “Honestly, for 5 euros, you might as well eat a sandwich. At least there will be vegetables and a little meat,” says the cook. But if you’re looking for a cheap pizza then Five does pretty well!

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