World’s 1st Pizza Subscription Service Launches in Toronto

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Toronto-based General Assembly Pizza has launched what it describes as the world’s first pizza subscription service as it also plans to aggressively expand its product offering in the near future by opening a new concept in the market.

“Since opening our doors in 2017, we have pushed for the best guest-experience possible — that’s why our dough is 100 percent naturally leavened, that’s why we have a purpose-built 400-square-foot pick-up and delivery area, and that’s why we’ve launched a direct-to-consumer subscription-based ecommerce platform,” said Founder & CEO Ali Khan Lalani.

“In 2020, providing the best guest experience means General Assembly Pizza has to be more than a restaurant. I’m proud to say that after almost six months of planning, many roadblocks, and countless pivots — all while maintaining our day-to-day restaurant operations amidst a pandemic — we have done it. Along the way, we’ve connected more than ever with our community, and we look forward to bringing a little of that original GA guest experience back into their day-to-day lives, at home.

“We’re very, very excited about the launch of the subscription business and we think that premium finish at home, premium cook at home, products are a path forward and a way forward for Canadians to enjoy dining out at home. Restaurant quality food. Restaurant driven food in a safe, sustainable way at home however they choose, on their time.”

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PIZZA SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE PLANS ONTARIO EXPANSION FOR 2021

The GA pizza subscription offers free home delivery for stacks of 4, 6, 8, or 10 pizzas, from as little as $39 per order and as low as $9 per pizza. The service is available in Toronto (i.e. all postal codes that start with the letter ‘M’), with plans to expand throughout Ontario in 2021. The service was launched at gapizza.com

The direct-to-consumer subscription model builds on the successful launch of GA’s premium frozen pizza line, developed by GA Executive Chef Curt Martin, which features six 100 percent naturally leavened pizzas that cook at home in five to seven minutes.

“Food quality and forward thinking is what drives our team. Whether it’s made-to-order or frozen, our pizza is entirely handmade, chef-prepped and fired in our hand-built, made-in-Italy brick ovens,” said Martin.

Subscribers to the subscription service can choose their monthly stack size and select their pizzas. Pizzas are delivered to a subscriber’s doorstep in a temperature controlled recyclable box that declares “pizza night, reinvented”. Contactless delivery and package tracking ensure customers know exactly when to expect their order.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PIZZA BEING PREPARED AT HOME. PHOTO: GENERAL ASSEMBLY PIZZA

Lalani said the business took on a new mantra, a new wave, during the current pandemic. GA has one location in downtown Toronto on Adelaide Street West.

“Now that we’re in the middle of the pandemic we’ve all had the chance to assess our goals. We think that a very small 500-600-square-foot takeout, delivery type model is going to be the way, the path forward for us. No dining room seating. And we’d just focus on having our own CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) freezer that sells all of our consumer package goods and our brand new frozen pizza line as well as pizza kit, dough, sauce, and cheese, and hot fresh pizzas which we’ve been well-known for for the last three years,” he said.

“Our new model is going to be one where it’s very different than our current. The new model will have a frozen section and a kit section so if people want to make pizza at home everything you need would be there . . . We’ll also be able to do pick up through an app and we’ll also be able to do delivery. So the current model of fill the restaurant with people, people pay, people leave, repeat has been flipped on its head and now we think that we’ll have four interesting ways for people to engage with our brand and four ways for our business to generate revenue.”

Lalani said the company is actively looking for locations in Toronto for that model. The company’s Consumer Packaged Goods, finish-at-home frozen pizzas are also in about 10 grocery stores in southern Ontario.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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