Is Pizza A Fast Food?

Have you found yourself stumped as to whether or not you should classify pizza as fast food or not?  Pizza is such a wonderful food to most people- so ooey gooey and cheesy, and it’s so versatile allowing for any person to enjoy it.  So, what gives?  Is this food and the establishments who sell it considered fast food, or restaurant food?

Pizza is considered to be a fast food because it is usually prepared in under ten minutes.  It’s also easy and quick to cook so it’s convenient for serving large groups of people at one time.  Pizza is considered fast food because it doesn’t take long to prepare.  Pizza is a reliable food for businesses to sell and easily customizable.

Well, that makes sense, but what factors qualify a particular food as fast food instead of just…regular food?  Turns out, there are a few qualities a food product and its producer must have before being classified as a fast food or a fast food establishment.  This article will cover everything about what makes a food “fast”, especially our beloved pizza.

Why Is Pizza Considered A Fast Food?

There are a few different factors that contribute to pizza being considered a fast food.  In order for us to generally regard a food product or food establishment as “fast”, they have to, well, be fast at what they do!  Pizza makers take on average 10-15 minutes, and some even faster depending on experience and type of pizza.   

Another quality that may immediately come to mind is how easy pizza is to make, making it simple to do large orders quickly.  Once a pizza dough recipe has been perfected, all one needs to do is choose a sauce type and toppings to offer their customers.  This makes it very easy for pizza makers to make whatever orders come their way.

Pizza is also acceptable for any meal of the day, no matter what time it is.  I’m sure you’ve thoroughly enjoyed a cold slice of pizza for breakfast, or at least one that was at room temperature from a pizza that was left out from the night before.  This gives reason for pizza to be even more popular than other foods, perfect for fast food businesses.

More qualities that revolve around fast food is pricing and taste.  For some reason, everyone loves pizza (even those who despise junk food can be made the healthiest, fanciest of pies!).  To boot, pizza can be priced lower than other foods like hamburgers, roast beef sandwiches and fried chicken because of its simple, affordable components.  

Is Pizza A Fast Food?


Pizza is considered a fast food because of its sheer convenience.  When you think of all the ways it makes things easier, it’s shocking how many benefits you can think of.  For one, pizza is not the worst fast food out there- it offers such a variety of toppings that one could easily order themselves either a very unhealthy pizza, or a healthy one.

Depending on who you are planning to feed pizza to, pizza making companies usually have enough variety of ingredients to provide even the pickiest customers a great pie.  People with children can keep their pizzas simple, or even order personal pan pizzas such as those offered at Pizza Hut- making things a little easier on parents.

Another convenience that pizza offers is delivery.  Many pizza shops offer the service of providing the delivery of your pizza to you for an extra price, and not just to your home- to your work, an amusement park, a hotel, you name it.  Many pizza places are customer savvy enough to navigate your pizza to you no matter where you’re at.

Finally, pizza is inexpensive!  It goes without saying why cheap food is convenient, but I’ll elaborate anyhow- anyone with any budget can usually afford at least one pizza from somewhere at any given point in time.  This makes it easy to buy takeout for large families or even just a dinner for one from some pennies you scraped together.

Pizza Is Tasty To Almost Everyone 

Pizza can be tasty to even the pickiest of eaters, making it a great choice to serve up if you’re considering starting your own fast food chain!  With its large amount of versatility, even toddlers, vegans, vegetarians, gluten intolerant individuals, those with health issues, etc can all partake in eating it.

Take it from me, someone who has a major affinity for pizza pie, children, a husband and dog- everyone loves the taste of pizza!  When my daughter was just one year old, she would gum little pieces of pizza we would hand her from lazy cooking nights with not even a hint of disgust in her face.  

Pizza Is Quick To Make

As we reviewed earlier, pizza only requires a few basic ingredients for its foundation and the rest is easy- just throw on your favorite toppings and bake it for a few minutes.  Pizza places have this system down-packed- they’re able to take multiple orders at once, making the pizzas side by side and inserting them in the oven simultaneously.

Pizza Is Highly Customizable

Since all pizza really is a specific dough and sauce recipe and the rest toppings, it is quite customizable.  Customizability is a great asset to a food within the fast food industry.  Consider this:  just as a burger is customized at a fast food burger restaurant to have “no pickles, extra cheese and hold the ketchup”, pizza can be similarly customized.

Speaking of customizability, imagine families who don’t agree on what to eat for meals.  What if one of them has a dietary restriction or allergy?  Eating out can quickly seem like a mountainous feat to some families however, it doesn’t have to be when you eat pizza- shops offer options like half and half toppings and gluten free crusts.

Pizza Is Almost Always Easily Accessible

Another factor that goes into being considered a fast food establishment is location and accessibility.  Think McDonald’s- almost every town or city has at least one pair of golden arches.  Pizza companies are the same- usually every place has at least one local pizza shop to choose from.

What Is Fast Food?

Fast food is something that is prepared in a standardized way and is served up quickly and inexpensively to customers.  Fast food also offers the option to customers for takeout and sometimes dining at the location itself.  Most fast food establishments have some sort of drive-thru system set in place.

Fast food is supposed to be a convenient option for those who are on a schedule, running behind, or are in a time crunch.  Fast food is mass produced and establishments are not commonly locally owned by a “mom and pop” entity but rather likely by an investor who owns other establishments in the chain as well.  

Fast food’s top priority is speed of service and it is generally accepted that the faster an establishment is while providing accurately made products, the better and more successful the establishment is.  For example, it is usually looked down upon by both the establishment owners and customers to see the building backed up and long lines.     

The Pizza/Fast Food Debate

Some food bloggers tout that pizza is still not technically considered a fast food, despite it checking off all the boxes to be considered as such.  Some who specifically research pizza say that pizza is “not even close to fast-food or even quick-service food”.  Some say that because you have to wait at least ten minutes for pizza, it’s not fast food.

I think the pizza/fast food debate is still ongoing because when we compare burger joints such as Burger King and Wendys to pizza shops, we assume that when ordering a burger it’ll be served to us in about 2-5 minutes.  However, this may be splitting hairs and we may be better off believing the scientists classification on this one.

Establishments such as Little Caesar’s offer pre-made pizzas to trump the argument of “pizza takes way longer than burger joints do to provide food, therefore it isn’t fast food”.  Little Caesar’s cleverly offers customers “Hot N Ready” pizzas that are already pre made so when a customer orders one, they immediately receive it.


Although there is still some debate on if pizza is truly a fast food or not, most sources and people in general agree that it is.  It ticks off all the boxes necessary for a food to be considered fast, from customizability, simplicity, availability, time to assemble and inexpensive costs.  Although it’s considered fast, it’s not considered junk food- so eat up!    

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Sam Brett

Sam Brett is the founder and editor of Pizzachefhq, a pizza enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a pizza creator and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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