This pizza chain founded by a former Starbucks executive is blowing up

Wood-fired pizza is the latest trend in fast-casual dining, and there's a new major player on the scene.

MOD Pizza pioneered the fast-casual pizza category by opening its first location in Seattle in 2008. Since then, it has grown to 80 locations all over the US, with plans to open 18 more restaurants by year-end.

Cofounders Ally and Scott Svenson, who have four sons, decided to open a pizza restaurant after struggling to find an affordable option for their family.

Before opening a pizza restaurant, the Svensons opened Seattle Coffee Company in London, which was eventually acquired by Starbucks.

Scott Svenson held the position as president of Starbucks Europe for two years before dedicating his time to developing MOD.

Each pizza is 11 inches and sliced into four pieces. Customers can create their own, with an unlimited amount of toppings for a fixed price. MOD also offers beer, wine, salads, and milkshakes.

MOD saw $20 million in revenue in 2014 and expects $60 million this year.

The pizza chain prides itself on its simple menu. Because it offers franchises, the company anticipates rapid expansion.

"We take a lot of inspiration from In-and-Out burger by keeping MOD really focused and simple," Scott Svenson said.

Other notable fast-casual pizza chains of the moment include LeBron James-endorsed Blaze Pizza and Chipotle's Pizzeria Locale.

Here are some photos of the restaurant and food.

For more on the build-your-own-pizza concept, watch the video below:
Chipotle Ventures Into The Pizza Industry

SEE ALSO: Up-and-coming restaurant chains that could be the next Shake Shack
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