Lions & Tigers & Squares Detroit Pizza: let loose in New York
August 11, 2022 | United States
Artichoke Basille’s co-founder Francis Garcia isn’t just bringing a different kind of pizza to NYC, he’s using his partnership with Uber Eats to help get it into more hands so he can focus on making delicious square pies.
One bustling location in the heart of NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood
Putting pizza first with efficient delivery
From Motown to the Big Apple
If you’ve ever been to New York City, you know the corner of 23rd Street and 8th Avenue is buzzing at almost any hour. That’s exactly where Francis Garcia, co-founder of the famous Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, planted his new concept: Lions & Tigers & Squares Detroit Pizza. Open for business practically 24/7, the shop blasts Motown classics into the streets of the Big Apple at full volume – along with the unmistakable aroma of melted cheese. Wisconsin cheddar, that is. “Growing up in a pizzeria, I’d never heard of anybody making a pizza with cheddar cheese. So I was fascinated.”
But location wasn’t the only ingredient Garcia considered when opening Lions & Tigers & Squares Detroit Pizza. He had a hunch that his new obsession – dense, square-shaped pies – would be perfect for delivery, too. And he was right.
From slices to squares
A rockstar in the world of pizza, Garcia is no stranger to taking chances. When he co-founded Artichoke Basille’s Pizza in 2008, he was counting on the appetite of New York’s late-night crowd. But after traveling the country for his Cooking Channel show, “Pizza Masters,” an unfamiliar take on pizza inspired his next big undertaking.
“I was always intrigued with Detroit,” he says. “They couldn’t get mozzarella out there, so they used what was readily available, and that was Wisconsin brick cheddar cheese. “The product is delicious. The cheddar cheese. It sinks down to the bottom of the pan.”
“A big pain in the neck for us as operators is delivery. There’s a price on your stress. What’s that worth to you?”
Sweating every detail but delivery
New Yorkers will say they already live in the world’s best pizza city. Introducing a new kind of slice was never going to be easy. That’s why Garcia decided to partner with the Uber Eats platform – so he could focus on quality and hone his craft, rather than manage his own internal delivery staff. He’s also looking to expand his Detroit-style pizza awareness to Uber Eats users in NYC.
Unlike a traditional pie, Detroit-style pizza keeps delivery simple – no ergonomic boxes or heat-resistant spacers necessary. For Garcia, that made partnering with Uber Eats a “no-brainer.” “Lions & Tigers delivers beautifully because it’s a small and compact box. It travels really well.
It’s not just about increasing sales, he says, though that’s happening too. “The only way we’re going to deliver here, so that we can focus on the product and service, is through a platform like Uber Eats.”
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