Bailey: Fort Collins has too many pizza places

Fynn Bailey

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Everybody loves pizza. It’s cheap, delicious and easy delivered. Over 100 chains base their entire business off Americans’ love pizza.


There are more than 25 pizza places in Fort Collins. A fourth of those are locally run small businesses.

Despite how much the average college student likes pizza, there is too much pizza in Fort Collins.

It’s not about competition in the pizza market. It’s about competition against every other type of food and about chain restaurants verses local businesses.

There is nothing wrong with loving pizza. According to the Department of Agriculture about 13 percent of the United States population eats pizza on any given day. It’s down right American to love pizza, but that’s doesn’t excuse the overwhelming amount of money that goes to these giant chains over local pizzerias. 

Fort Collins is known as a restaurant city. On the Colorado State University tour to incoming students, it is often said that Fort Collins has the most restaurants per capita of any city the United States. That is unfortunately false, but it is true that 10 percent of all jobs in Colorado are working in restaurant and food service. What we eat is important to the Fort Collins community.

It's a infographic detailing the amount of restaurant jobs in CO by exact number and over all percentage. There are 281,300 restaurant and food jobs and that is 10% of the jobs in the state.
From the National Restaurant Association. This shows the amount of jobs in CO in the food industry as well as estimated growth.

If Fort Collins is truly a restaurant city, then why does so much of its valuable market share go to big pizza chains that frankly don’t make that good of pizza. It’s simply because people keep eating there instead of trying something new or eating somewhere local.

According to Pizza Magazine the pizza industry in America makes $44.4 billion every year with around $19 billion of that going to independent stores and near $25.5 billion of that going to chains. In America, there are nearly 8,000 less chain stores than independent ones and they still make $6.5 billion more.

Nearly 1,200 more independent pizzerias close their doors every year than chain stores. 

Local pizzerias need the money more than the chains. Local pizzerias deserve it more too. Krazy Karl’s and Pizza Casbah, just to name a couple are some of the best pizza in Fort Collins, and they’re both local.

The second part of improving our food culture is eating at places that aren’t just pizza. There’s a world of food out there, and restaurants in Fort Collins to represent all of it. We as a community should support local restaurants and small businesses while promoting culinary cultural diversity.


There are only nine Mediterranean restaurants in all of Fort Collins, four of which are in Campus West. That leaves only five spread across the rest of the city to represent an entire culinary region of the world.

The count of 25 pizza places above doesn’t even include general Italian places or the many restaurants that happen to have pizza on their menus. 

Small businesses of all kinds fail due to big chains out competing them every day. To help small business grow people have to use their services, or in this instance, people need to eat their food.

If you’re going to get pizza, get it local. If you’ve already had pizza this week try a gyro or some Thai food. This will help build Fort Collins to be the city that our admissions tour claims it  is.

Fynn Bailey can be reached at or online at @FynnBailey