Ever wonder how PizzaRev got its start? The concept of faster, higher quality pizza was the brain child of self-proclaimed foodie, Nicholas Eckerman. At age 15, Nicholas found a love for crafting food as a cook at a local bowling alley in his home town. His love for all things food continued into adulthood, but Nicholas chose to study Economics and Art at the University of Texas in Austin. It wasn’t until a stint of Summer School in Hawaii that Nicholas made the decision to pursue a culinary career. He decided to stay on the island and networked his way into a kitchen job, shadowing the esteemed Ritz Carlton Executive Chef, John Zaner. Zaner, who started his culinary career as a busboy, took Nicholas under his wing and always stressed how Nicholas’ dedication to hands on experience in various culinary arts would give him a leg up on those with formal schooling. Zaner liked that he could “mold someone with no preconceived notions.”
From 2003 to 2008 Nicholas held almost every culinary position available, from working on ice sculptures and fruit carvings to sushi chef to eventually managing high-end restaurant properties. In 2008, Nicholas helped to launch Malibu Beach Inn and served as the Director of Food and Beverage at the high-end property until 2011. Meanwhile, Nicholas had been concepting different restaurant ideas since 2005.
In late 2011 Nicholas pitched the idea of a pizza concept that was missing – something higher quality that was fast enough for anyone to eat on their lunch break — to his father, Rodney Eckerman. Rodney was retired at the time, but the concept resonated so well that he enlisted the help of former business partner, Irv Zuckerman (both formerly served as co-CEOs of Clear Channel Entertainment). Irv’s son, Jeff Zuckerman, was brought on board to lead the company’s branding and marketing efforts – and PizzaRev was born!
In just three years, we’ve earned a loyal following among Southern California and have embarked on cross-country expansion. Our roots are in the West but our legacy is to be the internationally recognized leader of the faster, healthier pizza movement. Named one of the “10 Brands to Watch” by CNBC and #15 in the 2015 FastCasual.com “Top 100 Movers and Shakers,” PizzaRev has captured the attention of investors and consumers alike. At just three open locations, we secured an equity investment from restaurant industry powerhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings. The publicly traded chain, with more than 1,000 locations, chose PizzaRev from among 300 concepts that were reviewed.
Want to learn more about how the two father/son duos came together to build one of the most exciting restaurant brands of our day? Check out this article in QSR Magazine.