By Shruti Bhatt
MOD Pizza opened in the Riverdale Park Station on Friday, October 20, and UMD students and College Park competitors are wondering how many pizza places is too many.
The Riverdale Park Station along Route 1 opened in 2006 and has been adding new retail stores since, including Whole Foods Market, which opened in April of this year.
MOD Pizza is a chain pizza restaurant that allows customers to individualizes size and pizza toppings.
District Manager Richard Waldo said what makes MOD Pizza different than other pizza places in College Park is that they are the original fast and casual pizza. MOD Pizza has been open since 2008, serving in a style similar to Chipotle and Subway.
More than 1,000 people have visited the franchise already, and management expect many more.
“All the proceeds from the opening are going to Generosity Feeds, and we’re currently working with four out of the eight locations I oversee,” Waldo said. Generosity Feeds is a charity that helps feed hungry children across America.
Because the College Park area is saturated with pizza places, Waldo said the challenge for MOD Pizza is getting people to know where they are located.
“We’re a mile off campus, but there’s a lot of good development happening here,” he said. “It will grow over time.”
Lotsa Pizza, the second-newest College Park pizza chain, which opened in the summer of 2017, declined to comment on the increase in competition brought by MOD Pizza.
Junior biology major Disha Savalia, who lives in the near Route 1, said she’s shocked another pizza place is opening. Savalia said already pizza restaurants struggle to stay open due to the competition.
“Pizza Autentica closed recently I assume because of the influx of so many other pizza places taking over,” she said.