Pizza has always been a guaranteed people-pleaser — an informal, group-friendly comfort food that has only seen a rise in pandemic popularity.

Fortune reports that many top pizza establishments saw a rise in revenue in the last year. Of course, pandemic uncertainties and closures have contributed to the increase in pizza orders, but analysts credit much of the pizza success to one thing: innovation.

It's time to think outside of the box and get creative with the ways you can add pizza options to your menu.

Break with the Brunch of Champions

We've all whipped open the fridge before the morning commute and snagged those cold slices out of last night's pizza box, but what if we reimagined breakfast pizza as a highlight we savor, as opposed to an afterthought we inhale?

Bake rounds of fluffy herbed focaccia as your base for an array of toppings. Salty bacon and cheddar; spinach, wild mushroom, and feta. Whatever you choose, crack some eggs on top and bake until the yolks are still soft and perfect for dipping that outer crust. Slice and serve at next Sunday's brunch for a Snapchat-worthy start.

Stop the Slice

You might not have room on your menu — or in your kitchen — to dedicate to a variety of full pizzas, but you can capitalize on pizza popularity without spending dough on a few new ovens. Luckily these days, pizza doesn't even have to be in pie form to be noteworthy.

Chop up some greens hearty enough to carry your favorite pizza toppings in salad form. Load up with cubed salami, bright tomatoes, crisp peppers, fresh mozz, and briny black olives. Toss in some arugula for that peppery bite and finish off with a pizza sauce balsamic vinaigrette. Turn a ball of dough into crunchy croutons or soft breadsticks and you've got a meal so hearty no one will wonder why they're eating out of a bowl and not a box.

Look to the East

Our friends over in Connecticut have been onto something for years with their Neapolitan-style New Haven pizza — née, Apizza, to put it properly — but it seems like the secret's finally out and trending. The Daily Meal's "Best Pizzas of America" list gave Connecticut dominating ranks in 2020.

So, what makes the New Haven style so darn good? Maybe it's the delicate chew and char of the crust. Maybe it's the simplistic tang of a stand-alone tomato sauce or the accompanying soft whole milk mozzarella. One thing's for sure, if you're bold enough to put a New Haven White Clam pie topped with aged cheese and garlic on your menu, be prepared for lines out the door.

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