Oath Pizza: Fast-growing chain uses Certified Humane toppings

The scene: Over the past few years, Great American Bites has visited a lot of new or rapidly growing fast-food operations, and we’ve seen two recurring trends, both good ones. First, many newcomers are focusing more on ingredient quality and sourcing, from the grass-fed, drug-free beef at the Elevation Burger chain to the nation’s first certified organic drive-through fast-food restaurant, Florida’s mini-chain Grown. Second, we’ve seen more food freshly cooked to order for every customer in fast and efficient ways, especially when it comes to the assembly-line approach taken by semi-gourmet pizza chains Blaze and 800 Degrees. These two trends converge perfectly at fast-growing Oath Pizza, which now has a dozen locations in Massachusetts, New York City, D.C. and Virginia, and is about to open in suburban Philadelphia. Oath’s biggest differentiator is its Certified Humane status. The seal of approval is given by the nonprofit Human Farm Animal Care, the leading such organization, and covers all the meats at Oath – which claims to be the first and only pizzeria in the country to be Certified Humane.

Oath is set up very much like a traditional fast-food eatery where you order at the counter, dispense your own soda and take a seat, but in many ways they have taken great efforts to de-fast food the look and feel. The stores are sleek and modern with whimsical art and signage, concrete floors and blonde wood walls and benches, giving them a clean, streamlined Nordic look. The newest locations, like New York’s Upper West Side store which opened two months ago, boast a signature centerpiece – a freestanding hydroponic growing system, sort of a glassed-in vertical greenhouse in the middle of the space, with shelves filled to the brim with basil plants. Every day, basil grown in-house is chopped for use on the pizzas. It’s an impressive touch and the theme continues with a glass wall on the counter, behind which customers can see all the possible topping ingredients, the entire assembly process, and the custom conveyor belt ovens that cook a pizza in just a couple of minutes.

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